Saturday, April 3, 2010

Family Reunion

God, I love Italians. Their hearts are so big. Once you become family, thats it, you're family for life. There is never a lack of love.

I went to visit my Italian family for Easter weekend. It was the most perfect weekend I've had since I've been here. I arrived on Friday night and met my Italian sister in the train station with a giant hug. We walked back to a house so familiar to me I felt like I was walking into my own home. Sweet sweet relief. They were so warming, so kind, and so excited to see me. I truly felt like I was being welcomed home by my own mother and father. My Italian mother insisted I eat some freshly baked pizza. I willingly complied. Mmmm. Homemade food made by a mom. Nothing in this world like it. We shot the shit for hours. I told them about home, about Florence, about school, everything. They told me all about the things that have happened in their lives since I'd seen them last. I cannot ever begin to explain how rejuvinating it felt to be with family.

Pordenone is small. Its on the map, but there isn't much to it. That is exactly what is so charming about it. It is so off-the-beaten-path that it's wonderfully new to discover. Its like being in an American suburb. I love it. My Italian brother and sister took me for a walk on my first night there. We went to the Italian hang out after some wine at a hole-in-the-wall Enotecca (winebar). All the kids and young adults in Pordenone hang out outside of a place called Cafe Nuovo in the center of town. They order spritzers and eat bar peanuts. I loved it. I socialized with people who were excited to meet me. I wasn't dressed up, I was at ease, I was comfortable. The next night I went to a club in Pordenone where I danced to Italian techno, for once. Download Stereo Love, reader. Its going to be big in America someday, I guarantee. Its the best song to dance to. They play it in all the Italian clubs, here. They played all Italian music and some Lady Gaga at the Pordenone club which I thought was excellent. The crowd was really young and they all loved the fact that I was from America. One girl actually obsessed over me in a drunken stupor the whole time and I felt like a superstar. She asked me all about Gossip Girl and told me she loved Chuck Bass. I felt like showing off and I told her I used to live in New York City and actually met the cast of that show. True story. She basically worshiped me for the rest of the night. The only shitty thing was they didn't have a good bar. Thank God for all the Prosecco wine my Italian family offered me at dinner. The night after my technoclub experience I went bowling and taught my Italian brother and sister, and old friend, and a new aquaintance, a thing or two about American friday nights. Obviously I lost. Gutterballs all night long. Its a damn good thing that Italians don't know about beerframes. After that we went to a pub and I enjoyed my first familiar brew, Budweiser. One full pint for two euro. Glorious.

My weekend was spent in good company. My Italian dad is the friendliest man in the world. He never stopped trying to teach me Napolitano, he told me all about how stupid Italian television is (Rai Uno, worst show in history), and he teased me the whole weekend. Just like my own dad. My Italian mother told me that when I come back she is going to teach me how to cook like her, which I am more than willing to do since her food is orgasmic. She doesn't speak a single word of English and that is the best thing ever. It forces me to speak in Italian. My Italian brother is just like an older brother from home. We hang out like friends and we hang out like siblings and it feels great to be with family. When I'm with my Italian sister I feel, for the first time in my life, like an older sibling. Shes a couple of years younger than me and I defintiely know she looks up to me. Its a good feeling. Its even more fun when I know shes impressed by me. They even have a cat, Guiseppe, who likes to sink his claws into the fleshy part of my legs. As much as that cat hates me, I love having an animal around the house. I truly truly truly cannot wait to go back.

If there is one thing being with family has taught me while here in Italy it is that being with family is never to be taken for granted. Sure, I've been to Sienna and San Gimignano. Sure, I've been to Milan. Sure, I'm going to Munich, Prague, and the French Riviera. And Sure, I fucking partied my ass off in Florence. But damn, there ain't nothin' like family.
Arrivederci, for now.
Love, Gabby.

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