A Traveler’s Terrene

You only live once. What are you going to remember the most?

Why, hello there. February 17, 2012

Filed under: Italy — italicana kitchen @ 6:26 pm
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Thanks to a reader who recently wrote me and asked me about my whereabouts, I am writing this blog post today. I always find that there are people or events that come unexpectedly into your life to pull you back on track towards achieving your dreams.  When this happens we have two choices: to make the changes needed or to let the moment and motivation pass. This choice is life’s little way to say, “Hey! What the heck are you doing getting lost in daily routines when you have a purpose. Your life mission is to follow that passion inside of you, to go after that dream!”  However, more often than not, these choices are often overlooked, tuned out or simply discarded like a crumpled piece of notebook paper with a few scribbled words.  Well, today, thanks to a reader I’ll call *S*, I am writing again. Why? Because, it’s my passion and what I love to do. Why haven’t I been writing? Simply put: fear.

Looking at this word, I want to laugh. I am not usually the gal that fears anything. Quitting my job, leaving my family and friends to travel the world trip—done. Sky diving, bungee jumping, canyon swinging, white water rafting—loved it. Moving to Italy by myself where I knew absolutely no one and had to find a job and build a friend network from scratch—bring it on.  Writing on my blog or writing my book—absolutely terrifying. I should clarify. It’s not the writing process that scares me, but rather the truth-telling-process. I have this inner need to write and tell the truth but am often blocked by my conscience. I want to write about real life experiences and about taboo subjects but once I start my mind interferes:  “If I say that will that person get mad at me?”, “If I talk about sex, what will my parents, my colleagues or boss think?”

I envy those who are so brutally sincere that when someone asks them if she looks fat in her outfit, the response is yes—regardless if it is their relative, friend, co-worker or a complete stranger. I say no—or, often times, skirt around the response by suggesting how it could look better like, “That skirt would look great with a long sweater,” where in reality I’m thinking, “OMG, get a longer sweater and cover that muffin top!”  But, really, how can I say those things out loud? Let alone write them down for the world to see?  I can just imagine all the people with their voodoo dolls poking me in the eyes, heart and, if they’re truly perverted, bum hole.

So that’s where I’ve been the past year since posting to this blog—in this wonderful state of non productiveness when I have so many stories and experiences to share—living in Italy, snowboarding in the Alps, falling madly in love, and being on the verge of moving in with my Italian boyfriend (and his family!).

The truth. That word is a loaded gun. What I want to shoot out of it, what I want this blog to be about, is that when you take that majestic leap towards following your passions, great things truly start coming your way. That is the truth that I know, and that is the truth that I want to continue writing about. I think different writers serve different purposes. Some make you laugh while others make you cry. Maybe I will never have the courage to tell you that the food you just cooked smells like a nursing home and tastes like dirt mixed with tomato sauce, but I do have the courage to tell you that there is nothing stopping you from achieving your dreams if you go out on that limb and try. So, for now, until I grow some bull-sized balls, I’ll just do what I do best and focus on that.

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Italian Easter Roadtrip May 2, 2011

Filed under: Round The World Trip — italicana kitchen @ 5:13 pm
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Road Rage January 25, 2010

Filed under: Italian Life — italicana kitchen @ 10:26 pm
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I’m usually a very tame driver.  No flipping people off…honking my horn…or slamming on my breaks to tailgaters. Maybe, occasionally I’ll let out a “You freaking idiot!” comment to a car that cuts me off, but that’s about the extent of my road rage….that was until I started driving in Italy. Now, for those of you have never driven in Italy before, we’re not talking about a little bit of road stupidity, we’re talking about everyone who is on the road is “freakin’ idiots” stupidity. Yet, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em I guess, and I’ve seen myself start to get into the Italian style driving….tailgating cars…passing on solid lines during curves…shaking my fists and cursing in Italian…but the line has to be drawn somewhere, right? Well, I have my chalk out and I’m marking a big fat line….so watch out you Italian drivers. I will not tolerate this new “move out of my way” approach to passing.

While driving back to Milan after a day of  snowboarding at Courmayeur, I saw car after car try an “ambulance pass” approach to passing. Imagine three lanes on the freeway. The far right lane for trucks, middle lane for speed limit traffic and the far left lane for fast-moving traffic/passing. Well, I was  comfortably driving in the middle lane adhering to the speed limit, when what do my surprise I have a fast approaching car a few kilometers back flashing his brights at me. I instinctively, move to the right lane as I thought it was an ambulance, but moments later I shockingly watch an Audi A4 cruise past. I can only imagine a greasy-haired chubby 40 something year old man smoking a cigarette tilting his back and laughing hysterially in that “muwahhhhh” tone of voice as a cloud of smoke swirls in the air.

Now that does it. One should never be interrupted from belting out the lastest Alicia Key’s song for such an unwarranted act.  I can tolerate a little tailgating but I will not tolerate you Italian drivers who are too damn lazy to put on your blinker and switch lanes if you want to pass. Watch out you lazy bastards, this gal is holding her ground!

 

Language Blunders November 17, 2009

Filed under: Italian Life — italicana kitchen @ 9:15 pm
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I always have to laugh when I make language blunders.  Actually, I start laughing when I see the look of shock or confusion on the other person’s face…

Cannibalism, The New Fashion:

After a coffee date with a friend the other day, we were walking back towards the car through the narrow cobblestone streets and I commented on his down jacket that zipped all the way up to the tip of his hood much like a mummy sleeping bag.

“Your jacket looks like un sacco di pelle,” I say to him.

He stares back at me, his eyes narrowed with confusion.

“You know…for camping,” I continue.

Then his eyes lit up and he bent over laughing. Historically might I add, to the point that I thought he might choke from not getting enough air in his lungs. Oh, cause don’t you know “un sacco a pelo” means sleeping bag, where as “un sacco di pelle” means skin. Yup, that’s right my friend, you’re jacket looks like a sack of skin.  Nice one Cindy.

TMI….Too Much information:

Of course, not to be out done, my Italian friend who likes to practice speaking English with me also experienced quite the hilarious language blunder. We had just packed up our books and were leaving the library when she whispered something in my ear.

“I need to go to the bathroom to put on my fart,” she said.

Sometimes her English is missing a word or two, so I translated that phrase to, “I need to go to the bathroom to fart.”

“Uhh, huh….interesting…well, thannnnks for sharing friend,” was my first thought.  That is until after I realized that she probably said “fard” which is another word for make-up.

Even so, Italian gals, when talking to someone in English, just remember the word make-up….never, never, say the word fard. I promise…you will get quite the shocked look if you do.

 

New Blog! :: Italian Isolation April 10, 2009

Filed under: Italian Life,Italy,living abroad — italicana kitchen @ 10:45 pm
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I will continue to write on a Traveler’s Terrene about general ideas and thoughts (and keep it going for when I take another big trip), but for everything related to my life in Italy you can go to my new blog: Italian Isolation.

From topics such as my passion to write a book to learning fluent italian, from whether Italian men are really stallions to where to find the best gelato–I plan to talk about it all. Think of me as your new travel spokesperson on life in Italy, and learn a little Italian along the way in the Italian vocabulary section!

 

Prayers for the Victims of L’Aquila, Italy April 6, 2009

Filed under: Italian Life,Italy — italicana kitchen @ 5:40 pm
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Today my heart goes out to the victims of the L’Aquila earthquake. In less than 3o seconds, a 6.3 quake left 92 people dead with the death toll still rising, over 1,500 injured, thousands homeless and historic buildings dating back to the 13th century crumbled into ruins. A devastating and horrific event, only proving that life is full of unexpected events that you can never predict.

My prayers and thoughts go out to the victims, families, friends and rescue teams.

 

Another Vocab Blunder… March 31, 2009

Standing outside a restaurant last week, my friend introduced me to a group of friends.  While he turned to continue his conversation with another person I began to chat with one of the women.

Of course, our conversation started out by saying the introductory greetings of “Ciao/Hello…” “Come stai?/How are you?”….etc.  Later in the conversation, I noticed her beautiful red necklace.

“Che bel collare!” I exclaimed.

I received a puzzled look from the woman. Then I pointed to her red necklace hanging around her neck.

“Oh!” She said a wide grin flashing across her face, “La mia collana.”

Ah yes…”collana” because “collare” means collar.

“What a beautiful collar!” …so…I basically just told the woman she looked like a dog. Awesome.