Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rude Awakening

9am. The doorbell rings. Doorbells here don't have a cute "ding-dong" ring, but rather a "blAHHHHHH" buzz that frightens you every time you hear it. More or less like a bull horn in your entryway. (Much like the doorbell my grandparents had in Florida, which amazingly never caused either to have a heart attack.)
This morning, I prepare for work as quitely as possible in an Italian apartment where everything creaks and echos... BLLAAAAAHHHHHHH. Doorbell.
I quickly respond, hoping to save my sleeping roommate from the same fear that forms in my stomach and multiplies every time the doorbells buzzes.
It is the gas man. He is turning off the gas, again.
So, 5 minutes before I was going to take a shower, I am without hot water.
I immediately go into crisis mode: I run to the bathroom and manage to get a bidet in before the gas is shut off. There are some things that just CANNOT be washed with icy water.
And now, I wait. I am heating water in a tea kettle to wash myself. It is 2009, in the "Western" world, and I am bathing like my ancestors once did.
Not quite. Realization: to heat my kettle, gas is required to light the stove. (I still haven't had my espresso, so the brain isn't fully functioning yet.)

The only thing that could make this better is a trip to the pastry shop. If I can't prepare breakfast at home, I will start the day off as sweetly as possible, dammit! This kind of rude awakening calls for a sfogliatella.

...I'm home from work. I ended up having a brioche with chocolate chips from my favorite bakery in Via dell'Ariento. Then across the street after work for a glass of Prosecco and some crostini. All was right in the world, as my belly was full and warm. I must point out: one of the best things I've ever eaten and so simple: a soft roll with a pat of good butter and an anchovy. Don't knock it until you've tried it. Just to be sure, I tried it twice today! Brilliant.

A sure way to ruin a good mood is to hop on the 23 bus during lunch hour. To my left, a man rubbing up against me. To my right, the fake fur collar of a tall gentleman tickling my forehead and reeking of stale saliva (I swear, that is the only way I can describe the odor).

To my delight, my gas has been turned on. Now I can have a mediocre shower (this will be a future blog topic).

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