I work at a bookstore whose bread and butter is the endless drivel of books romanticizing life in Tuscany. Tuscany, you know, the place where the sun always shines and you can have funny and embarrassing adventures in miscommunicating with the locals. Old farmhouses that need lots of work and more in the garden, but in the end it’s worth it all. Because if you are a man writing these books, your family will eventually come to you and the sun will set magnificently on all of your accomplishments and foibles. And if you are a woman writing them, well, naturally some hot man will be ensnared by your charms and fall for you in spite of you ability to communicate or cook.Maybe I’m trivializing the market, but the wall of “Italian Interest” titles on display make me doubt it.There are exceptions. But I am not interested in that now.So, my goal, if not here elsewhere, is to never glorify this place. Just so you get a clearer picture; I’ll summarize a bit of my day: ATAF l’autobus with stinky homeless and noisy, ill-mannered children (what happened to discipline people); pretentious Florentines that look down on customer service (clearly if I’m helping, I’m beneath them), impossible relationships with people you don’t whether they will opt to leave or not (wow, it was fascinating to meet you, when do you leave); lecherous foreigners that think they can seduce you with a “Ciao” while stewing in cologne; tourists who stand around thinking the next picture they take will land on a travel magazine (there are postcards next to you that look better); friendly African peddlers who just want me to buy their costly fazzoletti, or lighter, or wash cloths; being underpaid; normally being undervalued; and last, but not least, a society that loves dogs but does not know what a pooper scooper is (PICK UP YOUR DOG POO! IT’S UNCIVILIZED NOT TO). And just in case you didn’t know this, it rains — often and it’s more cold than warm.Yes, there is beauty. There is love. There is still a world I need to discover and appreciate (the food is to die for). But that is true of all places. The goal is to enhance beauty while navigating reality.Now, I’m off to teach 3 classes thanks to the over-inflated cost of housing. Happy birthday pops.

4 responses to “Reality

  1. So you’re not Diane Lane? Too bad–Josh Brolin is my new Matty.

  2. The dog poo on the streets of Vienna suddenly overcame me as I left a coffee shoppe near the Stephansdome. I was alone, had tried to please everyone the prior weekend, but felt the snobs suddenly outweighed the real people. So I returned to Atlanta to work on a political campaign of a friend. I guess straws don’t break our backs, but dog poo and colongned men can. There’s a perfect campaign for you to work on in 08.

  3. Great rant-I love it. Our Florences are alike in some ways, oddly enough. Yes, we must see the beauty regardless.

  4. Clearly we need to change out the books that are in the front area of the bookstore…or at least right in front of the cash register!!! 😉
    Hope your week gets better!!!

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