It was the summer of 2007. Two of my friends and I decided to throw a surprise birthday "party" for another friend. It wasn't actually a party, but a big get together of the other students and friends to have a birthday cake and a toast of champagne. We had held it at the bar.
My friends and me (I'm the one on the left!)
For those of you who don't know, cafes are called bar, in Italy, and is not to be confused with the bars we have here in the States. Il bar also sells alcoholic beverages, but are more known for their coffee, pastries, and the like. Il pub is what we refer to as the bar here in the States. They sell alcoholic beverages, but no pastries or coffee. Later on, we all took a passeggiata, a walk, into the centro, town center. We walked down the little street that leads to the walls surrounding the Palazzo ducale. There, the Italians showed us that if one person stands at one end of the wall, and another person at the other end, and whisper into the wall, you can hear one another.
Us at the wall
The rest of the night was spent at the pub, and we returned rather late back to i collegi, the dorms. After the late night out, we all wound up waking up at twelve in the afternoon. We all met up in our pajamas out on the terrazza, terrace, enjoying the hot sun beating down on our skin. We didn't mind being outside in our pajamas. No one could see us from way up here on the hillside. Until he showed up. He came out onto the terrazza, and began talking to one of my friends. The only American he happened to know. I dreamily watched him as he talked to her. Later in the day, as my friend and I were leaving the mensa, cafeteria, he handed us a flyer, titled "Study a Broad". Ha! It was an invitation to karaoke at one of the other pubs in town. It's such a small town that there are perhaps only four. If there are even that many. I called it the bookstore by day, bar by night. During the day, it was lined with portable shelves that were rolled away at night, and turned into a bar. We agreed to come and check it out.
That night we all prepared to get ready in the communal bathroom. Each blocco, block, contains two floors of individual rooms. In the center of each two sets of blocks is a shared bathroom, consisting of four bathroom stalls, four shower stalls, and mirrors with sinks on either end of the bathroom. Not really the ideal set up, but it wasn't all that bad. Just be sure to wear flip flops in the shower stalls! Finally, after an hour to two hours of everyone finally being ready, between changing outfits a gazillion times; getting your hair just right; and helping with make-up, we set out. We were enjoying our time, slowly getting into the mood of things. One of my friends and I were clowning around with dancing. At one point during the night, he came up to me, and introduced himself, Angelo, explaining he wanted to know my name. I don't exactly remember if we were speaking in English or in Italian, but we had no trouble understanding one another. Why does this matter? At the time I didn't speak much Italian. It was almost impossible for our new Italian friends to talk to me. They didn't speak English, and neither did Angelo. Only a few simple sentences. We danced together that night, and he offered my friend and I a ride back to the collegi.
Us the night we decided to start seeing each other
Once we had decided to start seeing each other, girls pestered me nonstop not to see him. I even encountered an Italian woman who questioned why I would want to be with an Italian when I can be with an American. But I was already set on the idea of continuing to see him, even if in just a few weeks I would have to go back home. It lasted two years, but hopefully we'll be back together again soon once I've finally made my way to the other side of the pond. I still face questions as to why I would want to move to Italy. Well, why not? What is wrong with wanting to live abroad? While in Italy, I'm faced with the same question, and he is asked why are with an American, or, why don't you move to America? As one kind Apricenese man said to me, "those who are in Italy want to move to America, while those in America want to move to Italy."
Put simply - the heart wants what the heart wants.
Happy Love Thursday
Have a great weekend and holiday!