Eau du Thief

Don’t quote me on this because I have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, but there was this study somewhere, at some time, done by some psychologists. Basically, these psychologists set up two rooms – Candy Shop A, and Candy Shop B. Both Candy Shop A and Candy Shop B were virtually identical;…

Has Been to Australia

When I first started teaching at my English school four years ago, there were six of us – myself, another American, an Englishwoman, a guy from South Africa, and a mother and daughter duo from Australia. It was the Australian mom you had to watch out for – exuberant, warm, and lusty, her joyfully wicked…

Eat Me

After six years of teaching English to Italians – themselves, byproducts of their culture; themselves, an intriguing blend of impatience and laziness – I have come to the succinct understanding that only 2% of their grammar questions are serious. What’s the different to the past simple and the present perfect? It is the same I use…

The Day the Earth Stood Still

In the days since the election, reading my Facebook feed has become a lurid exercise, like picking the edges of a scab. Admittedly, reading Facebook posts and op-ed pieces might not be the best way to come to terms with what happened, but I simply can’t help myself; I’m an American expat who lives in…

The Dead; the Living; the Return

It took them six years to find me but by golly, they sure did find me. “Can the Dead REALLY come back to life?” asks this flier, dropped lovingly into my mailbox by the Italian Christian Right. Or, rather, I assume it was from the Italian Christian Right, as I didn’t actually read the thing….

Keeper of the Castle: A Play in One Act

CAST OF CHARACTERS E: Writer. American. Early 30s. Breathtakingly gorgeous. OLD MAN AMBROGIO: Pensioner. Early 60s. Italian. Haunts the bar where E goes to write. Scatters outrageous, unsolicited advice like so much birdseed. MARCO: Policeman. Italian. Mid-40s. MARCO was once one of E’s interview subjects for an article she was planning to write. FRANCESCO: MARCO’s…

Homemade

You guys, look what my friends give me: That’s apple cake and prune crostata from Maria, mandarins and pickled eggplants from Flora, and pesto and currant jam from Piero’s mom. I love these people.

Distractions

I don’t know how you expect me to concentrate on anything when I had this for dinner last night. Thoughts wandering all over the place. This post has been brought to you by Wanderfood Wednesday.

Usurpers to the Throne

  The usual hours and the usual parking spot and the usual teenage boys behind the bar who take bets on what flavor of fruit juice I’ll be drinking today; if I’ll accept the aperitivo or no; if I’ll get any writing done while Old Man Ambrogio lectures me on exactly what my problem is…

Blue Roses

At night, there are the nightspots and free concerts. My group of friends tends to meet up around midnight – when my friends in the tourism and hotel industry get off from work; when the nightspots start getting packed – and those of us who don’t live at home*  and might not have eaten dinner…

Seven Links, Seven Blogs

I’ve been nominated, I’ve been nominated! Nominated to take part in the 7 Blogs project, that is. This means that Barbara Weibel and tripbase – respectively, my gentle nominator and the mastermind behind the project – like me; that they really like me! My part in this project is simple. I may share with you…

USA vs. USA

What happens sometimes is that – when you’re living in a foreign country, a country where you’re almost one of a kind – people want to pair you up with other stray members of your species. There’s another American who lives three towns over, they say. I’ll invite him over. You can chest bump about…