WWOOF Italy: Journal Entry 2

The second journal entry, here is the first

Every day, I wake up to cornflakes, porridge, Japanese tea, and some micro/macrobiotic concoction Vitto makes and it is dope.

The Kitchen - Where we had breakfast, lunch, and dinner

The Kitchen - Where we had breakfast, lunch, and dinner

I have no idea what time I wake up every morning, but on this particular day, we first needed to find Nero, his crazy wolf-like beast of a dog. The dog is much more powerful than Vitto, who is probably 75ish, and took off after they went for their morning walk.

We decided Nero had probably gone to see his girlfriend at Toms’ house. Tom is from Zurich and lives in walking distance, maybe a mile through the valley. He also just had bladder surgery, so we wanted to see if he was well. On the way there, we passed through a rather beautiful valley. It was a little cold, but a nice crisp cold that I needed after spending so much time in Texas. Tom’s place looked straight out of like, an Assassin’s Creed house (sorry for the video game reference).

Tom’s house and dog

Tom’s house and dog

Along with Nero, there were two dogs: Nero’s girlfriend and their child. Additionally, about nine outdoor cats. We borrowed some garlic and asked for some advice on how to build a dog pin for Nero. You see, Vitto had arranged for a group of Yogis to come and have an extended mindful visit in his valley. Everything seemed to check out, except that there was basically an uncontrollable dog on the premise. Currently, Nero is on a long chain and serves as a guard, but that wasn’t going to work with 12 random yogis on campus. Vitto decided a large pin would do the trick, so the next few days would involve sourcing the expertise and items to build the pin. This would be my first week’s project for the WWOOF exchange.

On the way back from Tom’s, with Nero, Vitto started showing me and picking wild asparagus. This was moment number one when I realized I came to the right place.

Wild. Effing. Asparagus. Kobe.

You could find them in dark and wet pockets and they were usually accompanied by a spiky root that was above ground. We both collected a handful as we returned to Vitto’s.

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Vitto needed some stuff in town so we headed that way in his tiny Fiat to Piazza Armenia. We went to a Home Depot looking place and found some dirt (he called earth) and brainstormed on which poles to purchase for the dog pin. We then went to the super market and bought some veggies. It felt pretty Italian. It was the day before Easter and people were shopping for a feast.

Then, we went and had a cappuccino while he read the sport’s newspaper. He is a major AC Milan fan and wanted to watch the match at 7:30 pm or 19:30, depending on who you are talking to. However, we found out the game was actually at 12:30 and it was already 10:30, so we changed course. We drove to another town called Iona and went to a bar to ask if they were showing the game. They were.

We had an hour, so we went to his favorite bakery and bought some ancient grain bread and then to a wine distributor and bought 2 liters of his favorite red wine. It came from a box and was served in a plastic bottle. I’d call this a boss move. We then stopped at two people’s place unexpectedly and chatted for awhile. When we would meet his friends, he would talk in Italian/Sicilian for about ten minutes and then look at me and say “cowboy” and “Texas” and pretend to shoot a gun. Then, he’d drop my last name, which is hella Sicilian, and most people were pretty amused by that.

The Best Bakery in Sicily

The Best Bakery in Sicily

We also drove to the highest point in Iona and found a nice view of the panorama. You could see Mount Etna and the clouds made it look like it was floating. Vitto said “take it in” and he went and took a leak.

Mount Etna

Mount Etna

We finally went to the bar and pulled out two chairs. I bought us a round of beer and we watched AC Milan tie 1-1. People were casually coming in and out throughout the game. It looked more like a bakery than a bar. This was moment number 2 and 3 when I realized I came to the right place. It was evident there would be soccer, asparagus and box wine.

Awkward Picture of the AC Milan Bar/Bakery

Awkward Picture of the AC Milan Bar/Bakery

For the most part, the days involved waking up, eating breakfast, working in the garden, eating lunch, napping, going into town, returning home around 4 pm, walking the dog, cooking dinner, cleaning up, listening to classical music on my iphone, and then going to sleep.