Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Bike and A Blunder

Gabriella bought a bicycle!  It’s a used 10-speed bike and it will be just what she needs for the time we are here.  She has no intention of bringing this bike back to Seattle (she loves her bike in Seattle, even if it weighs about ten times as much as this one).  When it’s time to leave she will sell it.  Not only is she delighted with this new purchase, but also with having navigated the entire transaction in reasonably intelligible Italian.

Biker Babe setting off on her first Italian ride!

She was more than a little anxious about taking the bike out on the road for the first time, and she packed a first aid kit in her backpack just to be safe (as though that would help if she were flattened by a Fiat).   She chose a time of day when there would be fewer cars on the road and off she went.  After the first 20 minutes she found her groove and pedaled through the countryside in ecstasy!  What a feeling of liberation!  An unexpected benefit was having the opportunity to feel fully competent at something again.  We’ve spent the last several weeks feeling acutely aware of our inadequacies.   To be doing something familiar and nourishing in a foreign place, where everything we do poses some degree of challenge was blissful.

Later in the day Gabriella had the opportunity to be humbled again when we went into a local shop to get some tomatoes and basil.  The shopkeeper looked at Gabriella askance as she asked for some “basilica fresca.”  It turns out Gabriella should have said “basilico fresco” and that what she was saying was, “I’d like to have some fresh church, please.”  What a difference a vowel makes!

Truly, there are days when we come home and our heads literally HURT with the strain of concentrating so hard on what we are hearing and saying.

No comments:

Post a Comment