I started planning this trip 10 months ago. I still have over 4 months until I go and my family is in pain!
I talk about it incessantly. “At my Italian class…”, “In Italy…”, “You know how Italians..”.
I am hopelessly fixated as though it were a new lover. I can’t help it. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about at night.
I watch every Italian movie, Italian travel documentary, read every Italian travel guide, read biographys of those who have lived in Italy, I go to Italian language classes, and attend Italian events, and on it goes. I am on my third run through of every Inspector Montalbano murder mystery, (I am learning Italian from phrases such as, ‘where was the body hidden?’ and ‘the calibre of the weapon’).
To sit in my car is to have to endure instruction on how to order “un te’ al latte per piacere” from CD language courses, or the late Guiseppe Mango singing his gorgeous songs, ‘Oro’, ‘Lei Vera’ and ‘Scrivimi’, (my husband calls it canned spaghetti).
At meal times I bring up such topics as, “shall I book my Mt Etna tour prior to going or just wing it when i get there?” They all groan.
I tried to take a month off thinking about it at one stage, I felt so exhausted by all the research and learning, I felt ‘Italied’ out, but I only lasted about a day.
It’s been an adjustment for them getting to know this new woman, it’s been an adjustment for me too. I had many years of walking through life numb, having no interests of my own whilst buried in the monotony and exhaustion of raising small children. I remember feeling quite desperate at times, writing in my journal …”if only I could find something to excite me in this life”. I now have everything I asked for.
It is only recently that I came across the term Italophile. What a relief to find that I am only one in a vast sea of others who have experienced what I suffer from. My family would commiserate with their families.
I wonder if I will feel the same after I come back from this trip?