Olive Picking-time in Calabria ~ Romancing Italy

Nov 17, 2009

Olive Picking-time in Calabria

Today I struck out on my own to head for Calabria where I will be helping pick olives over the next week. Left to my own devices and without the influence of my Italian, I have to admit I committed several counts of heresy.

For my flight, I chose practicality over style and wore my hiking boots instead of something dressier. Even A commented, “Are you going in those?” I at least had the decency to consider switching, but decided to stick to my guns and stand out like a sore thumb but one that walked comfortably.

When I passed through security, I had to remove the boots, my jacket, belt and vest. That’s what happens when you layer for cold weather. I smiled at the officer at the other end of the x-ray machine as I was gathering the pieces. He said, “Ah, finally, someone who is smiling.” Then he quickly added, “You aren’t Italian then, are you?”

The flight was uneventful and so was the transfer to the train station. The car in which I ended up sitting, found me sandwiched between two Calabresan couples who talked past me, above me, around me as if I wasn’t there. I didn’t understand a thing which made me feel like I was traveling to a completely different country... it was wonderful.

Once settled at home, I went in search of lunch and found our regular rotisserie in nearby Caulonia was closed down. I thought, “So much for popping out to eat and returning quickly.” I found myself driving a half hour away to commit my second Italian crime for the day. I ate at McDonalds! Sometimes we just have to have what the Italians call "schifezza" - junk.

Leave the American alone and look what she does!

If the language didn’t fully prove that I was back in the south, as I was driving back on the two (2!) lane road, the car behind me chose to overtake. Undaunted at this vehicle encroaching on his lane, a car in the incoming traffic also chose to overtake and for a brief heart-stopping moment, we were four abreast.

This is the fabulous south.



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