Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cucinare- to cook (I think)

                My fellow Texans/ Americans… vote Paige for president. Not really but maybe one day. Wow that’s a scary thought. But I do believe after seeing America outside of America I would make a really great president. But you have to be atleast 35 if I remember correctly…..
                Anywho. Before I start off into how my life is in Italia I would like to say a few things . Primo… I have been here in Italy one day to day month. It feels so long yet so short at times. And it amazing thinking back to how much in me has changed since I first arrived. For one the waist of my jeans have to be rolled so they fit. Another is I now speak Ingliano, the Inglese e Italiano version of Spanglish.
Secondo…. It’s my birthday month!!!  I will be turning 17 in Italy!! How many people can say that? It’s funny because only a few weeks ago when I was going through my dark times and truly considering coming home I remember thinking I have to stay until my birthday then I can go home. It felt so far away then. And now the thought of leaving after my birthday (leaving at all really) makes me start having a panic attack and stressing so bad my hair falling out.  I think now “What was I thinking?” then.
                Third…. Did I mention how much I love Italy? Granted the occasional amazing days are interrupted by a rare bad one, but hey everyone has bad days, even when in a place that could be considered near heaven on Earth.
                Fourth…. I have never been this relaxed in my life. And I love it. I think it’s one of the reasons I’m loosing weight. Besides realizing how horrible and disgusting and processed American food is.  Because seriously I eat twice as much here than I did at home, plus an amazing dessert  everynight and I’ve lost weight. Something that I’m very surprised about, because most people gain weight on their exchange.
   Okay so here I go. For those of you who haven’t read my last blog (the poem). Please go read it. Like I said there I’m not a poem person, but I’m kind of proud of it. Silly enough.
  Lunedí (Monday)-
                Monday was a good day. Let me just start off by saying that. I had my first test. In Mate (Math). It was my first blank test ever and surprisingly enough I didn’t freak out. The teacher just smiled at me as I turned it in. I think she was trying to be nice other wise she would have laughed. I know afterwards I did.  I arrived home to my package of home here. I pulled out my bag of pretzel m&m and hid the other. Because I devoured that first one in about two days. I also shared some with Dodi and Ludo, crabby patty gummy treats not the m&m. Sorry, I love them but those things are my addiction and I don’t have enough to feed three addictions. But I do believe Dodi is now addicted to the gummy treats, he tried bribing Ludo out of hers. I have a few stashed back for when I need to earn points. That night I went to a track complex in Marina di Carrara with Ludo (my host sister) and Ludovico (cousin). It was nice to get out and exercise and hang out with some friends and meet new people.  I also started speaking some Italian and Ludo commented at one point how much better she thinks it getting. I think she’s just glad I’m not walking around asking “Come che dice?” to everything.  
Tuesday, I don’t really remember Tuesday well. And I don’t fell like getting up from my favorite chair to go look in my journal to find out. Nothing big must have happened or I would have remembered. Except I do remember one thing. My Chemistry who is the first teacher ever I have just wanted to stand up and tell her that I would not be held responsible for her Stupidity. Yeah if you can tell I don’t like her very much, but neither does the rest of the class. It’s not that she doesn’t like me, it’s just I don’t she grasp that I’m an Exchange Student or that Iv’e taken chemistry before. So when I tell her I don’t have books (because I can’t understand and the girl I sit next to will let me look at hers if were just reading), and I don’t understand, and that I’ve taken chemistry before. I do believe it goes one of her ears and right out the other. Not to mention she thinks in America we only use our Untis of measurement. And not the SI metric system as well. It took me three times to tell her this before she understood. MY classmate just give me pitying looks when she walks in the room. I try no to cry.
                Okay but back to the story. Tuesday she actually complimented my notes I copied directly off the board and held them up for the class to see. If I wasn’t about to fall out of my chair with shock I think I would have had half a mind to have been embarrassed at the heavily doodled margins.
              Wedndsay ( I couldn’t spell it right in Texan and I for sure can’t spell it right now. Sorry). Anyways it was one of those days were if you could have rolled back over and started the day over I would have done. It was not a good day. First of all I was tired for some reason, even though I went to bed earlier than usual that night.  Also my mind seemed to hit the proverbial Italian wall, because everything my teachers said went in one ear and out the toher or stopped on it way to give me a major migraine. Then I was cattle hearded onto a crowded bus after school. I didn’t have anything to hand onto, you were pressed right up against the person next to you, and the bus driver was a big believer in brakes and load shifts. So there I was stumbling around at one point grabbing someone elses backpack out of reflex to keep from falling. I was so happy to get off except that my bracelet was hooked to the guys backpack in front of me. I made a noise that sounded German. That I do remember and literally grabbed his backpack forcing him back so I wouldn’t be drug along with him. I was in such a bad mood at this point I didn’t ever care that the guy was extremely hot. I think that’s a pretty good measurement of upset I was.
                But my host family mad it better, as did relaxing and listening to a bit of music. So like I told my dad who had the pleasure of sending me a small e-mail to make sure I was still alive got told. It’s wasn’t my favorite day, not homesickness, just life.
Thursday (boy I hope I spelt the Italian one right) lol. Thursday I didn’t go to school. I woke up with a headache like I’ve never had before. I walked into the kitchen still in my pajamas that morning and my host mother say and me ask m what was wrong. I told her I had a really bad headache and non chalantly she told me to just stay in bed. Had I not been worried about having possible internal head trauma later form what ever was banging around up there I probably would have been more than mildly shocked and possibly excited at her tone consisting with me not going to school.
                So I crawled back in bed after taking some ibeprofuen, threw the blankets over my head and didn’t wake up until ten.
                My head was but a shadow at that point, and after getting dressed I hung out with Toni in the kitchen, helping her cook and talking. It was nice to bond with her and I think expressing my interest in food might have brought us a bit closer.
       Friday was a great day. School was good. The mental block was gone. And it seemed to just fly by at times.  But what was so great about the day happened after school. I went walking around Carrara. Looking into the little boutiques and even found a hobby shop on my street. I was so excited. Of course I didn’t buy anything. I’m holding my cards ( or should I say my money) close until I see everything.  I hate shopper’s remorse, I think it should be diagnosed as a form of acute depression, seriously. And while their at it can they go ahead and make “foot in mouth” a social disorder as well. It would really help me out.  Thanks.
                  But then after getting home my host mother said that we needed more sliced cheese for my breakfast sandwiches I was making that night. I went down to Esselunga all by myself and bought the cheese. I was so proud of myself, I could have happy danced my way up via Roma to the house.  Of course walking in Toni asked me if I got it. When I held it up  she got about as excited as me. That receipt is now pinned to my Rotary jacket.  Thank you very much.
                So I cooked the sandwiches. Toni hanging around a bit saying she would like to learn how to cook “American”. I really wanted to tell her that I cook “Southern” and if she wanted to learn that I could get her a Paula Deen ( my cooking idol) cookbook. But I think she would be appaled at the amount of better, because she even called my sandwhich cholesterolful. But they still loved. Granted  they were still hungry afterwards. But nothing some ensalata or a piece of Nutella with Marscopone  wouldn’t remedy.
Saturday was an even better day. My friends taught me some Italian and I spoke a full sentence and understood a lot as they spoke.  They day went by fast and I laughed when one of my friend told me she tried to read my blog in inglese but couldn’t. So she put it in google translate. The only thing I could think of was how horrible I’ve come to recognize that translator as for some things and shudder at the thought of what it might have said. But she said it was so wrong she couldn’t even read the translation.  So school was just good.
                I had my weekly Skype con mi papa (with my dad) and Steph. As always they make me laugh. Because halfway through they’ll figure how to make themselves visible to themselves instead of just m and spend ten minute trying to fix hair or in this case sit up to look thinner. I about died rolling on the floor. And they’ll probably hate me for sharing that, but it was too funny. But my dad also pointed out that I may not know how to tell a Cab driver where I need to go, but I can tell you the name of food and how to cook. Of course I’m in Italia what else do you expect? But we had a good laugh over that.  I wanted to Skype with my mom but she is sick. So please pray for her to get better soon.
                Saturday was also my first month in Italy.  As I said before when I started writing the first past on Saturday it has seemed very long and short at the same time.
                Today was a good day. Went for a walk down at Marini di Massa with my host mother and sister. Found some rocks for my Nanny the short seconds we ventured to the sand of the beach. Learned a lot more about Italy. Talked about Religion and Politics (always my favorite). And was suprisngly happy that me and my host mother agree on so much and what’s not agreed upon is still respected. She was also brought to the attention of how close minded American can be about somethings and she was shocked. 
                I believe a quote I read once best described my feelings at that moment. “I love America, to bad it’s populated with so many idiots”. Yep that’s about right.  But it’s still home so you love it as it is.
                So here is the few things I’ve come to realize part:
    I forgot my love of cooking. Seriously I remember at one point I wanted to be a chief. And then it was pushed aside for things like Doctor, or politician. Or even the dream of a bookstore owner. But since being In Italy and watching my host mother cook, and asking questions and learning the right way. Like how you don’t have ragú (meat sauce) with spaghetti. It’s used with other types of pastas and many other things.  Well it’s reminded my love of cooking. I’ve gone so far to download some cookbooks on my Ipod and go through the recipes and star things to make when I get back home. I’m going to start cooking again. Now will I become some courdon blue culinary genius, I have no clue. But will I  make Julia Childs proud at my effort, definitely. I have also come to the conclusion, as to save room for the trip home I’m not going to buy anyone souvenirs. I’m just going to cook traditional Italian food for them. Their going to be saying “Let’s go to Paige’s house for Italian tonight” instead of “Let’s go to Olive Garden” by the way while the food their maybe good, it’s way heavy compared to traditional Italian food, and I don’t believe completely correct.  Will I still eat their upon returning home, sure. Will I do it without as much gusto as before, nope. I mean come one I’m eating fresh legit monzerella cheese (which is amazing), nothing can compare.
                It’s also made me realize how much I absolutely miss Mexican food. Like seriously when I’m not going to be cooking something I want to go out to eat at a Mexican Food restraint. Probably for the next five years. I miss it so much. When I get off that plane can someone just have some ready for me? I would love you so much!!!
                I also miss Wal-mart and Target…despite the crowds.
                Another thing is.. I was looking at the calendar of my little day planner for school here. And a year really isn’t that long. I mean you have four weeks on average in a month.  Theirs only seven days in a week. And while some feel long, really how many times have you reached Saturday and thought “wow that was quick”. And if I’m only here until May or June that’s…. 8 to 9 months still or somewhere between 32 weeks to 37 weeks.  That’s not a lot of time… Life truly is short if you live it right.
                Also a little food for thought… this morning my host mother told me this Septembre in Italia was the host in the past 150 yrs. Looks like I brought some of the Texas heat with me. And I’m none to pleased. I’m ready to start bundling up and get this show on the road.
                That’s really all I have to say. Besides the fact that talking about food had made me really hungry, most likely going to go hunt down some Nutella now.
                Hope you are all taking care.
                Ciao, baby.
As always please exscuse bad grammer, misspells. And If you just can’t figure it out use your imaginations. Good luck.


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