My Italian life…so far


Well I can hardly believe we have been in Italy for two months already. Weeks seem to fly by at an uncontrollable rate. The kids tell me it feels like FOREVER when they are at school (all of 4 hours a day this week), but talk to anyone over the age of 30 and we all wonder what happened to the previous months?

I thought I’d jot down a couple of events I have engaged in around the neighbourhood thus far. The small things are always the bits that make a stay anywhere most memorable, for example I love walking down to the local baker lady who doesn’t bat an eyelid when I order my bread in Italian…well what I would call Italian but who knows if I am really asking for salted (con sale) bread or sun (sole) bread…..some days I wonder what actually falls out of my mouth and yet she gives me my bread, wishes me a pleasant day until we meet again- I love that.

Living in a rural setting is simply divine and really when you have lived in a small apartment in North Sydney for a few years, anything with a gravel road running by and birds tweeting really is rural; forget the cows and sheep, we have wild birds of some kind running about kicking up the dirt and the occasional deer popping out to say hello. I mean Nic thought he saw a boar when he was out on a walk the other morning.


Actually talking of walks, we take a lot of them due to the fact we are not getting a car. Every Sunday we like to take a family walk and find out a little bit more about the area we live. I say ‘we’ but really Nic and I as the kids seem to cringe and carry on when it is mentioned, but kudos to them, they get onto the subject of Pokemon and really don’t notice the distance until it is too late.

The daily trip up to the local bins (trash cans) is always funny to me. I feel like the locals are checking out my daily rubbish output….almost like a walk of shame some days!

I have actually started doing a survey on my morning runs this past month and one thing I have noticed is VW drivers seem to have a problem with people walking or running on the roads. I run at about 6.30am three mornings a week and then walk with the boys down to the grocery store about three days a week also, so I feel I have some authority on this. The first time I had a VW station wagon veer over closer to me was on a morning run and I just put it down to the driver starting the day without a coffee. I did the side step so I didn’t get side swiped, no biggy. The second, third and fourth time I was walking with the kids doing our regular shop and I had to really start thinking hard about what the hell was going on?? Each time a vehicle got close enough for us to read the time on the dashboard clock I’d look back and low and behold they were driving a VW station wagon, golf or SUV thingy. Granted the roads can be tight here but to have every car come within inches of knocking us into the next century at speeds higher than the speed limit was starting to get a little freaky, especially when 99% were all driving VW’s!!

Last week I put my foot down and stopped being so polite and making excuses to the kids about them veering over toward us. One guy in an caddie van VW (I can only imagine he didn’t approve of our mode of transport?) started speeding up and moving closer to the boys and I. I mean the kids even commented on the fact that he was getting very close, so close in fact that Alex threw himself into a blackberry bush just as I was feeling the breeze of the side mirror brush against my arm!! You know I yelled at him and did the gesture of “I’m pissed off with you mate!” daring him to see me in the rear vision mirror and perhaps even stopping the car- I was ready and waiting!. He didn’t stop the car (probably doing a belly laugh at the sight of our faces) but he saw me all right.

I mean what the hell is going on VW drivers?? Is the car set to swerve to hit pedestrians in Italy?? OK, so you may think I am going nuts but just to back up my survey I was out this morning on on run; I’d waved to my guy who looks about 80 riding his bike to work, he always gives me a big smile and a “Salve!”, I saw the milk truck rushing to get his deliveries done and I passed about 5 cars on a strip of road that is much wider than two cars (and I know this because frequently I see young Italians dragging off the oldies behind the wheel who are sticking to the speed limit) and on this strip are white lines for parked cars. At 6.30am there are no parked cars so it is nice to cruise along in the ‘parked car’ area and take in the scenery, however, this is when the VW drivers must lose it. I successfully passed three cars, two of them even moved over to avoid me but the one car that decided to drive closer and closer until he (and yes it was a he) was well over the white lines was…..A VW DRIVER!!!! I saw red, so in a split second I decided to play a game of chicken (mum it’s ok it wasn’t dangerous I promise!) Every time he came over I ran out onto the edge of the white line (quite within my right I thought) and it wasn’t until he was about three metres away that he finally moved back onto the main part of the road!?

OK so I know it wasn’t the most sensible thing to do but I just had had enough already….if you own a VW perhaps you can shed some light on this crazy occurrence. Whatever the case I promise I won’t torment these peeps but please, please don’t go for the kids otherwise I will turn into the crazy Australian lady and that’s a sight nobody wants to see!!

And right now, the sun is shining, the dog in the house behind us hasn’t stopped barking for the past half an hour so I’m thinking it’s time to pop some shoes on, walk to the bakery and pick up some bread.