Thursday, November 13

the twilight zone

This very north of northern Italian towns feels different to me. I like that it feels different. That was the point of moving way the heck over here, to experience something different. I like that I was forced to kick my grande latte habit and learn to shop between the hours of 9 am - noon or 3pm - 7pm. It's unsettling and exhausting and exciting.

You get used to this level of unrest. You begin to notice even little things that are different. Almost no one is fat. In fact, most people are thin. How did they get this way? They eat whole pizzas and no one sends their kids out to play. Is it genetics? The cold? They eat gelato and drink aperitifs and have cake and soda... there's no tofu or sprouts or rye crisps... how do they pull this off? You realize that it had been years since you got a whiff of cigarette smoke. You're stopped dead in your tracks by the large crucifix hanging on the wall inside the bank. It's like swimming in a lake with seaweed that wraps up around your legs if you settle down... you just a bit frantically keep going and try to keep yourself from loosing it.

So it was in this wired state, that one weekend, shortly after we moved here, that we decided to rent a car and go check out the surrounding area. Not twenty minutes out of town, both the punks are turning white and threatening to puke in the car. 20 friggin minutes! These kids were stuck in the car for 20, 30, 40 minutes a day, every day before we moved here. Now they're scrambling to roll down the windows and screaming to get out.

So we stop, anywhere. Right now! (now I'm screaming because we all know who is going to be the one cleaning up the mess)

The place where we've stopped seems to be some sort of church fundraiser. There's a pavillion, food to purchase, music. Lots of picinic tables with families eating and kids running around. Some people dancing. We decide to join in... I am kind of hungry... sure I could go for some food. Let's see what they've go to eat... hot dogs, oh the kids will like those, french fries... ooh, I'll have some sausage. I've bouncing slightly with the beat of the band and noticing people walking away from the counter with their fries smothered in ketchup when it hits me like a minus 35 wind chill factor.

That's polka music

Cement, pavilion, picinic tables

Hot dog, french fries, ketchup... LOTS of KETCHUP

Everyone is drinking beer in plastic cups

Everyone is slightly overweight


We're in Wisconsin.


  1. Great post. Many similarities I saw to my own life. In what I swear is not a shameless attempt to make you go to my blog :), here is one such post that made me think of the similarities:

    return visitor here...thanks :)

  2. I love going to your blog and thanks for the suggested post. And I'm astounded, because it's the things in my post that lie between the lines that resonate so well with what you say. You're incredibly insightful.

  3. Well no wonder the kids were getting sick! That's a heckuva drive!

    Have been reading your posts. I'll be back!


  4. I can't stand it when kids get sick in the car. That's when I go completely crazy. And I can take particular enjoyment out of your blog about your labor, for I assist a group of midwives a few have had home births where the baby was either there or on its way.


...and you may ask yourself, did I get here?