Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The story of the chicken

I know I'm getting more comfortable when my energy begins to go into the subject of food. Me buying a prepared roasted chicken has been the story of the last few days. It's a story in Italy, of course, because I have to locate the shop, determine it's hours and then figure out the language to actually buy it already cooked.

This idea came from Valerie, my new blogging friend who gave me any suggestions while here in Ascoli one of which was the "best, roasted chicken" and so it's been on my mind.

The town is small but with no sleep, it's been easy for me to loose my bearings and so although today I know that the shop to purchase this chicken is just a few blocks away from where I am living, it took me practially circumventing the entire town to find it.

Lucky for me, the shop had beautifully painted chickens on the door! See, Italy was into icons way before Apple.

Now to figure out the day and hours. Okay, so I'm getting use to the whole "siesta" time and, in fact, welcome it but it still throws me off a bit. Since few shop owners here speak Engish (which is what I wanted) I practiced the sentence of "I want to buy a cooked chicken and pick up at 7pm tonight. Okay, even wrote this sentence down. The "I want to buy' is easy, it's the "cooked chicken and pick up at 7pm" that is presently the challenge.

Let me step back a minute, often at home Daniella scolds me (lovingly) for speaking English but what I don't get is how does one speak a new language when they don't know it or have that many words under their belt? I mean, I'd be looking up every word and one sentence could take me all night!

Okay, back to the chicken. Yesterday, I begin my walk to the shop confident with my language and the time of day (around 4:30pm) also have my handy written copy in my pocket.

As I approach the gate with the painted chickens, it's open and I feel my first sense of accomplishment. My habit is to first apologize and let anyone and everyone know that I do not speak Italian. Mi piace (I'm sorry), io no parlo Italiana.... Now, most times this is welcomed with a big (yet confused smile....) in this case, the man kinda went about his business behind the counter....I loose my confidence and pull out my note and read to him my handy sentence. He begins to speak to me in quick italian of which none I understand...bottom line, he did not hand me my roasted chicken but rather shrugged his shoulders.

I now had to return to my friends and continue the discussion about il pollo. Of course, I could not translate what the butcher said to me. Fortunately, Daniela "googled" the shop, picked up the phone and ordered a chicken for Wednesday at 1pm. Basically, he must have told me that he only has them early in the day. Okay. I am now excited.

Meanwhile, I go to a local shop where Francisco (a farmer) brings his local food and I purchase enough vegetables for a nice salad and I then go to another shop where I purchase some spectacular proscuito. Daniela asked me if I like sweet or salty..I never knew it came in two flavors and so I don't know. Fortunately, at the shop, a woman had also ordered some proscuito and I just told the man behind the counter, "the same as her". It turned out it was "sweet" and it's what I'm accustomed too.

So, no chicken but a lovely salad with proscuito that melted in my mouth and so inexpensive..I'm buying more today!

Now, today is Wednesday and it's my day to go pick up my cooked chicken. Of course, first, I need to go to my class.

Last night I realized I really, really, needed my body and mind to cooperate and I most definitely needed to sleep. I was tired of staying "sono stanca (I am tired)". I had a long talk with my body and "dream talked to my Mom which I seem to be doing most nights" and sure enough had what seemed to be a decent night. My lesson starts at 11:00 and so I haven't seen any reason to set an alarm. Well, this morning prooved me wrong. I woke to a hammering above me (the building is under renovation but normally during hours that I am not at home). I reach for my Black Berry and look at the time, it was 10:50am!! Oh my...there is no way I can make it to class at 11:00. I have Daniela's telephone saved and so I ring her immediately and express how sorry I am but we are all so happy that I slept this much. I really appreciated the hammering alarm clock I had this morning.

After a quick cleaning up, I run downstairs to the local cafe and have my americano and croissant and sufficient wake up to start my class late at 11:30am. MariLena is patiently waiting for me and I have a very good lesson. Not as tired as the past few days.

Plus, today is a big day. Everyone knows that I go pick up my chicken today for our dinner tonight.

After class, I return to the, drop off my school bag, and begin my walk to the chicken shop. Of course, in my excitement, I don't realize that MariLena and I extend my class to 1:30 (instead of 1pm) and when I arrive at the gate of the painted chickens, it's closed!

I walk back to Daniela sullen from this experience but also chuckling inside. Daniela wisely tells me, it's just not my fate to have this chicken!

Signing off!


  1. Hi Nat!

    Just let you body sleep and take it one day at at time!