Thursday, January 28, 2010

Those Three Months, I Remember

As I was walking down this narrow lane of Perugia
Stepping slowly on cobblestones that were set centuries ago
When all of the sudden I was almost ran down by this blue Vespa
Shocked and surprised, I screamed out foul words until this old Italian lady yelled, “Silenzio!”

She made gesture as if flicking a lamp’s switch off
Continued with another sign :
Sliding her thumb and forefinger across her lips as if shutting a zipper

I definitely got the message, didn’t need to ask her
That was a simple gesture I learned in kindergarten over 25 years ago
When our teacher wanted us to shut up and sit down quietly
Before starting the ritual of saying Lord’s Prayer

Instead I waved my left hand that wasn’t holding the brown umbrella
“Mi scusi, Signora,” said I, and walked away hurriedly
Surprised by my own ashamed feeling of having no guts to face this stern old Italian lady
Oh, I haven’t told you it was raining drizzly that day, eh?

A little trivia : I turned 30 that year
So I decided to give myself a birthday present
It was a 3 months vacation to Italy
The country that gave birth to a grand man
That millenniums later is known universally as an operation technique he was named after

It was surely the most amazing 3 months of my life
Good time partying with young people, citizen of the world
Strolling down traditional market, pocketful of loose changes with no idea what to buy
Flirting using sign language with a beautiful girl whose sad face framed with auburn locks,
Because she doesn’t speak English, and deaf ever since five

I can guarantee you, what a feat it was
Intellectually challenging, such a test to patience
Yet we could still find ways to communicate and
To share this love that knows no boundaries of races, religions or political views

It was the most amazing 3 months in my life
Because I could forget all my worries back home
Leaving them behind, and only have tomorrows to look upon
It was the time when horizon seems far enough, yet within reach

It was still a jolly good time when the last day finally arrived
As I sat down on Leonardo da Vinci airport’s cold steel bench
These random thoughts passing through my mind like cold wind blown from the sea,
“Hope I can return to this magnificent country, which cities are as old as civilization itself,”
“Hope that when I return, I will fall in love all over again with the beautiful life Italy has to offer ..."

“Oh, shoot! Hope I didn’t impregnate that beautiful deaf girl!”

Ah, questa dolce Vita!

Photo illustration courtesy of C.G. Salon in Fayetteville, Georgia, U.S.A.
Used for non-commercial purpose without permission.

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