I must admit, my friends and I have had quite a few laughs at her expense. For starters, she comes from an internet culture 24/7. Nothing happens in our olive grove before she starts to chirp happily, “We’ll just look it up on the web!” I tell her that many sites, especially in this time period, are simply not kept that up to date. She did manage to find an excellent APT (Tourism Ofc) site for the Rieti area, filled with excellent information, but then again, she also discovered ‘tourism offices’ like in our town, whereupon calling, actually did not exist.
We called an Olive Oil place run by the monks – we had to wait until the Erboristeria (natural herb specialist) opened at 4pm, to make an appointment to see it. This was in Farfa, and certainly part of the charm. For a New Yorker, it was almost imaginary in its otherworldliness. I kept reminding her we were in a place more like the Catskills than Coney Island.
She then asked if there was a mega-store nearby to buy sundry items, like say a mattress. She couldn’t understand why we couldn’t go to a store on the 15th of August; “If everyone’s here on holiday, shouldn’t they be open?” Or, “We’ll just take the stuff to a Laundromat, it’ll take just a few minutes to find one -- who needs to do washing (it is the August 14th – and, even if one were to be found, it’d probably cost 12 euro in gas just to get there).
But my favorite is when she decided to wash the dog. She didn’t know which shampoo would be the best for this type of dog, that type of hair, anti-pest, non-anti-pest, whatever. “No worries! I’ll just ask the guy in the pet supplies aisle!” -- at the discount grocers. I rest my case.