Thursday, February 26, 2004

What A Beautiful Day!

It is raining today. This past week has been off-and-on: Sunday, rain. Monday, sun. Tuesday, snow. Yesterday, sun. And then today--puddled streets and a sea of umbrellas. It makes you want to crawl back into bed with a good book and a bag of Sticki (Siamo mille bastoncini...).

But not me. No, I needed to get out of the house (cave). Today was my day off, and I wanted to do something. So, without an umbrella or even a hood, I decided to hike over to the post office and internet lab, braving the cold rain and the slippery cobblestones.

I didn't realize that it was raining as much as it was, though, and, stepping outside, I realized that these plump drops of rain were quite heavy, and my toes were already getting cold. But I don't HAVE an umbrella yet (one of those items I overlooked when packing to come to this country). So, knowing that going back into my apartment with that bag of Sticki and a good book wasn't an option, I wrapped my scarf around my head and started on the road into town.

Yes, I almost got sprayed by passing cars a dozen times. Yes, I felt like an Italian grandma with the scarf across my head. Yes, I still got plenty wet (scarves, I have learned, are poor substitutes for that water-proof liner of a good, wide umbrella). But walking into town among that sea of umbrellas was kind of refreshing. I didn't feel so different from everyone else--the whole town looked silly ducking under their umbrellas or running without a hood to find shelter under the nearest portico. And the rain made the pavement shine. I smiled underneath my scarf.

So, splashing in puddles, pushing on the pull-door of the Post Office, and looking down, cold and wet, at the typically-evil post office woman that always charges me too much to send a package, I felt a bit on the normal side. And I almost smiled as the post office lady took the parcel from my hands to weigh it. Maybe it's because I felt a sense of union with her, with everyone here, despite our differences.

Or maybe it was because I knew she'd have to deal with splashy puddles and the sea of umbrellas just as much as I would.


Update: It's Friday and, as you can probably guess if it rained yesterday: Yup, it's sunny. Hey, I'm not complaining!


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