Friday, October 27, 2017

Traveling in Italy - Day 5 of This Adventure

Day 5 of This Adventure

Day 5 of this adventure and it seems most days start off cloudy and cool, then turn sunny and warm as the day wears on.  A good soaking rain and thunderstorm last night which must please the locals as they've been in a serious drought for months. Things are greening up. 

The Locals

A word about the locals....  I thought, as usual, that it was me at first, but others say the same thing.  When you smile, wave, say buongiorno, etc. to the locals (outside of the towns anyway) they generally ignore you and even go so far as to purposely look the other way (one possible exception is in the shops - thanks to commercialism). Two imperious looking vineyard owners on horseback appeared yesterday out of one of the paths in one of their many vineyards (they looked straight out of central casting from the old TV show Dynasty).  They were looking right at me for that split second longer than is comfortable without responding and chose to ignore my wave and just turned back to speak to each other. An old woman living across from the residency facility had seen me coming and going, but the first time I saw her (when I was about to photograph some beautiful flowers I thought belonged to the residency) she shouted angrily, "No photos!" in English! Some of this may be due to boredom dealing with tourists.  Some also may be from some small annoyance finding artists coming out of every lane, but it is not a very welcoming feeling.  Their willingness to exhibit in-the-flesh rudeness is surprising as it’s more apparent with the anonymity of social media than it is face-to-face. It'll be interesting to see if this changes in Florence and Palmerino.

I’ve noticed, though, that in the markets if you make an attempt, even if glaringly faltering, to speak Italian, the locals suddenly take notice and start to interact as was the case with the following gentleman.  The more you try, the more friendly they become, evening trying to help you learn new words and phrases.

I’ve wondered often what we seem like to tourists, as ‘locals’, back in the states.