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Tis Returns to Italy! Day 49: Here Comes the Sun!

View of Lucca's Oval Piazza Anfiteatro

View of Lucca’s Oval Piazza Anfiteatro

Lisa of Tis Travels is on a three-month journey through Italy, exploring, eating, and living like an Italian. Follow along on “Tis Travels” on Facebook and Instagram!

Today, I decided to be incredibly focused on the positive things that came my way, refusing to let anything negative drag me down along with it.

For my afternoon work break, I headed out to have a cappuccino. As you may know, it is not considered proper in Italian culture to drink anything but espresso afternoon. Well, too bad. I had not been able to get out this morning and I wanted my cappuccino at 3:15 pm. I walked into a caffè, paid for the cappuccino at the register, and took my ticket to the counter, laying it down for the barman to see.

First Challenge? Mr. Personality!

Let’s just say the barman was not the happiest of souls. My first challenge! Challenge accepted!!! Instead of looking at the ticket in front of him, he grumpily asked me what I wanted. Resisting the urge to point out that he seemed perfectly capable of mastering 1st-grade reading skills, I smiled and said cheerfully, “Un cappuccino, per favore!”

As I drank my gauche “in the afternoon cappuccino”, he proceeded to complain about everything he possibly could. When two young kids, seemingly in desperate need of a bathroom, came in asking where it was, he gave them the full “Spanish Inquisition” treatment trying to make sure they belonged to paying customers before giving away the privileged location of the bathroom. I almost offered to forgo my right as a paying customer to go to the bathroom if he would let them go in my place. Finally, he relented, and thankfully, the poor children were granted access to the bathroom, and returned in a few minutes, seemingly making it on time.

After slowly enjoying my cappuccino to disapproving glances by Mr. Personality, I gave him a big smile and a friendly “Grazie e arrivederci signor!’

My next stop was at my favorite gelateria. They have simply the best amarena (sour cherry) gelato, my favorite, as well as a very good chocolate fondente. I think it is run by a father-daughter team. If so, the daughter was working today. With my super cheerful attitude, I ordered in Italian, and she replied in Italian. I consider this high praise as most in Lucca can speak very good English and almost prefer it if your Italian is too basic.

Here Comes the Sun

Next, I was heading back to my apartment, with just enough time to join my next call. Suddenly, I saw a leather key chain in the shape of a sun, hanging in a shop window. I needed a new keychain for my NYC apartment keys and kept passing this one, meaning to stop and make the purchase. Now seemed like the perfect time to add a little sunshine to my days.

Throwing on my mask, I popped in the store and asked if I could buy the keychain with the sun, all in Italian. The woman put her hands on her hips and happily replied in Italian that she would be delighted to help me with that. We finished the entire conversation in Italian and she complimented my language skills. Needless to say, when my Italian comes that easily, it makes me very happy indeed. To be complemented by an Italian is the delicious icing on the cake.

Savoring the Happy Day

Savoring the Simple Pleasures in Lucca Italy

Savoring the Simple Pleasures in Lucca Italy

After my work calls were finished, I headed out to have a nice dinner with some nice local wine. As I am trying to live my Italian life with more balance (aka fewer calories), I did not finish my dinner and asked to take part of my pasta home. As the waitress asked the chef in the kitchen nearby, for a box in which to put my leftovers, I listened and laughed as he grumpily made fun of my inability to finish a simple “Primo piatto”, or first course as pasta is known here. Yeah, just bring me my delicious leftovers and you can make fun of me all you would like. Happy to be of service.

Every day is really a choice, although some can be more difficult than others. However, usually, you have the opportunity of making it a good day or making it a bad day. It is all up to you.

Today I was happy I had focused on making it a good day. And in all its blissful simplicity, it was.

Ciao for now!

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