I figure it’s about time to dig into those questions I asked you for a while back.
To recap, I was first tagged by amazing artist Robyn of Have Dogs, Will Travel to write seven random facts about me. Then I was tagged two more times, first by Italianissima of Always Italianissima and then by Tui of Mental Mosaic for more random facts.
And even though I wasn’t technically tagged, I’ll also accept the kind NaBloPoMo invitation from BipolarLawyerCook as well.
I’m responding to your questions in the order they were received with the exception of those from Sara of Moving Right Along who wants my favorite Italian cookie recipe and Robin of My Melange (did you see I won her book contest?!) who asked about whether I’m legal in Italy (short answer: yes) and how I got to be that way (longer answer needed). Both will get their own posts at some point.
Try to sleep at night anyway.
(1) Giulia of From Head to Boot asked what I used to think about future children and whether that has changed.
As far back as I can remember, I always thought three was a good number, and I still do, and, interestingly, so does P. I was never hung up on whether they be boys or girls, though, and I’m still not.
Of course the older you get, the more you realize that these things are pretty much out of your control, so I’m just hoping for a healthy baby or babies in whatever number we’re supposed to have.
Truth be told, though, I’d *really* love at least one little girl; my relationship with my mom is one of the most precious things I have in my life, and I’d love the opportunity to recreate that with a daughter.
(2) Shelley of At Home in Rome asked me what is the most expensive thing I’ve ever splurged on.
I’m not really a big spender generally so, other than book shopping sprees (and there have been more than a few of those), the most expensive thing I’ve ever splurged on was my first trip to Italy in the summer of 2002, and it was very much an impulse decision.
I was surfing the Internet one night looking for information on my ancestors’ village, not a thought in my head of a visit, and I happened to come across a tour that was heading precisely here. Coincidence? I don’t believe in them.
I had my flight booked within a few hours and the rest, as they say, is history.
(3) Dee of Mundane Profound Musings asked if I could be president of one country for 100 days, which country would it be and what would I do?
I’d pick to lead the US because of the issues I’d like to address–getting out of Iraq and providing universal health care. Those are the big two, and probably all I could reasonably focus on with just a hundred days, but I wouldn’t mind trying to do something to increase the value of the dollar as well as pass some environmentally-friendly legislation.
Of course I’d also love to do something about immigration laws in Italy, but I only get to pick one country.
(4) Alyndabear asked about the best thing about living in Italy.
Other than P and my doggies, I’d have to say that the best thing, for me, about living in Italy is the overall peaceful feeling I have being here. Maybe that’s cheesy, but honestly, I’m just happy, and that’s definitely the best thing about living here.
The cappuccino ain’t bad either.
(5) Karen of Artsortments asked how often I get back to the States to visit.
Unfortunately I don’t think the term “how often” really applies as I haven’t been back since June of 2004. I’m hoping to get back there sooner or later, but this euro/dollar thing isn’t making matters any easier. On the bright side, most of my family is discussing plans to come here next summer!
(6) Karen also asked whether I’ve seen any Mafia activity lately.
I hear and see nothing, cara mia.
(7) Maryann of Finding La Dolce Vita wrote “Yes, how do Italian women stay thin in Italy with all the great food? What is a normal day of eating and or exercise like in Italy?”
I’m sorry to report that I know of no magic information explaining why many Italian women are slim; personally I think a lot of them just have high metabolisms because some of them can eat and eat and eat and still be really thin (those women reportedly exist everywhere).
But actually a lot of Italian women *aren’t* slim as percentages of overweight and obese people are climbing up and up. And unfortunately some of the slim women I know really don’t eat very much at all and/or smoke. But I’m guessing this isn’t what you want in the form of diet and exercise advice.
It’s really different for everyone, though, so it’s not easy to say *this* is what they do–except that I can tell you how I lost weight (somewhere around 30 pounds) while here and how, I imagine, many Italian women keep themselves in shape.
I eat less junk food, processed foods, sugar, red meat, and butter. I eat more fruits, vegetables, and beans and use *a lot* more olive oil. Chicken and rabbit are our go-to meats.
I don’t think that generally Italians get a lot of exercise unless they’re walking around cities a lot. Although many young people I know go to the gym, from what I see many Italians like to drive rather than walk from Point A to Point B. But a lot of the older women still do a lot of manual labor, so that’s their exercise.
Me? I don’t drive, so I do a lot of walking, especially with the dogs. And I also do yoga.
I guess it’s cliché but the best I can tell you is to eat less of the bad stuff, more of the good stuff, and move more, which, in general, is what a lot of Italians seem to do (except for the moving part as described above).
And there we have seven random things about me, sort of.
I still have more questions to answer, but if you have anything you’d like to know, ask me in the comments!
Today I’m thankful for:
Sunny, windy days like today so I can finally hang out some clothes and actually have them be dried by the end of the day.
If you’ve been reading my blog or just about any blog by an expat in Italy, you know that clothes dryers are quite rare around here (I’m very jealous of MB of The Flavors of Abruzzo right now!). This means that during the colder months, we end up with wet, musty-smelling clothes a lot of the time as they have to dry inside on racks–which takes at least two days when it’s damp outside.
I will eventually get a dryer, I’m sure, but for now, I cherish these glorious windy days and then go crazy doing laundry. You can see the roughness of the sea a bit here:
Sure it puts a bit of a chill in the air too, but I’ll take it for the sake of our clothes…not to mention that it also gives us an excuse to start up a fire in the fireplace.
And I love a fire in the fireplace.
[tags] memes, wind, tramontana, southern italy[/tags]