As I was walking home from the market today, I remembered my local barista invited me for pizza this evening. Since it's my last Saturday as an abroad student, I knew I was unable to make it. I had to let him know so I stopped in to say hello. As I walked in, just like every other day, he's reaction was on target. He threw his arms up and greeted me with two kisses on the cheek. I told him I was not able to make it out tonight, which he understood. But what he did not know was that this was my last weekend here. This news made him quite sad and he asked me if I was to ever return. After saying maybe, maybe not, he offered me a drink- which of course I accepted. As he poured me a glass of sparkling preseco, we began talking about his home that was 20 minutes out of Firenze. (Mind you this conversation was very simple given the fact he barely spoke English and I barely speak Italian.) He told me about his pool, his garden, and the nature around him. He told me about his two daughters and where they live within Italy. He told me about how he lives solo and how his wife and him split ten years ago. After sharing some simple facts about his life with me, more customers came in and he had to begin work once again. As he talked to these two men I stood there and listened. Of course I was unable to understand any of it, but I listened anyways. I listened to the tones in their voices, the preciseness of their pronunciation, and their exaggerated body language. Everything was so soft and particular, I loved it. Once a break took place in the Italian conversation, my barista guy walked over to my side of the counter, kissed me good bye and said, “A’domani!” I hope to see him much more before I leave.
It’s the simple things like this that I will miss the most. I will miss the beautiful dialect with never knowing what they’re saying, but being able to listen to the sound of their language. I’m going to miss the intimate greetings that show love rather than obligation. Italy, despite its’ major flaws, is a beautiful country filled with culture and tradition. I’m so happy I got to experience such difference in the world. And just to think, every country is unique in its’ own way. This reminds me of how large and complex the Earth is and how we all need to keep our minds open and accepting. We are planted here wrapped up in our own little worlds with so much more out there we have yet to see and experience. So many more people to meet who all have their own stories to share. I’m glad to have been able to step outside of my box and into another. I now feel that much closer to understanding the world around me and how it seems to dance.