Month: February 2013

…on walking

I don’t. Usually.

Actually I do,  but not on purpose. Quite the opposite of my attitude while I was in Italy – where I would walk all the time, anywhere, anytime.  But not here in America. I always think that there isn’t much to see here, unless I’m at the park.

I just started walking to my local library instead of driving. It’s a nice little 20 minute uphill/downhill walk both ways. Its funny the things you see as you walk, that you automatically ignore when you’re in your car. I noticed this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And this close up:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m getting to know my neighborhood in a whole different way. I’m sure I would have never seen this carved into the sidewalk if I were driving by:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wonder if John and Lindy are still together?

Its also funny because sometimes I get odd stares when I walk, I guess because most people are only used to seeing teens or the elderly walking along the street. Or maybe they are wondering where I’m headed to. Or why I don’t have a car.

Either way, its good exercise, and as long as I can do it, I will.

Advertisements

…my favorite Roma cafe

Thinking of espresso again today, I want to note that of course I found my favorite coffee spot only a few days before departing Roma last year!

I was supposed to meet an SGI member at Stazione Termini for a morning coffee that day and she stood me up.  Anyway, instead of walking back along my normal route home from Termini, I decided to walk a few blocks out of my way. I ended up going to a cafe and ordered a macchiato and cornetto, but they didn’t put latte in my cafe so I drank it without. I couldn’t remember if a macchiato had latte or not, and I didn’t feel like asking. Anyway, I left there and continued to walk out of my way and came upon the Piazza di Santa Maggiore. Ah, finalmente! The place on my map!

I saw a stylish looking cafe across the street and decided to try this cafe thing one more time. First off, the gentleman at the front greeted me kindly, and in my broken Italian, I asked for a cappuccino. He was very nice and told the barrista what I wanted.  The workers were young and multicultural — it looked like every nationality worked there. I loved it! And they were all very friendly and accommodating – I guess so, since I was the only person at the bar!

Piazza di Santa Maggiore

I never had a chance to return to the cafe before I returned to the states, however, I will stop by again the next time I’m in Rome.

To the city with the best coffee in the world – Ciao Roma!!

…driving while learning Italian

Before I traveled to Italy last year, I had moments where I thought it best that I brush up on my Italian. At the time I had no idea I was going when I did, I just thought it would be a good way to improve on what I knew already. I wrote this to myself:

I was shopping in Barnes and Nobles (yes, there are still some standing stores!) for a friend’s gift the other day when I came across a cd set in the bargain section for learning Italian while you drive. I immediately snatched it up!

I’ve been playing the cd’s for the past week now, and I must say I’m impressed with myself. The instructions and sample dialogues have songs to assist you, and it’s actually quite helpful. So helpful that I find myself breaking into song at random moments in my day! My colleagues giggle at me because my outbreaks are really quite random – I could be in the middle of filing and start singing “Un momento per favore” or “Gli daró un messaggio”, or even the entire Italian alphabet. Most of the material is a review for me, but since I haven’t practiced much since I took my first class several years ago, I feel like it’s still one step closer to fluency.

Alex the security guard, whom I drive pass each day, heard the music one morning and thought I started listening to the Disney archives. Funny that he didn’t think it was odd since he’s heard all kinds of music coming from my car on any given day.

Who knew that learning Italian through song would be fun?  Because I”m on the tail end of that party. When I first began, I would constantly miss letters in the pronunciation of the alphabet in Italian. I’d struggle with some words here and there, or think that I heard one word when it really was another.  I’m proud of myself now that I can recite it without pausing. In song though, only in song.

It’s time for me to break out those cds again. Practice and repeat. Practice and repeat. Pratica e ripetere.