Saturday, October 16, 2010

"It is a beautiful day for picking chestnuts, no?"

Day Fifteen

I hit the snooze button at 7:45AM and took the extra 10 minutes to not only accept the fact that I was still tired after getting 10 hours of sleep, but also to mentally pump myself up for the day of chestnut picking that was inevitably ahead of me. We had been dreading our daily ritual so much the last few days that I though, hey, maybe if I realize that I will definitely be doing this and remember how much fun I had the first day….maybe… won't be so bad. I say "so bad" as if I am experiencing the difficulties of a migrant worker or a slave, but as Jake, Felipe, and I would discuss later, it is more like a mosquito bite. It's not terrible, it's actually not even remotely close to being anything unbearable, but you still don't enjoy it- and after awhile of scratching, it gets pretty freaking annoying. You could always put on an extra layer, use some bug spray, or whatever, but it's not annoying enough for you to care enough to change the circumstance. It's like that with chestnuts- we don't get so aggravated with it that we would take the time to leave, but it's still not our favorite thing in the world.

Anyways, we get up and head to our usual farm where the chestnuts eagerly greet us in mass quantities. This is a good thing, because it means we can scoop them up more quickly and fill our bags faster. Massimo brings us each a sandwich and says that we will be eating there and continue working because it is supposed to rain, and he would like us to keep working until the rain begins. We eat our sandwiches, pick some more bags, and he comes down again. This time, he is bearing three more sandwiches, some bananas, and three beers (they actually sell them in three packs…perfect!) and tells us to eat some more, take a break, and then pick one more bag each. Fair enough- except that we had already done so much picking that it was no longer quick and easy. After an hour and a half of picking, and having only filled half a bag each, we called it quits.

Once we returned to the house, we watched as the sky suddenly transformed from clear and beautiful to dark, grey, and ugly. Within the hour it began raining…thunder and lightening even! Jake and I played cards in hopes that it will subside long enough to go get some ice cream, but first needed to check with Massimo on whether or not they accepted debit cards. Massimo's English is much worse than Rosa's- but it doesn't hurt any. In this case, he thought we were looking for a bank which works because then we could get cash and there would be no problem. He had heard us talking about ice cream and drove us all over Montefalcione on a search but all supermarkets were closed ("oh, they are always closed Thursday afternoons." I can't imagine that ever being normal). The gelato bars, still open, were not serving gelato because, as Massimo says, "it is like winter here now." Seriously? LIKE WINTER? It's no less than 50 degrees a day and you get some rain….that's winter? In the mountains? Of Italy? I'll take it! Even if it means no ice cream!

We thank Massimo for carting us around and return home. I don't recall what we had for dinner, but more than likely it was pasta related and delicious. We stayed up talking as usual, but still called it an early night- about 9:30PM.

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