Derb + Time

Happy belated Valentine's Day! When we got back from Greve in Chianti, Lesley and I headed to a smoothie slash jewelry shop called Derb, on Via de Faenza (I think) for prosecco and hummus!

We were seated right next to the workshop--that's right, a fully functional jewelry worshop, complete with copper piping, gold thread, glass beads, and a small sink. There were dozens of other tools, which have since escaped into that vast ballroom in my mind where I store the names of things I don't understand.

Also in that converted store room are the Florentine word for foccaccia (strachatella?), the kind of grape cultivated in Lazio, the names of the Cinque Terre, and countless parole which I see--on doors, menus, advertisements--and hear--on the bus, in the street, on television--and have neither the time nor the inclination to translate.

From time to time I'm overcome by anxiety that I'm missing out on so much life in Italy. The feeling hits me when I step onto a bus, walk past a cafe full of locals, read the newspaper in English instead of Italian. I want to learn as much as I can, as soon as I can, but I'm learning that time is more relative in Italy.

"Now" could be time spent standing at a bar, sipping a macchiato.

"Now" could be when I have finished my cigarette.

"Now" could be when the bells at the duomo have stopped echoing through the streets.

"Now" could be, well, right now, sitting on the floor of the loft in the ISA office. So I've accepted--to a point--that I cannot learn a language in one day, one week, one month.

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