Days Seventeen through Twenty Two
We have reached the point in the journey where keeping track of days is not only pointless, but physically impossible. For one, we don't have a lot going on so a day by day play by play is kind of stupid and boring; for two, instead of wasting time every day regurgitating the factoids of every day, I have been spending time studying Italian more thoroughly.
Sunday morning, Jacob and I were the market goers for Rosa. We both wanted to go so sure enough at 6:25AM we packed into the Skoda as follows: chestnuts and all sellable goods in the seatless back seat, Rosa in the driver seat, and Jake and I in the passenger seat. Now, you are probably wondering how two humans can fit in the front seat of a tiny car, so I will describe it to you more thoroughly.
Needless to say, it was not the most comfortable two hours of my life- but we made it to Naples, and we made it alive. It was a crazy day- we weren't aware that we would actually be helping Rosa DO anything so when we were taking orders and making change and speaking in Italian, it was pretty overwhelming. Of course, many people got frustrated with us, and some we had to direct to Rosa to answer their questions, but that would have happened even if we knew the language- it is her product and no one knows it better than her.
After the market, we met with her son and sister and went for some amazingly delicious Neopolitan pizza followed by, of course, gelato. It was the perfect end to one of the most mentally invigorating days I had had since arriving in Rome.
On Monday a new WWOOFer arrived from California named Jessica. She has been in Italy since June going to college and recently graduated so she is hanging out in Montefalcione for a few weeks checking out the area (and obviously picking chestnuts). It is pretty awesome having another girl around, and seeing as I never get along with girls it's pretty remarkable that I enjoy her company. She speaks Italian very well and has many resources that she is letting us use in order to improve. All in all, she was pretty much the perfect addition to our group. However, Wednesday was Felipe's last day here so we only had a short group bonding experience Tuesday evening.
We all went out to Enjoy Pub where we received many skeptical looks, but were quickly redeemed by the language skills of Felipe and Jessica. We began attracting a crowd including an old man who insisted on buying us drinks (something he never fulfilled, mind you) from the bottom of his heart, and a young man named Jean-Luc (what kind of Italian name is Jean-Luc?!) who insisted on getting in Jessica's pants (another thing left unfulfilled, might I add). Three beers and a shot of Jagermeister each later, we wandered home to continue the festivities with a Brazilian card game called "Sweden." If you have ever played "King's Cup," you have played "Sweden." Eventually we ran out of wine, which was probably a good thing because by that time "Black Out Jen" (as we call the drunk alias of Jessica) had arrived and we were comparing the sizes of our hands while Felipe and Jake were busy proving each other's manliness. It was a great last hoorah with Felipe, though it was something pretty much all of us would be feeling the next morning.
Wednesday morning was a rough one for Black Out Jen- physically, for Jake, though it was purely emotional. It was the morning of Felipe's departure, and it meant that the bromance was about to end. Luckily, though, Felipe left behind some clothes that Jacob has been able to wear so it is as though he is permanently in Felipe's embrace. Ha. No, it's not really that gay, but almost. Only a little gay I guess. However, we did move our room to Felipe's old room which is sweet because now we have our own bathroom and porch-side shower. My allergies are also SOOOOO much better than they were in the other room. This day was not much fun in the chestnut world, but we did come across what Massimo dubbed, "The El Dorado of Chestnuts," that we would be picking at for the next few days. These chestnuts were ENORMOUS. As big as the ones I saw with Rosa that time I went to the large tree with her and her sister. "Chestnuts of Gold," Massimo claimed, which I translated to Jacob as, "MON-AY!"
We are slowly (it feels, anyways….Jessica says we are fast) learning Italian. I can now say a few choice phrases about the weather, my day, and what I am doing. It is rough understanding us I think, but I am finding more and more similarities to French and it helps a lot. Mostly in verbs, but it is something at least. Every day, Jake and I write a sentence about our day in Italian and even when I dream I am trying to speak Italian. Felipe told us that the first night we have a full dream in Italian will be when we know that we have become fluent. I am very excited for that day. Rosa is letting us go to Naples on Monday which is exciting- after that only one more week until we make our way to Positano.