Saturday, May 26, 2012

Open Mic - More Responses

So we're back at the microphone with the questions from the crowd.  Diane just threw out the query about the strangest custom we've experienced.  Hmmm.  My first impulse is to say the way no lines exist, everyone just groups up in a human blob at whatever counter or office they need to line and wait for.  But that's may be more of a *lack* of a custom than a strange custom in itself!  I'd say the display of saints' parts in churches is a strange custom.  I still have a hard time understanding the appeal of seeing the finger of St. Whoever or other bits and pieces of the bodies of venerated saints.  Boh!

So're a curious dude tonight!  Let's see...Ndrangheta, never seen them.  No shake downs, no shady deals, nothing that looks like the mob in action.  Mammismo is prevalent all over Italy, also down here in the south.  Sometimes it's for economic necessity; other times, well, life is just too good with mamma, so why leave?  (They say.)  Purses aren't quite so popular down here, though you see them.  And Bryan carries one, but will quickly point out that it's "a man's bag, not a purse."  Yeah.  Okay.  And, wow.  You're a direct kind of guy, I like that.  So...ball grabbing to ward off bad luck is something I've heard about but never personally seen.  It may be more of a Calabrian thing, but gotta say I've not been a witness to it here.  And finally, yes, I've ordered a cappuccino after 10:00 am.  Nothing was said and no strange looks given.  After 11:30 am however will get a discussion of your colon's health and the dangers of milk before or after a meal.  Get Ed another birra and give him a round of applause!

Louise.  Hey!  Thanks for coming by!  Thanks for the comments about the house.  We think it's pretty cute.  And everyone who comes says it's cozy and nice.  The dream kitchen is still in the dreaming phase.  It's a little complicated to move it and will involve trenching the floor and new drains, which aren't so easy to do in a 300-year old building.  But as soon as we have the money, we'll get 'er done!  The plaster hasn't been stripped off the stone in the bedroom yet, either.  Our mason slipped a disc and wasn't able to work for a good six months.  Piano, piano.  And the cantina is behind the bedroom and a portion of a living room, so we'll be able to bust open a doorway someday to make another big rustic space, though we're still undecided about what we'll do with it yet.

Italia in 2015 posed a good practical question about moving - what to bring.  That's a tough one as it depends on each individual and what you can't live without.  I shipped a load of books, because English language tomes are hard to come by, but...alas, they never arrived.  The post offices on both ends blamed the other, but the sad result was about a thousand dollars' worth of books that I'd never see again.  I brought mostly clothing, a few personal items to decorate the house (Nambe' ware from New Mexico, mostly), and a few kitchen items that I'm addicted to (potato peeler, microplane grater, and a cross-cultural measuring vase that is invaluable for those of us that easily convert from cups to grams or mililiters.  And yes, it's made in Italy but I've never seen one anywhere.  Oh, the irony!  Electronics cost less in the States, so bring your tablet, laptop, and video camera gear.  Plus, you'll want that English language keyboard instead of the Italian one (unless you're doing lots of translations into Italian).  Anything else with a plug that isn't dual voltage adapted can be left behind.  The rest...well, it depends on you!  I do import green chile whenever possible to get a taste from home, and am hopelessly addicted to the dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader's Joes, so I ask everyone who comes to visit to bring me a bag, but otherwise, I don't really miss to much in the way of food items.  Oh, except for spices.  I do bring bottles of Cajun Spice and Chili Powder back, which friends appreciate when I cook some good ol' American stuff for them.

Well...there you have it.  Feel free to holler out questions, chime in, or sing a song in the comments sections any ol' time.  See you later folks!


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Sarah in deepest darkest Lomellina said...

"So...ball grabbing to ward off bad luck is something I've heard about but never personally seen"

Oh it's big up here in the foggy Northern bit. Lots of self molestation going on in the name of superstition.

Also in evidence the female version... "touch left boob" to ward off bad luck.

Louise at Abbastanza Buono said...

I'm with you on the English books. That is what I would have shipped over (and cried when I realized it was never coming). However, this trip over here I have my new NOOK Tablet and love it. Yes, you need a U.S. address to buy and register one but it works just fine here. I piggyback on a local open wi-fi address to download books but do everything else on the PC and keep the wi-fi turned off most of the time. Also, I love that I can download books from my local library with no problem. So, I strongly recommend getting an e-reader. I notice there are quite a few being sold here at Media World. The only "drawback" is not having ration books. My husband and I are reading ALL the time this trip. LOL! Thanks for the update on the house. E' vero--piano, piano! Louise