The language schools have all provided some kind of welcome packet to new arrivals that includes such things as a map and a list of recommended restaurants, bars, etc. I have done a pretty good job at trying out as many of the trattorie, osterie, ristoranti e gelaterie as possible!
But, oh, Mamma Mia (and yes, they say that here) the carboidrati are a problem!
Ho mangiato molti, molti, molti carboidrati in l’Italia e la mia vita è diventata un pò grassa! In other words, I have eaten many, many, many carbs in Italy and my waist has become a bit fat! Too much bread, and pizza, and pasta; then of course, there is gelato and vino!!! It also didn’t help to be drinking 1/2 litres of beer in Copenhagen and Vienna! Yikes!
The other evening a bunch of us from school went to “Osteria Sottoriva” for dinner which was very enjoyable. The menu is short and includes horse and tripe so becomes even shorter! We had fun, though, as it is entertaining to hear why people are here and where they are from, etc.
One guy, Ollie, who is English, brought a friend along. I met Ollie briefly last week as we were put on a team together to perform a sort of treasure hunt in Verona. Ollie was in the advanced class and it was actually his last day so I was surprised to see him at the osteria. Long story short is that I found out that he and his friend work for Sky TVs cycling team and go all around the world with them supporting their mechanic and technical needs. Ollie is now living in Milan which is why he has been learning Italian and will be back at school next week. Cool, huh?
Another guy, Garrick, who is only about 24, is from New Zealand and has been working with the ballet in New Zealand in several behind-the-scenes positions and is hoping to do something similar here in Italy. He is very nice, cute, and tall so I expect things will work out for him.
There is also a very interestingly funny American woman here, Patricia, retired, from San Francisco, and what makes her funny is that she pronounces every single word so very slowly and deliberately that it is a riot! In addition, she can’t roll her ‘r’s and has adopted nothing of an Italian accent to her words. Her knowledge of the language and grammar is very impressive but she sounds very mechanical, no flare at all!
Patricia and I went out to dinner last night to what has become (at least so far) my favorite place in Verona, “Trattoria Trota”. The food is wonderful and there is a nice atmosphere and the waiter is so grumpy that you just have to find it humorous!
Anyway, during our dinner I told Patricia that she needed to “be” more Italian, not just speak the language. She is too stiff about the whole thing. My suggestion to her was to drink more and then speak when she is more relaxed and just let herself go because I can practically here her think out all the grammar, and you know these Italians speak with such finesse and with great velocity!!
Patricia then conveyed to me she has been going to language school in San Francisco for two years and has been meeting with an Italian guy once a week to practice and he told her that he always feels like they are in a scene from the movie “The Speech”. It is a perfect analogy!!