Friday, November 16, 2007

Sign Sign Everywhere a Sign!

A couple of strange things happened yesterday and I’m not sure what to make of it. The first thing occured when I went to the Sweet Sweet Way store. It’s a candy store on the main drag in town. I felt it was fitting that I go there the day after the dentist visit. The old guy working there said “Ciao, Jeff”. Now I don’t stop and converse with him like I do in other stores. I also don’t go in there nearly as often as other places but yet our relationship has moved up a notch. This is stranger because I don’t know his name. Then coming home from hanging out on the street, ok it’s not hanging out, it’s the passeggiata. I stopped to talk to some people that are always next door to the pizza place. Among this group there are 3 very young girls that are always talking to Antonio and Maurizio and just out of curiosity I asked their names because they are practically part of the pizzeria family so I should know who they are. The strange thing is that I remember their names, Rosella, Illaria, and Francesca. I wonder if remembering Italian names is becoming easier. I wonder if I’ve been exposed to these Italian names enough to make connections. I also commented that Rosella is very close to Rosetta (there is a Rosetta at work) and it worked. I seemed to be keeping them straight, for now.
Anyway I noticed another strange thing that is by far the strangest. My name is now on my button on the front of the building. Now you may say “Big Deal” but it’s very strange to me. I’ve been living in this same apartment for over 4 years and the whole time my name has been on that button but only because I wrote it on a piece of paper and then taped it on the button. The weather would take its toll and I would change it every few months. Now my name is printed in plastic and under the clear button cover like everyone else, but why now?

Strange isn’t it. My name just doesn’t seem to go along with the others. You’ll notice something that maybe you didn’t know. There are two last names for most apartments. That’s because Italian women almost never take their husband’s last name. That throws a lot of foreigners off when they come to Italy and do paperwork. If you’re married they are still expecting two different last names. Most of my readers probably know this but I thought it was worth a mention. Also notice how my name has a hyphen in it like everyone else’s. I guess there is one person living here with the last name Jeff and he or she is married to someone with the last name Gromen. It could happen. We foreigners have strange names, not like Italians. See Cacciapaglia that literally means strawhunt or huntstraw in the order it is here.
Maybe my landlord has grand designs that I’m going to buy that apartment. He says he’s going to sell it when I move out. I was a little curious about buying it and then I asked Marco what he thinks the guy would ask for and then I went into a state of shock. The thought escaped my mind very quickly. It would be 3 times the cost of my house in the US, no 4 times with the current exchange rates!!!!
This last photo is exchange from the old passport to the new. The old one can barely stand these days. The new one is ready to see the world. I hope!

8 comments:

Roam2Rome said...

...aaaa you are just becoming part of the town and the people. More local than foreigner now.

Mmm, I have 2 last names and I'm not married... does that mean I'll have 3 when I am?

Candy already? I do the very same thing :)

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

I love that pic with your cat. :)

Kataroma said...

There's a Sweetway under Rome Termini and we go there a lot to buy liquorice (black only of course!) Not good for you but so good!

Anyway, I'm impressed that your name is on the buzzer. We still have the piece of paper taped to the citfono. At least we have 2 different surnames though -so we match the rest of the tenants.

Jeff Gromen said...

R2R,
I don't doubt that I'm more local than foreigner now. It's just strange because he never seemed like a person to go to "ciao". I guess you can go with 3 but what if that 3rd is something like Cacciapaglia. Then it would like 4 last names! And not fit into the forms!!

Sara,
Nello just had to get in the photo. I thought about croping him out but he would find out.

Kataroma,
I picked up red liquorice (among other things) because I'm more about the sugar than the taste.

Jeff

Lori said...

Jeff. A permanent name on the doorbell. A sure sign from your higher power that you will be there for a while longer. Enjoy it while you can. Say hi to all.

Delina said...

I don't think there's anything to read into re the name on your door, it just took someone four years to get around to putting your name up properly. Remember, we're in Italy.

That's a very funny photo.

Is rosetta also the name of a piece of bread down there? It is here.

Gil said...

Looks like you put your passport through the wash as it looks just like my son's after the wash got it.

Jeff Gromen said...

Lo,
I guess this means that 4 years after I leave my name will still be on the building!

Delina,
Yes, I have a piece of rosetta bread everyday with lunch at work! And don't ever think you don't need it. Jeff YOUR BREAD!! WAIT!

Gil,
Yeah it's been washed, squashed, and it's lucky the photo didn't fall out!

Jeff