Wednesday, July 21, 2010
This little town
I am way overdue for a post; so sorry this has taken so long.
I am having a wonderful time. I'm working hard, relaxing a bit, and hanging out with very cool people. I've made friend with lots of locals, and since this village is so small; I see them every day. Let me tell you about about where I am.
Tornareccio's population is 1,800. It produces 15% of the honey in Italy, and is also a large producer of mozzarella cheese. We eat mozzarella cheese with lunch most days, and wouldn't dare eat it if was made yesterday. It is a very typical Italian town in so many ways. There are no restaurants, two very small groceries, and four bars. When you walk down the street--there is essentially one street in the town--everyone says hi. At all hours of the day, there are many older men lining the streets, just sitting on the benches and chatting. Often, I often see them when going for a morning coffee break, and see the same people, in the same places, six hours later. The same goes for many men at the bars. They are drinking campari--a local favorite made of cochineal--at ten in the morning, four in the afternoon, and, presumably, all the times between.
People are very friendly. Today, we were walking to coffee, and the carpenter pulled us into his shop, just to show us a shelf he built. he brought us in, talked about making it for a minute, and then had each hold it. This, though a bit strange, was not at all an unusual occurrence.
Women between the ages of twenty-five and forty-five don't seem to exist here. You see everyone else all the time, but never young women. Presumably they are all at home raising families, while the men sit on the benches and go to the bars at night. It is never hard to locate people here at night, they are always at their bar of choice or at the futball field down the street; as the annual competition is going on right now.
I'll write some more soon, and put up a few pictures; though I haven't been taking many apart from work.