We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Monday, July 11, 2011

More simple pleasures....

Yesterday, despite the high temperatures - 87 F that felt like 101- I experienced not  one, but three, simple pleasures, I couldn't wait to share here.  

First, I managed to eat lunch at one of my favorite little osteria's near the Rialto.  Just a wonderful serendipitous moment where I happened to be at the right place at the right time.  I love how the planets align for me like that- on occassion.  My lasagna con pesce (with fish) was divine- but the icing on the cake was the kiss on both cheeks I received from the owner as I was about to leave, followed by his cheery "Ciao, Amore!".  

Why was this so great?  I just felt like I had somehow slipped - finally- under that imaginary barrier. This man extending his salutation to me without solitiation on my part made me feel accepted, no longer the stranger, the outsider.  This is special.

Later in the day, I stopped for a cold drink at Imagina, one of our local caffe's in Campo Santa Margherita. While sitting outside sipping my Coca-light, I read the local paper, Il Gazzettino. There was a whole page article on recent happenings in the campo, a topic we've been following as it unfolds over the last week or so. There have been some recent changes in regulations regarding hours of operation for certain shops- the pizza shop, gelateria and kebob place have to be closed by 11 each night.  The problem is all the noise and trash in the campo made by the late-night party-ers.  But- the local beer joints can stay open.  Hardly seems fair to me that the gelato guy can't continue to be open, and is loosing some good business.  His customers aren't the ones drinking and being loud.  Also, the local police have been cracking down on the establishments in the campo about their outside tables.  The businesses need special licenses to have tables outside. Apparently they have applied to the city for the permits, but they have not yet been approved.  In the meantime, the tables have been put in the campo.  And the police are out assessing fines for this infraction- lots of them.  The bigger problem is that without the tables outside during warm weather, these new little establishments will be out of business in a month.  

Well, anyway, the article in the newspaper interested me, so I struggled through translating it.  I had a question about whether this situation impacted Imagina, where I was at the moment.  Stefano, one of the barista's, and I got into a great conversation about the article, and this whole predicament in Campo Santa Margherita.  The whole conversation was conducted in Italian!!!!   Simple pleasure  Numero Due (number 2)!!!  

And, last but not least- Simple pleasure #3.  Last night I took a few minutes to check out a fellow blogger's blog.  The day before, I spent a few hours with a family from New Zealand, showing them around some of my favorite spots in Venice. Their 9 year old son, Joseph, is writing a blog about his travels as a homework assignment. They are on a big trip, visiting several countries.  Somewhere during our time together the day before, Joseph mentioned they were planning a gondola ride the next morning. I suggested  he ask the gondolier if he could  try rowing. Sometimes, depending on the gondolier, they just might let you.  I can't help sharing this photo from Joseph's blog.  What do you think, did Joseph enjoy Venice yesterday???

Reading Joseph's blog was the perfect ending for my day. Grazie, Joseph!  You definitely made my day!


Anonymous said...

you're breaking my heart. . . until next year when we are in Venice for five weeks!


karen said...

September will be here soon enough! Looking forward to seeing you then :)

Sandra said...

Karen, what a wonderful post, I was smiling, reading all the way through! How nice to feel accepted, and to have a full conversation all in Italian, you have come a long way!! And yes, Joseph surly had a great time on his gondola ride!

ytaba36 said...

Oh, what a nice trio of happenings, Karen. I can't decide which I liked best, they are all special.

(I sure hope Mood is one of the establishments that has its permit clutched in hot little hands.)

[128 days]

karen said...

Grazie, Yvonne! Unfortunately, Mood is one of the cafe's that are knee deep in the battle. They have applied for their permit, but have not yet had it approved- and no idea when it might happen. In the meantime, the local police are out in force assessing fines almost daily. Poor Nicolo is stressing out. All the new shops know that without tables it is the kiss of death for their business. Crossing our fingers that things change quickly.

Ciao!! Hope you are well and happy and staying cool.

karen said...

Grazie, Sandra! Yes, I think I have come a long way- finalmente!!! And it feels soooo good.

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Fortunately in our little town such problems do not arise and it has been known for people to be sitting in the square on hot summer nights eating ice cream at 1am, the bar will stay open until everyone has gone home.
Also what a wonderful memory for Joseph.

Dianne said...

Congratulations Karen. I know how wonderful those simple pleasures are for you. It is hard struggling with a foreign language. I got this same glow when I finally could converse with people in French when we lived in Paris in the 1980's. There is nothing like it for your sense of self esteem and your feeling of finally belonging! Continue to enjoy your adopted city. I hope to see you when I am there in September (9 through 18). Dianne