Saturday, May 9, 2009

(not so) triumphant return to Italy

For the past month in Warsaw - nay - for the past year in the world at large, I have done little other than to sing the praises of everything Italian. Obviously a lot of my blog entries from last year were love letters to my new favorite place, and since then I have found it difficult to meet a new italian person without attacking them with love for their country. I think sometimes they want to say, "um, yeah, I know you like it. It's really nice there. CAN WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE PLEASE?" And the thing I seem to talk about almost more than anything else is the food - the quality of the ingredients, the care in preparation, etc etc ad naseum. So you can imagine my horror and everyone else's hysterical laughter at the cruel irony when my first night back in italy I spent the entire night puking my guts out from some weird food poisoning.

I arrived on Sunday ready to eat (if I had mentioned to my italian colleagues in Warsaw one more time how much I was looking forward to eating gelato, they might have politely punched me in the face) and went almost immediately to a restaurant that I frequented a lot when I was here before and that I loved. There was one particular dish of calamari and shrimps cooked in this white wine that I had been dreaming about for the entire year. I gorged myself to capacity, then added two scoops of Gelato from Grom to my already full stomach, before coming back to my friend's house to get some much needed sleep.

Except. At 3 in the morning I awoke not feeling so good. I want to spare you the details, but suffice it to say that a) I ended up bringing my pillow into the bathroom and just resting when I wasn't throwing up because I was too sick to go all the way back to my room until about 8 in the morning, and b) I have never, ever thrown up so much in my life. I spent the entire next day in a strange delirium with a fever of about 100 degrees, and could only seem to drink red gatorade because everything else made me feel sick again - even plain water. By the following day my fever had subsided, but it took several more days for my stomach to feel normal again, and even now, almost a week later, I'm still feeling a little weird. I don't know if it's because of this little incident, but I've been grumpy with the former love of my life country this time around, muttering to myself when the stores aren't open, or wondering why I can't buy shampoo anywhere in this town on a frigging sunday. We need to make up, Italy and I, because I can't have this experience ruining my pure and eternal love for all things italian. It's just wrong to mess with something that beautiful and pure.

Being in Italy again has also been making me wonder why I haven't been blogging more regularly recently. I've had the occasion to talk about blogging with a few people here who have encouraged my writing, and I was explaining how being so "myself" in a public forum scares me sometimes. There are days when I'm confident and proud of who I am, and when I want to share how I feel and what I think with the world at large, and then there are days when I feel like an ignorant dumb-dumb, and I want to try to do everything possible to prevent anybody from knowing about it. I fluctuate between wanting to blog every day about my most intimate feelings, and wanting to never blog again, close my facebook account, and delete the letters g,o,o,g,l and e from my computer altogether. But in the end, the thing I value most about the internet is probably the fact that it connects me to people - both friends and family that I need to have as my support system when I'm always on the road, and also a whole world of strangers who do and say and feel the same way that I do about a lot of things, and who want to feel that mysterious human connection of knowing that you're both always and never alone. I guess in the end the idea that life is too short to fill it with doubt and regret wins out, and I drag myself back to the keyboard to analyze yet another element of my delicate psyche. Or to talk about puking. Both things resonate.


Anonymous said...

How I love to read your blogs! Knowing that you- with all your talent and smarts, have insecurities just makes you all the more human and lovable. Don't stop writing!

sabauda said...

a new blog post - good news! And yes, I think doubt and regret are 2 things to be avoided..... Personally, I'm starting to use the mantra "Everything's working out perfectly"..

annettej said...

Never doubt this-you and Italy will be back in love- mode soon. One setback--although it does sound dismal, indeed-- will not tear down the bonds of your love for all things Italian. Sing well, eat carefully...and come to NOLA ready to eat some more. xoxo

Katypracht said...

Dear Jenny,

Sounds like Swine Flu. :(