This is my account of the events from ieri….
I woke up super early this morning, filled with joy and excitement, hardly containing myself, I wouldn’t stop talking, much to Matteo’s despair. We made our way to the tube to catch the underground to Victoria to go from there to Gatwick, we left extra earlier because of the underground tube strikes. When we got to Victoria and on the train to Gatwick airport, it suddenly felt more real, like this is actually happening, I began to feel a range of emotions, excitement, anticipation and worry all rolled into one.
When we arrived, we were there far to early, tried to check in the luggage that we had, but unfortunately we had to wait another hour and a half before we could. So we made our way to a lounge chair to wait it out. While waiting, natured called, now one thing I will say for Gatwick l’areoporto, is that the toilets before you go to the departure lounge are AMAZING. As I walked into the bathroom with barely a soul in site, beautiful instrumental naturistic music played softly in the background, the toilet cubicle is bigger than my whole bathroom a casa, with beautiful hardwood floors, grey stone tiled walls, large mirror, automatic sensor tap with la doccia warm water, and a blow dryer where you literally see the water dripping from your finger tips. If heaven has toilets, they would be like this!
The hours of waiting slowly passed by, sitting outside the departure gate finally, I was surrounded by lingua di italiano. I tried speaking with Matteo in my bastardised Italian I can somewhat create, but it felt as though he was a bit embarrassed for others to hear my basic communicateable Italian, which made me feel a bit let down really, because he knows how much I am trying, and I thought I really need all the practise I can get, e che bella questa lingua! I couldn’t wait to hear more.
Walking through the departure gate into the plane on my easyjet flight to l’areoporto di fumincio, I can’t help but look at Matteo with anticipation, this is real, this is happening, after 13 months I’m finally going back to my favourite country and la citta di bella roma! I recall my first time in arrivals where I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face, managing to score a window seat (because no one was allocated to seat 20F) I look out at twilight, the plane starts moving, its real, its happening, mamma mia, we are taking off!
Take offs always frighten me, one I’m in the air it’s fine, I’ve been on around 20 planes in the last four years and take off and landings get me everytime. At least this time I’m not alone, and I can squeeze Matteo’s hand as tight as possible which my stomach does about 4 flips until we reach altitude.
Finally we land, about 20 minutes before landing we can start to make out lights, walking up through the Non EU gate, I’m say a “Ciao” to the passport stamper, clearly reading NON ITALIAN all over my face and accent, he says a bye as I leave, and standing at the arrivals gate is Zia Donatella, her daughter Carlotta and Matteo’s sister. How nice it was to see a familiar face. On the car ride back to the palazzo Matteo’s whole family live in, I let the Italian was over me, I can pick up whole conversations, which I could never do before, along with every 1 in 5 words, I can make out about 1 in 5 whole conversations, or the general gist of what they’re talking about.
Suddenly we are at the palazzo, walking up the steps to piano di nonna, suddenly Nonna comes into view, I can feel the tears welling up, because I have really missed Matteo’s family so much, even though I can’t communicate so well with words, we have still made a repour through small attempts of language, and hand signals. Then I see Mamma stefania, poverena mamma, ended up having a bad infection in her leg because of some strong antibiotics she was on so she is bedridden until it heals. The tears well up when I see her, and she is crying herself, I even think I saw Matteo with a few shy tears, because it has been so long. I get out the presents for everyone. Nonna absolutely loved her personalised from you to me libro, because she unwrapt it, I said to her, da me, non Matteo, da me. She loved how it said “Cara Nonna Rosa” aswell as having pictures of her life. She kept repeating “E Grande, E Grande” over and over, all I could keep saying in reply was “prego, prego”
It was so nice being in the company of Matteo’s family again, but then as in with all Italian families, you come home to the grande casino that is their lives. Matteo’s mamma with her leg, Mamma is also redoing her casa, making an extra bedroom, bigger kitchen and bathroom, and from the sounds of what I could gather, they’ve gone past the budget, and it’s all male. With sisters getting annoyed over the work, and all other drama. (I was pretty proud of myself for understanding what they were talking about)
Nonna asked me if I liked papa Francesco, I replied with “Adoro papa francesco” So they were telling Matteo he should take me to san pietro piazza when he speaks on Wednesdays, Matteo is sitting there shaking his head saying no no, but le signore are on my side, Cosa significa per Anna, they say.
I even asked Gaia to come to see the movie frozen with me (in Italian…. Ohhh yeeea) and she was keen for that, and asked Nonna to teach me how to make fresh pasta, mi insegni ci fanno della pasta fresca. So she said we could make it domani! Oh lots is happening already. I think this trip will be the best trip yet. Even if it is raining outside!
Ciao a tutti