It's been fun and interesting getting used to so many new things this past six weeks: a completely different language, interesting and very old architecture; a totally different way of life; and life in general. But one thing that has been very much in the forefront is the difference between Americans and Italians in public displays of affection and love in general. I will try and keep this very clean since my children, grandchildren and mother read it…
Love is in the air everywhere. Couples have no qualms whatsoever in passionately kissing and embracing each other anywhere and at anytime the urge strikes. It’s almost winter…I can just imagine how it’s going to be in spring! Don’t get me wrong…I’m not complaining…just stating an observation (and maybe being a little envious).
As I walk along the streets or in piazzas whether it be night or day, couples are passionately expressing themselves at every turn of the corner. Most often, they are standing in the middle of the street as people nonchalantly walk around them as if nothing is happening.
Even the dogs are involved! Ruby and Ginger were playing in a grassy area and a very large dog jumped a creek so he could get a little more familiar with Ruby. She, of course, thought he was playing with her and dashed to and fro as if she were playing keep-away. The more she did this, the more “Rudy” (as the owner called him) became more and more interested. Ginger was barking incessantly because she was scared to death that he was hurting her sister.
I finally realized what the fellow’s intentions were and grabbed Ruby’s leash and started dragging her away as quickly as possible. The owner, who was on the other side of the creek, called Rudy over and over again to no avail. He finally asked me in Italian to stop so he could get his dog as Rudy had no intention of leaving Ruby’s side. Rudy finally joined his owner and he and his friends laughed gleefully at Rudy’s antics.
Later on the same day, I was sitting enjoying lunch in the anfiteatro with my friends and saw another couple walking their male dog. Everytime they stopped, he would jump up on one of their legs (you know what I mean) and they acted as if nothing was happening. They continued their window shopping and he continued his interest around the piazza.
I went dancing with my friend Morena on Thursday evening and it was the same thing. The men are very blatant in their interest and don’t mind showing it. Morena is what we would refer to as a “sexpot.” She is very attractive and has a very curvy shape. In fact some of her attributes are quite pronounced. When we arrived at the dance hall, she was wearing very tight white jeans, stilettos (of course), and a gold puffy jacket.
When we got inside there was a grouping of tables reserved for her. A guy was sitting on one of the little sofas and she picked up the “Reserved for Morena” sign and waved it under his nose and promptly told him to remove himself, which he did in a flash.
About one-half hour after we arrived I noticed she was being ogled by pretty much every man in the place (and there were at least 200 people there). Then, she very deliberately unzipped her jacket and out popped the attributes in an extremely low-cut black lacy top.
Well, I tell you, ALL the men were looking at that point. She had guys come over as if they owned the place and one tried to touch her and she immediately jerked her body away from him and told him to get lost. I swear that I saw him pining over her for about an hour afterward. He looked so forlorn and was leaning against the stage (still staring at her) where the band was and one of the band members stomped his foot next to him to try and help him come out of his daze. He kind of smiled and went right back to looking at her.
Then, she started dancing... At that time (and most of the evening) she was just dancing in the little space in front of our couch area, not on the dance floor. There were actually men who had the audacity to try and walk through the aisles in the couch area so they could be in her presence and she very forcefully shoved cocktail tables in front of the gaps between the sofas so no one could enter and went right back to dancing. A few were brave enough to actually come and sit within 5 feet of her on the couches and just ogle at her for minutes (or hours) on end. Seriously! She just acted like they weren't there and kept dancing.
And, of course, let’s not forget my 70+ upstairs neighbor…
For those of you who have been concerned and asked about my well-being I am doing well. I had my first paying job this week and hope to continue finding new opportunities.
While walking on Villa Fillungo (the main street in town) on Thursday evening, I ran into Susan Sarandon walking with some friends. It took me aback to see her. I heard from some of my friends that there are several celebrities who live here and/or visit often. Jodie Foster lives in Lucca six months out of the year and Sting has a large villa nearby where he records music. Andrea Boccelli lives in Pisa which is about 10 minutes from here and is known to be out and about often.
I am getting used to the differences and new ways and find that I can live just fine in a much simpler way of life and without all the modern conveniences of home. I’ve added some fun videos and pictures of just how different it is.