Monday, May 5, 2008

Pasqua, Pasquale, and Pass the Schmaltz

Rode the elevator up with Don Pasquale (of "poor Hitler" fame). He said, "You're leaving soon!" I replied, "Yep. One month from today." Don Pasquale's eyes welled up with tears: "I am truly, truly sorry. I am not just saying that. You and your husband and daughter are truly loveable people. You must find me before you go to say good-bye." Then he kissed me on both cheeks, and released the vice grip he had had on my forearm.

The other day I said hi to one of the little kids who lives on my street. He really lives on the street. He is always running up and down, with or without ball, with or without older brother, never with parent, sometimes dragging littler sister around. He is about 4 years old. I said, "Hi," and he gave me the finger. I thought that was hilarious (and sad, of course), so imagine my surprise when The Husband got all mad at me for talking to the kid in the first place. I couldn't figure out why he was shouting at me, "Don't talk to those people! You don't know those people, what they say about you to their kids!" He thinks his parents taught him to flip people off. Perhaps. More likely his older brothers, but then again, I really don't know those people and The Husband knows better than I do what is and isn't possible here.

Ya think Berkeley will be different?

Passover is long over, but it is worth recapping a bit here. We all enjoyed my mother's denunciation of the Torah and her discourse on Lillith, Adam, and the missionary position. D's charoset was delicious, and at the risk of tooting my own horn too loudly, my brisket and chicken soup were divine. My mom made chopped liver, all the while exclaiming, "These are the biggest chicken livers I've ever seen. I can't imagine the size of the chickens!" (She and my father call Neapolitan turkey legs "dinosaur legs" because they too are rather oversized). Another nonno neighbor, who always greets La Bimba, but not me, had a full volume conversation with me in the salumeria about Passover when he overheard me asking if they carried matzah (pane azzimo). He wanted to know what The Husband did during Passover (particpated, just like I did during Easter), what La Bimba was (Catholic, Jewish, Italian, American, I said, to which he cried, "Basta! Basta! That's too much!"). Classically, he started the interrogation stating, "Don't get me wrong. I am a big fan of the Jews. I love the Jews," always a red flag (with a little swastika on it?). This same man cornered me in the elevator to ask about the orthodox and then cornered my mother to ask about something else (see, I waited too long and now I can't remember all the details). My mother totally iced him saying, "We are all the same. All equal." THEN he cornered my American gal pal neighbor, asking, "Are you celebrating Passover?" Do you think he thinks all Americans are Jews?

I am bewitched, bothered, and bewildered by this interest in things Judaica here in Naples.

In other news...

...nap time.