Sunday, April 19

lessons on the bus

Part of the adventure of being in a new culture is getting into unexpected situations. Finding that situations don't unfold as you expected them to and the rhythms are all different. My approach to this is to try my best to let go of my learned ways and feel out this new beat. See if I can get with a new grove. Sometimes it's harder than others....

On the bus one Saturday afternoon with my two punks, we were off to meet some friends at the swimming pool. The bus was filling up fast, but we sat comfortably in our seats and casually watched the crowd during our 15 min journey.

Punkone and I were seated next to each other, and ended up watching a pair of teenagers unabashedly play tonsil hockey in the seat across from us. I watched the rainbow of expressions pass across my 8 year old's face... confusion, disgust, intrigue, wonder... and chuckled to myself.

For a Catholic country, Italy can be surprisingly nonchalant about public displays of affection... no, it's more like public foreplay. Scenes like this are quite common, this just happened to be a situation in which the kissing couple was quite close to us and we were something of a captive audience. There wasn't really anything else to do but stare at them.

I took pity on Punkone's tension (since it didn't seem like they were going to let up) and told him that it looked like they were trying to taste each others stomachs... which made him burst into laughter but didn't do anything at all to distract the teenagers.

At the pool, Giulia leaned over to ask me where her goggles were and got a close up of the tongue action in the lane next to where I was swimming.

.... Latin lovers! They're everywhere!

.... which makes me think about what my kids will be doing in about 5-10 years (please let it be closer to 10). At least there won't be any uncertainty about what to do.

Maybe all this pda is not so bad... the teenage pregnancy rate in Italy is 3 births in every 1000 while in the US it is 53/1000. Like I said... trying out a different rhythm...


  1. Ryan's at that age where she's fascinated by the whole boy/girl dynamic (kissing included). I makes me laugh... and shudder a bit, too. She'll be 10 soon... and 15 faster. Gulp.

    What's the sex education like in Italy? They're obviously doing something right... I'd love to know what it is.

  2. Ogosh! That must've been so uncomfortable, watching the 'rainbow' of expressions on Punkone's face:)

  3. So funny, I can just imagine that scene on the bus. The good thing is that it gives you plenty of opportunities to talk to your kids about these things !

  4. For a minute i didnt understand 'Tonsil Hockey' !! And ofcourse, tasting stomachs is taking it to real heights ! indeed !


    And yes, the years will roll by. And soon punkone will be singing a different song ! And life will go on !

    :) Indeed cultural divides need to be bridged. And one such is to soak it up !

  5. I like that, trying out a different rhythm...thing!

    Good luck on your next bus ride!!


  6. I'm not sure about sex education here... I'll be sure to ask some of the parents I know that have older kids. I'll let you know... Whatever it is that they do, it seems to work!


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