Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Va be'

I had a good last evening in Florence. We went to eat at a place called Dante where students drink for free. The gorgeous waiter flirted with us and then a group of young men were there for a birthday party and they asked us to take a picture with the birthday boy. They were pretty funny and all of them incredibly attractive. Dinner was great, and cheap, and afterwards we went over and I had my last gelato. I got strawberry, dark chocolate and yogurt and it was the first time that I ordered gelato without sounding like an idiot. It was delicious, and then we came home and I watched an Italian sketch comedy show that was hilarious, even though I could only understand about 25% of what was going on.

I really am going to miss these Italians. I think I can relate to them so much better than Americans. I really like the way they think. I like how they have parties and want to get everyone around them involved, like those guys tonight and the ones in Siena yesterday. I just love them so much. It must be the Italian in me. These really are my people, and they make so much more sense to me than anyone else. I get the way they think, and when I'm walking around the city, pushing past annoying toristi and walking out into the street when it's obviously my turn to go, I feel like an Italian. I've said this before after living in Rome, but I really see an ebb and flow working in the city. You just do what feels right. You know when you can cross the street without a signal telling you that you can. You know when to step off the narrow sidewalk into the street when you're passing by someone, and when the person passing by should step off the sidewalk to let you pass. Everything is communicated without all of the ridiculous awkward politeness. You just go and try to stay out of people's way. And Italians really are polite. They'll smile at you on the bus, or give you a knowing look when someone is being annoying near by. They make you feel comfortable, like you already know each other, like you're already friends. And they'll always include you in their party, not by asking but by taking a picture with you, laughing and joking with you, dancing with you. I think this last trip to Italy has made me realize more than ever how much I love being an Italian, and how much I love these people.

I will come back someday and stay for a longer period and really learn the language, by actually using it like I have been without being scared, and I'll visit where my family is from and try to connect to that heritage a little better. This place is really part of me, and I can't see myself staying away from it for too long.

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