Saturday, March 31, 2007

Judeo-Christian Holiday Time

Just came from an Easter egg-hunt party. Lots of American moms with Italian husbands. I could see our apartment from the hostess's terrace. I called The Husband on the phone and he came out on our terrace and we waved to each other. Isn't that cool?

The hostess is a woman from Queens whose husband is on a tour here, not a rock band tour -- no glammy bus with pink-fur-lined walls and bean bag chairs, no clouds of pot smoke and half-dressed groupies lolling about -- but a foreign service tour, three years with the American consulate, a white building that faces the sea and is surrounded by machine-gun-toting carabinieri. Their apartment is on two levels with a wrap-around terrace, nearly 360 degree views of glorious Naples. And so glorious today, sunny, warm, perfect. La Bimba even found an Easter egg. Sort of. Oh, and by the way, her three-day 11-hour sleep run ended when The Husband and I tried to return to our bed, which is in the same room as her crib. She was up two nights ago from 1am to 4:30am, last night from 2:15am to 4:00am. Do over!

My yoga class starts Monday and all day today I've had a sneaking suspicion that no one at the studio has any idea about it, that the distracted diva dancer dude, who agreed to the course, did not inform anyone, had probably forgotten all about it himself. Sure enough, when I passed by this afternoon, the two "soci" (business partners or members) I found had no idea what I was talking about. After a long discussion and a call to the woman who opens the studio doors on Monday morning, we confirmed the class will begin at 9:30am on Monday as I promised my yoga-desperate friends.

If you can't make it to the class, you could bombard the studio with questions about it, claim deep interest, request alternative times and days, in a word, make them think I've got hundreds of would-be anglophone yogis banging down my door. Banging in a peaceful way. No bad karma. The number of the studio is 081.406.443. FYI, no one speaks English there though they like to think they do.

Often, Italians think they speak English better than Americans do. I once translated a sign into English from Italian for a little internet point. Roberto, the cute owner, asked me to translate something that warned clients that they would have to pay for any pages they print, even if they fuck up. I wrote something like, "Clients must pay for all pages printed, including those printed in error." I think I originally wrote something simpler, but you get the point. When I returned the next day, there was my perfect translation. Two days later, however, the sign had changed. It now read something like, "Errors to pages must to pay you." It wasn't that exactly, but it was that bad. So I asked Roberto why he changed the sign. He said, "Someone told me what you had written was wrong." "I see," I said, "And was that someone a native English speaker?" Roberto unsquirmingly replied, "No. He was Italian." "And you trust an Italian, who studied English for a year at liceo over an English mother tongue speaker?" To that Roberto gave me a BOH shrug and we left it at that.

You see, poor little Roberto still thinks I was wrong and the idiot who told him so was right. That makes two idiots and an annoyed americana.

Idiot is such a harsh word. Excuse me.

I am gearing up for Passover. I couldn't invite everyone I wanted to invite because we don't have the space (so if you're reading this and you are one of the uninvited, scusami tanto!!!). We are still going to have to smoosh 9 people around our table. I've ordered the brisket (petto di manzo; the butcher, when I told him I wanted the piece whole, pulled the meat a bit closer to his body, as if he were going to hide it behind his back and say, "Petto di manzo? Quale petto di manzo? Io non vedo un petto di manzo? Vedi tu un petto di manzo? Yo, Luigi, do you see a cow chest here?" asked me, "Wait, what are you going to do with it?" WHAT IS WITH THESE OVERLY CONCERNED BUTCHERS? Do they really care about the fate of their meat? Or are they just concerned the clueless americana is going to blame them when her meat doesn't come out right and they are just trying to cover their bases? How long can I make this parenthetical? If a parenthetical is longer than the part of a paragraph not in parentheses, does that make it an aside?), the chicken, the chicken livers (here the butcher had to call his supplier and ask if he could have half a kilo of chicken livers because usually, you know, one doesn't buy less than a kilo. For what? I have never ever seen chicken liver on a Neapolitan menu or table). I forgot to mention the lamb shank I need...and the pint of Christian blood...just kidding.

No, really, as late as the early 20th century, Jews were still be accused of killing Christians for their blood, ritual sacrifice. Jews don't kill Christians! They kill each other, slowly, bloodlessly, through constant complaining and criticizing.

I was going to edit out the above graph because I don't want to come off a self-hating Jew. But blogs are for risk-taking, not for self-censorship, so there you go.

The Husband says he is not going to eat the chopped chicken livers. I asked him why since he eats beef liver, which is so much nastier, and beef heart and all sorts of other innards. It comes down to the bird flu and something about the Chinese.

I've got the Haggadah all ready in Italian, just got to make some copies. What else? No matzoh balls because I can't find the meal. My Auntie Ada's secret to fluffy matzoh balls is to use seltzer, but I tried that once and my balls were denser than that Italian who said my English was wrong.

See you in April!


KC said...

Hmm, I feel like in that context, idiot was not that harsh a word. Maybe that makes me harsh? Oh well.

Doug said...

I almost spat my Christian baby blood all over the screen I was laughing so hard at your aside of beef.