We have a driver to Spoleto today to catch a train to Rome.
TiP: When you have a driver in a different country, sit in the front seat. This is a great opportunity to learn something from a regular person working in the country you are visiting AND they enjoy the chance to talk to someone – they drive around all the time.
So I sat in the front seat and our driver was pretty good at English he just said “please speak slowly” ” si, per favore parla lentemente.” I totally get this.
He is a geography buff and is excited to hear that Lynn is from Chicago which he knows is on the shores of Lake Michigan. He says he knows many Italians that have moved to the US and stayed there. He would like to visit the US someday.
We find out that May 1st is a National Holiday in Italy to celebrate the worker – like Labor Day in the US. And I said but you are working – he says yes – he works 6 days a week. He gets 1 day off each week but the day changes each week and he never takes a vacation. He does not take the month of August off as we hear they all do in Italy.
We talk a bit about politics – he wants to know how Obama is doing. He tells us that in Italy there are so many parties to choose from for their elections that it makes their political process crazy.
He asks us why we decided to come to Italy for our vacation. That’s an interesting question. I have been out of the US only 4 times and 3 of those I have been to Italy. We tell him it is the food, the people, the language,the architecture, the beauty of the country. Could there be a more perfect place to celebrate life?
He lives in Norcia. His wife’s family is from Norcia. I tell him in America we have a saying “Happy wife, happy life.” He gets it.
On the train to Rome we cannot find a seat so we end up standing with several other people for the 1.5 hour ride in. One thing I observe on the train is that a lot of Italians wear t-shirts with English sayings on them. I find this funny. There is a guy with a shirt that says Nebraska on it. A girl with a shirt that says Love is the Answer. It used to be that you could spot the American tourists by their white tennis shoes. Apparently the Italians have discovered tennis shoes. I see a couple wearing matching Nikes and they don’t tie there laces – they tuck them in. There is also a young guy wearing a bright pink Polo shirt with the giant horse on the chest (I wondered who wears these) he also wears a matching hat. Another young guy has a ponytail, some bobbie pins and a headband on and he’s kind of cute. I guess these young Italian men a very confident in their masculinity.
For some reason we get off the train at the wrong station but luckily we realize our error before the train leaves and jump right back on. At last we arrive in Rome at the right station.