Speaking of vacations, the Lady Elaine, who writes the terrifically funny blog Decorno is a week into a three-week trip to Italy. She's filing the occasional dispatch and her offering from this morning sums up everything I love about Italy. Elaine's currently in one of the five villages that make up The Cinque Terre where she's rented an apartment.
If you've never spent any time soaking up the wit and wisdom of Decorno, waste no more time and head over there. The woman sets the standard.
I leave for 6 days and you guys let Henry Louis Gates, Jr get arrested at his OWN HOUSE? Seriously, guys. WTF?Because I am paying like 80 billion euros a minute to be on this computer, I could only skim the details, but jesus h christ.Anyway - that makes me angry just thinking about it, so I need to move on. Let's talk about me.I was supposed to go to Lucca today, but the woman who rents her apartment to me, Louisa, shook her head disapprovingly at me and said in mostly Italian with enough hand gestures and serious looks for me to translate exactly what she meant to say, which was approximately, "Oh, but it's molto caldo (so hot!). The Lucca people, they come here now, to the sea. Too hot in Lucca. You go in May." And like the 3 nights before, I humbly ask if I can stay again and she smiles broadly as I produce my euros and she says, "Ah, si, va bene." And that is how Louisa gets me.Louisa is living high on the hog now. MY HOG, I may add. The day I arrived tough winds blew apart a few of her potted plants. The next day she came to my (her) white-washed apartment and showed me a new cactus she bought to replace one of the old. She was beaming. And then the next night I saw her walking with her old friend, going to dinner. To dinner! With my fat euros in her pocket. And then yesterday she warned me that today she would be gone mezzo giorno and that she was getting her throat checked. After a long mutual mime-attempt at understanding one another, we managed to act out that she has lesions on her throat and would be heading to La Spezia to have it checked out. She would be getting "exams" and doing "exclusions" (ruling things out, I think she meant). Look at her. Flush with American money, she's splurging on exploratory surgery. The nerve.Every time she comes to see me, she looks out the window with me, at the tower, and the pink and yellow and pastel green buildings with the laundry fluttering underneath windows and she beams, saying to me, "It's special here," like she needs to make sure that I understand just how great it is to be here, in this town, in this house.I do.