My Drinking Partner & a Future Promise…

Posted on July 21, 2011


Dear Philadelphia Cream Cheese,

Who knew that Italians actually liked this type of cheese! Yesterday nonna G made some fantastic rigatoni with eggplant and fresh tomatoes and I asked what else was in the secret sauce since it was seriously the best…I was shocked when she told me it was cream cheese!! Seriously, everything that she makes is really tasty and it seems so simple…but it is not. I tried to make similar pasta like the other nonna just simply cooking the vegetables like she did with the special spices and mine just was not the same! Cream cheese…with fresh bread and a drizzle of honey…or just strawberry jam. Add a little in some pasta and it is rich and creamy!

Today I felt so exhausted when I woke up with Matteo at 7:20 am. I closed my eyes on the couch while he watched cartoons for twenty minutes until he was ready for his morning cereal. I had a double coffee and still wanted to sleep more! I woke up thinking that I didn’t like that I hadn’t received a message from Mickey and it has been a few days. I made the mistake of letting the grandparents know about him so now daily they are a constant reminder when he doesn’t call or message me. They ask if I have talked to him pretty much twice a day…separately of course but a double reminder does nothing for me. Kind of like my double coffee this morning. The nonno is really the best to chat with. He says nothing but sweet things about the beautiful wife of his and compliments his gorgeous grandsons. He even said something sweet to me! He told me, in Italian of course, that he was “sorry to see me go!” It was really nice to know that they have enjoyed me as much as I have enjoyed my time with them. I promised that I would see them again and I intend to keep that promise. We drink a bottle of the good wine daily and tonight was the last one…He already offered to get another one for tomorrow since I am not going home to Rome…yet.

After the park today I came home to a message on my phone, heart wanting it to be Mickey, reality it was T telling me bad news: Friday the trains are all on strike! Boo! I hate “scioperare”…nothing I can do about it. At least when T comes tomorrow we get to go to the sea…but that is about it. I was mostly looking forward to sleeping in this Saturday…oh well. When we were finished with dinner nonno asked if he should get another bottle of wine for tomorrow and I laughed and he smiled a huge grin at me when I told him, “si! Certo…Io e te…si” I think he was probably laughing at my Italian but either way he is happy to get another bottle to share with me…He smiled really wide and pointed to himself and repeated my “you and me!” Drinking partners….

We went with the kids’ friend across the street and his nonna to the park. She must be around 70 and is another grandmother in superb shape! She rode her bike with us and her and I sat on a park bench and chatted it up for at least 30 minutes. The start of the conversation was in Italian but then she started to speak to me in English so we continued talking like this. The has a daughter-in-law that speaks English and Spanish so its easy to her. She told me her life story in this short time. Where she is from, about her late husband, his lung cancer, her 94-year-old mother, the big house she has out here in Tarquinia, where she lives in Rome, the history of Sardegna (Where Italians supposedly originated from this island!) that she wants her grandkids to have an au pair so that she can golf more next summer (she bought the house since it is ON the course!) and in the end she told me to leave her my information so we can talk more about the au pair websites I shared with her. I think that she was sort of asking if I was coming back next summer hinting that her boys approved of me too! Danielle is the same age as Tommaso and the little one, Mattia, he is 2 and seriously one of the cutest little babes here in Italy! Another job offer in Italy…this one would only be for 2 months but who knows…

For dessert we always have a nice bowl of fruit to choose from. Always fresh peaches and beautiful dark cherries. The fruit here is unreal…I will always miss and think of the fruit. I tried a new type of plum (susina verde) that is apple green and perfectly tart and sweet. There are apricots and also yellow plums. When I opened up my second peach I found a little friend! It was a teeny tiny worm and I turned on the lights to show the kids since I was so excited..this happens in cartoons not real life! After I didn’t turn the lights and nonno got up turned them off himself and announced that HE pays the light bills not me and why where all three on! He was half-joking with me but it was definitely a warning to keep the lights off if they are not needed…geeez!

The kids were very tired tonight and I think that everyone else was too. We let them stay up to finish a Tom & Jerry film that was on TV and it was still a battle to wash their feet, teeth and change into pajamas. When Matteo is really tired he cries easily and refuses to brush his teeth and hates to have his feet washed. I had to literally lift him out of bed and carry him, fighting me and kicking, into the bathroom to wash them in the bidet! He passed out before I shut the light and Tommaso and I went into nonna and nonno’s room to read together. For the last two nights he invited me to read with him so of course I agreed! It makes me happy to know that he wants me around and likes to hang out with me..even if we are not talking…he asked me to lay next to him. I read my Tarot card book, again, while he read his “Topolino” (Mickey Mouse) cartoon comic book. He reads about 8-10 pages and points to funny sound words like “errrp!” and “aghhhh!” so I laugh with him and sometimes he has me read from his story, which is good practice for me in sounding out Italian words even if I have no idea what they mean! We part ways and say goodnight and then usually he comes out to announce he is still hungry and wants something. I am so happy that tomorrow is Friday! Even though I am not going home quite yet the fact that another week has flown by is amazing!


Posted in: When in Rome