… Says my sister when I told her that I had more time than things to do in the tiny medieval town of Montelupone, Italy. My response… All I have to do then is walk down the street.
Truth is I hate being the center of attention and she knows that. I nearly imploded with anxiety (and gratitude) when one of my best friends bought out a birthday cake for me and my twin sister on her wedding day! She didn’t know that I was perfectly satisfied with not having to do anything for my birthday. I had the perfect excuse… “It’s my friend’s wedding, we’re celebrating in another way.”
But despite my natural urge to stay under the radar, there was something about this unsolicited attention I was getting as the foreigner in Montelupone that called for action. So I’m starting off small. I don’t pass anyone without offering an amiable nod and a “Buongiorno”. I don’t pass the cafe near the elementary school where I teach english without getting a “cafe lungo” and asking at least one question in broken Italian to the barista or elderly patrons. I go running up the steep hilly streets whenever I can. I walk the entire town and then some (usually done in about 30 minutes of a leisurely stroll… yes it’s that small!) with my camera, shamelessly taking photos of anything and anyone I see fit. And let me tell you, there’s plenty of beautiful scenery to photograph.
Although the resolute staring of my new neighbors would say otherwise, I doubt I’m generating the “talk,” my sister had in mind, but I have a feeling it will lead to something noteworthy. Stay tuned!