Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ci siamo arrivati!

It's not quite 7am on a sunny Sunday morning. I am sitting in my friend's office, looking out the window at copious amounts of foliage and brown-shingle Craftsman houses. This is Berkeley. We have arrived.

Brooklyn was a good transitional spot between Napoli and Berkeley. We are happy to be on the left coast, driving by anti-war protests and tree-sitters and arthouse movie theaters. The Husband is adjusting quickly. He has even nearly ceased to curse over his breath every time he has to come to a full stop at a four-way stop when there is no one coming for miles from any direction. Che sfacimm'... He had one espresso in one cafe, and there are thousands of cafes in this town, and now he insists on always returning to that cafe for the espresso, which he felt was up to snuff. I catch him watching Spanish television and chatting up guys from Mexico, Nicaragua, Ecuador. We are house hunting and though it is not a piece of cake -- high rents, competitive market -- it is a breeze compared to dealing with Neapolitan landlords or, in our case, landladies. You had to see my American gal pals and me hiding in the bathroom of our last apartment in Naples while The Husband and La Signora screamed bloody murder at each other over last minute costs. I thought La Signora, 87 years old, was going to keel over right there in the majolica-tiled ingresso. We heard her screaming, "Madonna mia! Mi sento male! Mi sento maaaaaleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee," and heard from witnesses that she was clutching her chest and collapsed into one of her dining room chairs, the one with the springs poking out from the bottom.

My adjustment has been easy. I feel as though I'd never left. I even took at dance class and am now in such agony that I can't wait to go back for more. La Bimba is struggling a bit. All these changes of environments, beds (though she likes her "piccolo bed," as she calls it, here at B & M's house. She has already danced around the dance studio, eaten American gelato, made friends at the park. The Husband keeps her feeling safe by cooking one delicious pasta dish after another, including one with calamaretti. She eats those little tentacled buggers like popcorn and says, "Oddodus, oddodus" all th while. (She even says, "Oddodus, yum, yum" when we are at the acquarium, frightening the fish-loving workers). La Bimba is a champ. I have a great foto to upload here, but it's on another computer. It was taken by Zia Baba and features La Bimba at the Villa Comunale holding a mini daisy in each hand.

I miss Napoli, but not the smog-choked vicoli. I miss our friends desperately. La Bimba occasionally asks for an amichetta or a cousin. Breaks my heart. But thanks to technology we can stay in close touch. I am excited to fill my loyal readership with stories of The Husband's collision with California culture. To recount his observations (All the landlords are Chinese! Everyone is voting for Obama! Why is everyone looking at me funny?).

And, I promised some friends in Naples that I would also blog in Italian. Il prossimo post faro' il mio meglio. Un bacione a tutti quanti!


Sally said...

Yay! Back to Berkeley! Congratulations!

Did you watch the Italy vs. Spain match today? I went to a pub to see it, and was shocked by (a) how many people were there, (b) how many of them were American (rather than Europeans living in Boston), and (c) how much I cared about the game. I was really disappointed when they lost in the penalty kicks, and my throat is sore from yelling!

salutami the folks at Shawl-Anderson... glad to hear you got to take a class!

Lucia said...

That is a big move. I hope your husband and bimba adjust well. I had to laugh when you talk about your husband getting used to stopping at stop signs. Does he have an urge to honk at intersections Good luck and please write more.

red said...

Looking forward to reading how you adjust as I'll be making a similar move myself soon- from Rome to L.A.

Eryn said...

i'm enjoying reading about your transition from bella napoli to berkeley!

my husband and i honeymooned in the south of italy this past may and absolutely loved naples!

esp. the pizza and amazing pastries :-)

Doug said...

Very happy to hear adjustments are going well, especially for The Husband and La Bimba!

Rock on.

Deborah Cornwell-Kelly said...

"She eats those little tentacled buggers like popcorn"
Oh, you are wonderful!
Sorry, presentations - I'm Deborah, I live in Milan with my Neapolitan husband and two tots (4 and nearly 1), and this is the first time I've read your the link from, I think, Kataroma? Anyway, congratulations on moving to civilisation, I wish we could too. Sooner or later I'll make a break for it.


PS, congratulations on the Italian, I'd never have the guts to post in it!