Sunday, December 31, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
As you can see, we finally purchased a very modest Christmas tree. Unfortunately we do not have any ornaments (my mom will probably never let me take mine) but luckily Italians hold sales on Christmas stuff before the 25th so we were able to get some lights and a few strands of beads. Happy mardi gras everyone!
Anyway, I'm feeling totally apathetic about celebrating this year. Sure I wouldn't mind cooking a turkey and my grandmother's potato dish but I really don't feel like making a big deal of it. We'll see what happens.
We attended the command Christmas party on Friday. It was a good time. I was able to do some networking that will hopefully land me some students/gigs in the future. The big news of the night is that J's name got drawn and he won the surround sound system shown above. What luck! We were just talking about how it would be nice to have a good stereo system someday but how it was low on the purchasing priority list. In fact, I'm sure I would never have indulged. But now we don't have to and it's wonderful. I can fill the house with booming orchestral masterpieces and never have to go to a concert again. Except for the Shostakovich opera that's coming to Catania in January. I just may have to go to that. Russian opera with Italian subtitles.... doesn't get much weirder.
J has the jeep today so I'm playing the role of housewife. I even baked cookies. Without all of the ingredients. I think I'll give them to the landlord's daughter when I go over to pay the rent.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Phew. What a weekend. Where do I begin? Well, I'll begin with the bad news. Our jeep got broken into last night as you can see in the picture. Even though the back was open and they used it to get in, the jerks decided to slice open the window for kicks, apparently. What a pisser. They rifled through stuff and didn't steal anything.... not the book of CDs, not the base pass. Nada. I don't know how they got into our hood. It's gated and even the walk through gate is usually locked at night. Perhaps they had help!
Speaking of the jeep. I am now driving it all by myself. It was so nice to drive to base, go to the gym and come home.... on my schedule. Of course I go ridiculously slow.... especially in today's rain and around the numerous curves. But Italians have no problem going around me, even when it's highly illegal. I trust that they will do what they need to do and leave me alone. The one task I forgot today was returning videos but because of the rain and the ominous break-in I don't know if I should push my luck and get back on the road today. We'll see.
In other frivolous news, I got my very own cute, flippy, cell phone. I've only ever owned one cell phone and it was purchased before the days of text messages so it was pretty basic. I love my new phone. I realize driving vehicles and owning cell phones is pretty normal for y'all but for me it's not. I feel like a kid at christmas. I also feel like a kid stealing her daddy's car when I'm driving by myself.
We went into Catania on Saturday and wandered around looking for various household items. It seems that it's nearly impossible to find decent bedding in this country. We may just have to drive up to Naples some weekend to go to Ikea. They're supposed to be building one in Catania but who knows when that will happen.
We went into a department store called, "Coin." Their feather duvets were about 200-400 Euro.... WAY too expensive and then they had ugly cheap polyester comforters for 900 Euro. That makes no sense. We were total brats, laughing at all the prices and recoiling as the saleswoman presented us with hideous duvet cover after hideous duvet cover.
We found a cute shabby chic chair for a mere 400 Euro and then compared it with the beautifully made LEATHER chair for 100 Euro. Again, it made no sense. We didn't buy anything but it was fun.
We also had the pleasure of listening to a folk band on the street. Sounds cheesy, but they were actually really good. Violin, guitar, cimbalom, accordion and bass. Not unlike our Hungarian band... except for the accordion.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
John.... that was just for you. Though in Eyetalian, vija would be spelled vigia. But you know what I mean.....
Those are the top two floors of our secret thanksgiving location. Top secret.
My brain is fried. I keep having dreams that I have to go back to Canada. This tells me I'm still processing the idea that I'm here for a long time.... that this is my home. Some may call it culture shock, but I don't feel that this tingling in my brain has anything to do with culture. Shock maybe. Shock at having my life change completely, shock at no longer being a resident of any country, shock at being completely dependant on someone, shock at being so far away from being known. I don't know. I need to calm down. I know that much.
On a more settled note, I got the Italian translation of my license which gives me the privelege of driving in Italy and on base. I also got added to the Jeep's insurance for a very, very low price. Little does the insurance company know that I don't actually know how to drive the vehicle for which I'm insured.
I'm getting better. I drove in some narrow city (okay, more like small town, but narrow nonetheless!) streets on the weekend and didn't hit anything. Baby steps to Borg as I used to say.