Sunday, July 10, 2011
Leaving Rome was a depressing moment to say the least. It was the 4th of July and the first time I started to feel homesick. Saying goodbye to Colin was hard after enjoying a wonderful week together. I also couldn't help but think about the hamburgers and hotdogs my friends and family were enjoying in the U.S.A!
The chaos of the train station helped keep my mind off of things, but definitely instilled some panic as people were rushing in every direction. I had allotted plenty of time so I boarded the train and took my seat. I was seated next to an Italian couple, probably in their mid to late 70s. We said our "how-dos" realizing there was a language barrier, as my Italian is "poco" and their English is "little". But, once the train took off it was like we couldn't stop the conversation. Yes, they were speaking Italian and I was speaking Italglish, but somehow it worked.
They told me they lived in Pisa, but had to come to Rome for business, he's in hospital administration. I explained to them how I'm doing a stage (what European's call an internship) in Montignoso and working in a kitchen. I used my English to Italian dictionary and he used his Italian to English dictionary to tell me about their family and home. It was an absolute delight.
After awhile I dozed off, but awoke 45 minutes later to aromas of tomato and cheese. The wife had packed them a delightful picnic. She realized I was awake and offered me a taste of the zucchini parmesan she had prepared, I declined as I had just eaten the largest panini of my life before we boarded. She explained to me the recipe, also telling me of her what I would call lemon chicken fried steak. But of course, her recipe uses Italian bread crumbs and parsley.
They were so dear to me, it was exactly what I needed to cure the homesickness. I would adopt them as my Italian grandparents if I could. When they departed the train in Pisa they each gave me the traditional Italian kiss on each cheek. It's one of those moments I know I'll never be able to forget.