September 13, 2013

To Italy from a changed world



On Monday, we return to the complicated country of Italy, paradoxically so elegant and beautiful while so politically rough and – well – less than beautiful.

And yet it continues to charm. Rhythms change from region to region, customs vary – sometimes dramatically. Salted bread? Unsalted bread? Fork and knife for pizza? Hands? A fork for pasta? A fork and spoon? FYI, salt in the south, unsalted in the north. Well, Tuscany at any rate. Fork and knife always with pizza – hands, never! Unless you want to be likened to an animal that paws its food into its mouth. Spoons for pasta are reserved for very small children and the infirm. But this is not a lesson on how to behave – I gaffe as much as the next. And God, some foods are just meant to be stuffed into one’s mouth.

We are due for a break from this milestone year of our lives, this changing finally to “survived by”, this standing witness to what for many is this best and long and final sleep.




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