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Monday, 28 September 2009

Long time no consistent blogging--Italy-the inside scoop

I am horrible! I have been blogging on here less and less and what's sadder is that life has been incredibly eventful since I stopped the consistent blogging... so let me try to make up.

Italy was insanely amazing! While Brian was there IT WAS one of the best trips of my life. Also one that made me see things a little differently. Not to mention how much it changed/shifted Brian's perspective on people and cultures- just as I knew it would, but differently than I expected. Ok i know what you're thinking, could I BE ANY more general!? Well this is what I mean:

Before going to Italy with Brian I was certain of some things:
1) Brian would LOVE the food so much in Italy, he would probably gain at least 10 lb while there.

2) Brian would hate the traffic and smog so bad, that he'd wanna live in HSV for the rest of his life

3) Brian was going to eat gelato every day

4) Brian would think all Italian men are gay because of their tight clothing ;)

5) Brian would love Italy but be glad to go back home.


Well this is what REALLY HAPPENED:

1) Brian actually was not blown away by any Italian food. This may be because for the 3 precedent years I built up Italian food so much, he was ACTUALLY expecting orgasm from the food. He also said that DOMINO'S PIZZA is better than any pizza he's had there (which may classify as immediate divorce material right there ;)) AND that all the [Italian] foods my mom has made at home in the US top what he has had in the mother land.

2) Brian LOVED the way Italians drive, the whole time he was talking about wanting to drive his (convertible-two-seater-bright-yellow) car on the Italian roads. Or as he called it "zipping around" He praised the way Italians drive because they can get places 10 times faster than Huntsvillians.

3) Brian tried gelato, and really liked it --especially Stracciatella-- but again was not blown away.

4) Brian started dressing like Italian men after 3 days of being there. He bought as much clothing as I did while there (and let me tell you, that's a lot!). One night while sporting one of his new (very sexy) Italian shirts, I swear i may have seen a nipple it was unbuttoned so far down ;)
jokes aside-- this is one of my favorite parts of the Brian italy-metamorphosis: the fact that he now understands my obsession with style, looking good, and making a statement through clothing!!! we now have one of my favorite things in the world in common to share: clothes! :)

Another positive outcome was that, after only a few days begin there he felt, sounded, and acted so refreshed and HAPPY. He told me he now understood why I was the way I was: demanding, uninhibited, and to the point--he saw these types of personalities everywhere among everyone and things started adding up to him. He also said that he understood why I try clothing (in the US) in the middle of the store if the lines are too long at the changing rooms (no worries, nothing ever shows when I do that)... even though, he added, he still never saw anyone in Italy doing that ;)

He observed that middle aged Italian women take care of themselves, don't seem as prude, and show off what God gave them proudly, and not as if they are trying to hide their bodies. He loved this not because he likes to stare at middle aged women (trust me, he's really not that type), instead he loved this because he was learning that not all women over 45 loose all interest in themselves, the way they look, and carry themselves.

I also loved the way he compared Italians and Americans in yet another aspect: When in public places people here say the word "excuse me" if they are 3 feet (or more) away and need to pass next to you with plenty of space between you and them. He said that in Italy, people just did what they had to do (because they are used to small crammed spaces) and were not so touchy about any "invasion of personal space"--not even close!
FACT: Since he's pointed out this subtlety to me, and I have returned here, when now people refer the "excuse me" to me, I do not respond-- Mainly because there is nothing for me to excuse-- as, you see, there is no ACTUAL touching or inconvenience or awkwardness on my part. I may "look" rude by not responding with an "it's ok" but in reality that's really the reason why I don't respond anymore.


Brian not only got some Italian culture 1 on 1, he also interacted with Italian people CONSTANTLY. It is very different traveling as a tourist than traveling as/with a LOCAL. If Brian and I would have both been Americans, Italy would have been just another "nice" place for us to see its main land marks and that's all. With me being from there and still having friends there, it was a very different experience for him. {I even showed him my elementary and middle schools!} He was a SAINT for hanging out with me and my friends the whole time, getting migraines just trying to keep up with all of us babbling on and on. Just try to imageine yourself in a room full of chinese-only-speaking people for HOURSSSSSSS... try imagining how words would not be words but just senseless sound for HOURSSSSSSS... well that's how he must have felt.
Just to set the scene a little bit: I have quite a few friends in Sorrento and each one of them I hadn't seen in 3 to 5 to even 7 years. Now, we all know Italians are loud, and that SOUTHERN Italians may be even louder-- so now add about 15 of those ppl and have them talk all over each other, enthusiastic to see me after that long of a time... and what do you get!? Brian in Sorrento! VOILA'! He was overwhelmed {Overwhelmed is an understatement} most of the times, BUT sometimes, behind his reflective fake ray bans he even took a nap amongst our infinite talks in Italian.

To the point that when we left the crowd, he'd say to me: "ok ok speak English to me, I HAVE to hear English"..... and as funny as this may be, I would actually have a hard time responding to him in English at that time. I would roll my "r's" just a little to intensely and sound FUNNY to myself!!

It must have been weird to him for me to know so many people, such DIFFERENT people, than him. Almost as if I were someone else while there.

Rome was a much happier, more "tourist-y" experience for him; I know he loved it best. He LOVED the Sistine Chapel. It was my first time seeing it too, and seriously---one of the best, most striking things I've seen (right up there with the Pyramids). He and I were BLOWN away by it. We were in the chapel for a pretty good while and when I could finally get myself to tear my eyes away from the turquoise [sky} fresco scene, and paused from looking at it for a little bit.. i remember for the shortest instant thinking that my eyes were "suffering" from NOT looking at it. TRULY a MARVELOUS scene, if it sinks in.

We packed our "Rome days" SO much, we really did 3 weeks' worth in 3 days, and our legs could feel it too! and BOY OH BOY the heat! jeeeeeeeezzz !

ok and now for my favorite Italy story:
Brian and I had JUST arrived in Sorrento, and I was anxiously calling my friend's cell phone within the first few minutes there. She answered and proposed we join her on her boat for a ride to Capri she added that she was going to leave within the next few minutes, and therefore, to hurry. We OF COURSE accepted at the speed of light and precipitated ourselves to the harbor. Which in itself was NO easy task! Before plummeting ourselves, Brian begged to grab a bite- so I ordered him a typical Italian sandwich (prosciutto and a whole lot of mozzarella). We climbed down the Sorrentinian cliff to get to the harbor
we got on the boat and Brian was not expecting the SPEED and especially was not used to the VERY VIOLENT and CONSTANT impacts of the boat and the water slamming with every move of the boat. **If you are used to this---it is SOOO much fun, the wind is in your hair at full speed and the ride is a rush!
Anyhoo, our trip TO Capri was great, we even saw the GROTTA BIANCA . We then settled the boat far into the deep water, where the anchor couldn't reach. Here my friends, begins the scary part... Brian went for a swim, and because the boat wasn't anchored he kept going farther and farther into the deep water and was not able to catch up to us on the boat :(. The way he screamed my name still gives me chills, because i knew by the way it was screamed that something WAS wrong. and let me tell you, Brian won't call for help until he's literally close to death! GOSH it scared the CRAP out of me!!! He was too far to try to trow him a life saver. So we quickly turned the boat and rescued my baby from the waters of Capri. I love him so much. Everything happened SO quickly that it's hard to say I was worried. But it was for sure a quick SCARE.

Anyways, besides that one story, everything else was splendid; we saw so may cathedrals inside and out, we saw all of Rome's panorama from Castel Sant Angelo which was SPECTACULAR! We visited not only St. Peter's but also the Vatican Museums, which if THOSE don't carachterize the biggest museum in the world I don't know which does!!?!??! and finally we loved each other sooo much the whole time, it was fabulous. The trip really connected us even more and I am so happy just thinking back to it.
I took about 2000 photos while there, and I only shot the time Brian was there-- the extra 10 days I was there I did not.
Here are a very few photos from the trip, more to come:


bananas. said...

sounds like an amazing trip. i would love to go to italy one day...soon, i hope. your pictures are adorable! did you take you fancy schmancy cam?

Justin and Lacey Dudley said...

Thank you so much for sharing your trip! I was able to take a mini Italy vacation in my mind. Love!

casadekaloi said...

I love this:
"He observed that middle aged Italian women take care of themselves, don't seem as prude, and show off what God gave them proudly, and not as if they are trying to hide their bodies. He loved this not because he likes to stare at middle aged women (trust me, he's really not that type), instead he loved this because he was learning that not all women over 45 loose all interest in themselves, the way they look, and carry themselves."

because it's so TRUE...I think not just Italian women, but European women in general remain interested in themselves, which is definitely awesome to me. I plan to remain interested in all aspects of myself as I age. I think too many women in the states have babies and then find the cardigans, khakis, tennis shoes, and 20 extra pounds and then wear them for the rest of their lives.

Also, the part about traveling as a tourist or with a local/native--yes yes yes! When we went to India I was so glad that our professor arranged the trip and showed us things, we never would have seen some of the stuff otherwise. Sean and I are thinking about taking Jazz to Hawai'i sometime early next year, and I'm excited to go with him, because we'll get to see all these caves and more remote beaches and all of that.

Brian said...

What a great post Mrs. Morris! That was a great recounting of the trip; thank you for putting so much detail. You coulda left off how I almost DIED!! :D

vania_b said...

bananas, yup i did take my fancy cam! :) and it was totally worth it! and also- you should totally go to italy...if for non other than the fashion!!!