If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

07 June 2005

Umm, the country comes with all this ... Nature?

Okay, I admit: it is one of the biggest adjustments I’ve had to make: all the noises, plants, creatures… it’s a lot for a mostly climate controlled city girl (for whom 'roughing it' was once a hotel without 24 hr room service) to adjust to all at once. Now, after 2+ weeks, I’m finally not flinching each time something flies by me, and have learned to look into the bathtub before I step in each morning (and 3 days out of 5 there is something with at least 100 legs.) Though I do resist killing them if they’re OUTSIDE. I sort of talk to them now – saying, “now, you know the rules, spiders don’t live in the house…” (as if there is a rational argument to be made with them here.)

But I have to admit, I’m fascinated by the incredible variety of new species (?) I am encountering (the scientists in the gang will correct me if that’s the incorrect use of that term…). Once I stopped being freaked out by it all, there’s some really fascinating stuff to see. I’m finding my way back to my early explorer/science student roots (you know, the ones I got in Jr. High with Mr. Fig and the gang… *before* Mrs. Woodall, that vicious psycho witch – not that I hold a grudge, HAH! - beat any passion for the sciences out of me in high school Bio… )

So today I discovered I’ve become the amateur Steve Erwin of the insect world. To wit: normal conversation with myself as I walk through the garden goes something like this: (please imagine my miserable version of a bad Aussie accent here): “now take a good gander at THIS big daddy! He’s the size of my entire THUMBNAIL! He’s a (something scientific-sounding) beetle, which you can tell because he has this really shiny metallic green color on a very hard shell! If you step on him, he makes a nice crunchy noise! They’re very loud when they fly through your living room, but dontcha worry kiddos, this little bugger is really harmless!.... Now this critter here, on the other hand (puts finger dangerously close to a pincher claw lookin’ thing…) – this here is a SCORPION. They won’t kill you, but their bite’ll hurt somethin’ fierce! Better check your slippers for these buggers when you put your tootsies in each mornin’!”

And what is it, really, about me (or is it people in general?): when one of the aforementioned critters breaks the rules and sets up shop nella casa (in the house): though I have an entire HOUSEHOLD of insect smashing items at my disposal; a veritable arsenal of bug-threatening weaponry... I always, out of habit - reach for the trusty ‘right shoe’ (as demonstrated just moments ago in the killing of my first two scorpions.) Yup, my loyal sidearm, always there -- even though it has the remains of many multi-legged creatures resting heavily on its sole. (pun completely irresistable!)

Okay, for you insects’ rights folks out there – and there MUST be some, I come from the Politically Correct Capital of the World… : I don’t kill the big ole’ shiny beetles, they’re too pretty and stupid and I mostly feel bad for their lot in life on this spin on the roulette wheel of evolution, reincarnation, or creation (something for all ye believers... ) I just help them back out the window. The scorpions? It's open season, big daddy!


Anonymous beatrice said...

Ciao V,

Secondo me, un "insect" nella casa e un "insect" morto! Fuori la casa - viviamo insiemo va bene!

Vai ragazza!

Tanti baci,

4:26 AM  
Anonymous corey II said...

Now, Now...Mr. Crab (from down under) would be very depressed to hear that you are just "experiencing" nature outside the US. We all know that he was your claim to fame...and I have the picture to prove it. (insert sound effects of small claws snapping).

10:54 AM  
Blogger green gazelle said...

Which Desperate Housewife are YOU?

"Do you lead a life of quiet desperation or one of noisy fulfillment? Is your relationship hanging by a thread or does it maybe just need a tune-up? Do the neighbors smile & wave when they see you or do they draw the blinds & pretend they're not home?

"Take this quiz to see which Wisteria Lane housewife you are...or which one is your perfect love match!" go to: http://abc.go.com/primetime/desperate/quiz/index.html

greengazelle is the Susan of Desperate Housewives.'...you always mean well, but somehow things don't always work out as you'd planned. It doesn't matter. You take your tumbles with good grace & always come up smiling. But try to remember you're the grown-up in your family." *ouch!*

Incidently, if you wanna know about the other DH's, here's the answers....go ahead! Answer the questions to find out who YOU are....

Bree: "You're the perfect wife, mother, housekeeper, & just a bit of a control freak. Everyone admires you, but maybe they're just a little bit afraid of you. Step away from the souffle, ease up on the hairspray & learn to go with the flow."

Gabrielle: "You could say that life's just about pretty dresses & expensive gifts to you, but you're looking for something more. You'll find it someday, as long as you can stay out of trouble. And away from hot young gardeners."

Lynette: "You gave up a great job for this? No one really appreciates you, and yet you slog on, with very little sleep & very little thanks. Who can blame you when you occasionally lose it? Hang in there. Just lay off the Ritalin."

Now I know you're not a housewife (perhaps a teeny tiny bit desperate at times?), yet this quiz intrigued me. A late-comer to this season's Hottie Hit, I've come to find it to be a delightfully strange combo of sitcom, drama, nosy neighbors & Jessica Flecter. Makes me laugh.

Take care....hope you're feeling better.


11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Autfall said...

Hi, I like your blog. I have been wanting to write one for awhile. I have been in Italy 2 years. So I saw yours and got inspired. I also write stuff sometimes on expats in italy. Anyways check mine out. Its a litle warped at this moment but I am just going through a time in my life! Can also relate alot to what you are saying. It brings back memories of some of the culture shock that I had to deal with. freefloatingthoughts.blogspot.com
Ciao for now!

8:10 PM  
Blogger Viaggiatore said...

Hi, Autfall! Good to hear from you. No worries - we all go through phases. Find your *own* music -- not that influenced by others, and dance to it, even if you're dancing alone. Remember what really matters and throw away the rest. Then write about it. Thanks for being here, and I'm glad my little corner of the web inspired you! :) Stay tuned. -- V.

11:50 PM  
Blogger Danza Sorellina said...

I have found hairspray works well in slowing the little critters down enough to have time to grab the shoe-

3:11 AM  
Blogger The Mom said...

You were such a pro with the giant spider in the room of DS on St John that I thought it was second nature. :)

3:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay you really have lost it because anything with more legs than you should be immediately killed. A good spider is a dead spider. I don't know how you are surviving in a house with no screens. I can barely keep it together when I see a wasp in my house--although the pest control person (a toothless and probably semi-intoxicated gentleman) assured me that our treatment was good for the summer and to call him if I saw any more. Since I'd already killed about 10 in the same spot in my family room and could not find the vortex where they were coming in, I am holding him to that. Now I'm rambling...it's midnight and I just got back from the Cubs game. They lost. Against Toronto. I guess some things never change.


6:56 AM  
Blogger Viaggiatore said...

N.Winkust: yeah, you'll have to get your insect tolerance up before you book the vacation to visit me! It's DEFINITELY an adjustment. To The Mom/DS: Okay, thankfully I haven't yet seen anything as big as the Spider The Size of My Head that we had in St. John...!

8:46 AM  

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