Settling In

Well I haven’t posted in a couple days. I think it is starting to feel more like real life here now and not a vacation. I’ve had some work to finish and I wanted to keep my nose to the grindstone so I can spend more of my time here painting.

ImageMary Beth arrived yesterday. We had arrangements for me to meet her at the train station but it didn’t go as smoothly as planned. I walked over there early and was waiting on the platform for the train from Pisa airport and there was no MB. So I checked the schedule for the next train and went to that platform. No MB again. This went on several times and I couldn’t imagine why I couldn’t find her.

I was all over that station to the point that people began to ask me for directions! Finally a man approached me and asked if I was looking for Mary Beth. Shocked, I said “yes!” “Well, she took off walking for the apartment,” he said. “But she doesn’t know where it is!” I exclaimed. “Oh, she’s not worried, she has a map!”

So I hurried off walking and got back to the old city as fast as I could. When I was within sight of the apartment I saw MB rolling her case, heading for a restaurant. I shouted at her and she turned and saw me. Turns out she had found the apt, but couldn’t get in, of course, and was desperate for something to eat.

I had made us a nice salad for when she arrived so we got settled in and had that to eat. And… the reason she only had her carry-on bag was that her big suitcase was lost on the way to Paris. Great.

So after we ate and unpacked and chatted for a bit we were ready to go out. It was raining buckets but we just grabbed an umbrella and took off. You can’t be in Lucca and stay home! The streets were full of people as always and we just meandered from shop to shop. Most we passed, but we went in a few to look around. Then it was time to find a place to get a bottle of wine and some food. And we did.

It was a fast evening. I was tired from all the walking at the train station and MB was still on Ohio time. We went back to the apartment and crashed.

ImageThis morning I got up and made coffee. There is one of these “Moka” pots in the cupboard, which I know how to use because I have one at home. It is a common coffee pot in Italy, made by Bialetti, and you see them in the windows of every kitchen shop. It makes quite good coffee. Actually it makes espresso – which is very strong. MB likes it straight. I prefer a bit of milk in it to tame the bitterness.



I also set out a few leftovers from yesterday. We had bread, fontina cheese and a few pastries to choose from. And I had my fish left from last night’s dinner out. Which, by the way, I’ve had to get VERY crafty about…

Seems the Italians do NOT do takeaway! I’ve mentioned before how much they eat and I wasn’t kidding. In fact, you NEVER see an Italian get a to-go bag. They usually eat everything. And evidently, if they don’t they don’t worry about it.

I, on the other hand, can’t eat a full meal at once. Due to my stomach surgeries, I get full after a small amount of food, but I do get hungry again in a couple hours. So when I go out to eat, I always take most of the meal home for later. One good restaurant meal will feed me several times.

But here, when I have asked for the leftovers, they almost panic! One waiter seemed to think I was going to steal the plate and quickly snatched it up and took it away – with most of my dinner on it! After that I tried to order things that would be smaller portions and eat more of it, but that doesn’t really work.

Another evening I asked the waitress to wrap up the food and she couldn’t have been more puzzled. She said there was no way to do it. I insisted that she find some foil or plastic wrap or even a napkin to put it in and she looked afraid to go to the kitchen and ask. I told her I WANTED that food and I was taking it, so find a way to get it wrapped up! That seemed to scare her a little more, so she did.

So I have solved that problem. When I was in the kitchen store I bought a nice tupperware container with a lid. I just put it in my bag before I go out and when I am done eating, I put what is left in the plastic box. I don’t ask, I just do it discreetly and no one even notices. So much for that! And then I have breakfast and/or lunch the next day, already prepared.

Geez, who would have thought that would be any sort of problem? Here’s all these skinny girls scarfing down huge meals and I am the fat one who can’t get leftovers to go!

Meanwhile, I haven’t left the apartment today. We are waiting for MB’s luggage to arrive. I had work to do, so I have stayed in to keep on the luggage watch. MB went out exploring for a while (aka “shopping”) and I was surprised when she came back with very few purchases. BUT, she had forgotten her list and decided to look around before buying too much.

Now she is back out again to get us some things on our list. Hopefully the luggage arrives soon – I have turned into a walker of sorts and need to get out and move!

More later…

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ellyn
    Oct 12, 2012 @ 10:37:45

    That whole food take away situation boggles the mind. I LOVE restaurant leftovers the next day! Glad you found a solution.

    That stinks about the luggage, but I guess it’s pretty common. I remember Nicole’s suitcase got lost en route to Germany. She never saw it again. Hopefully Marybeth’s suitcase is intact.


  2. the handsomer billy...
    Oct 12, 2012 @ 21:31:13

    hmmm… i was perplexed but i think i am starting to understand. at first i wasn’t sure if it was the ease of excuses, or lack of motivation, or education/training, or inspiration, or cultural barriers, or shopping urges, or talent, or excessive bubble gum chewing, or what…


  3. the deeper billy...
    Oct 14, 2012 @ 06:19:35

    just trying to figure out why there are no famous female artists….


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