Monday, June 30, 2014

Benvenuto Straniero

Oh he's leaving ... leaving
on that midnight train
   to Georgia ...

Sorry for channeling my inner Pip on the intro, but I felt it was necessary. By the time this post appears, I will have already left my native shores. No, not by train, nor even to any of the lands named Georgia. Truth be told, I embarked on a Boeing 767 outfitted with twin Rolls Royce RB-211-524G engines. Also, the flight left the runway just after lunch time, which is nowhere near the witching hour. Given that I have already been gone for several days, it is entirely likely that I reached my intended destination a few hours after I left, but I have been stuck in a proverbial holding pattern so that the pilot can rack up his flight hours and/or his frequent flier miles. This interminable circling and looping just above the runway also gives the crews on the ground sufficient time to get into their full-fledged surly and brusque attitudes. It doesn't matter what foreign destination that you are traveling to, this same scene plays out in much the same way for every incoming flight from the decadent west. They still think that all of our gas-guzzling American cars are outfitted with tailfins.

It's somewhat amusing that no matter how hard I try to not immediately show my Americanisticality, it comes out in a glaring way within a few short nanoseconds after I step off my plane. Usually it happens when I disdainfully address the first person that I see with a haughty arrogance and command them to carry my bags or worse yet, to carry me. When they don't seem to understand my words, although I purposefully talk slowly and with an elevated volume (just as instructed in my Rosetta Stone CDs), they look at me with feigned confusion. It is then that I find myself huffing and complaining about them dang foreigners that I see everywhere.

Where am I you ask? Right now I am deep in the heart of the Italy. If you have never traveled to this part of Europe or seen an Italian cooking show on the Food Network, you might not appreciate that the countryside is actually covered in a layer of dried pasta about a foot thick. Fusilli, rigatoni, orecchiette, linguini. Everyone that I meet is quick to smile and nod before promptly offering a jar of freshly bottled marinara. Perhaps these foreigners ain't so bad to be among after all.