Maurizio picked Jacob & me up at 9:30 and we headed downtown. We had said we were going to 'fare un tuffo' later so I was dressed in swimsuit and was carrying a towel. He chuckled as we walked toward his car, saying, 'In this weather?'. Oh well.
We parked by the port, in a little-known free-parking area and walked the mile or more to the pet/fish store. The weather was cool, muggy; some grey clouds were blowing in from the east - obviously carrying rain.
We arrived at the store and interrupted the storekeeper from his sales pitch to another customer. Maurizio explained that we were americani who were used to fishing in lakes and rivers but were trying to learn how to fish the Adriatic. He smiled and returned to the man interested in buying a canary. The store was small, kind of run-down and very muggy. Located on an alleyway, the only air that made it in the door was alley air, which reeked of pigeons, mold and stale pizza.
The other customer talked on and on about the kind of canary he wanted and the shop owner was patient, telling him of the various qualities of the birds. The man was insistent - he wanted white and he wanted to be sure it would sing. Back and forth, back and forth they went. Finally, the store owner shifted some cages, closed the door, inserted a mesh separator and caught one of the canaries - a white one. He inspected it to be sure it was of the right gender - it wasn't. I guess the customer wanted white, singer AND of a specific gender. After several more back-and-forths and cage shifting, the customer left and the owner turned to us.
He was very friendly and very knowledgeable. He told us where the best spots were, the three best bait/lure options and even drew diagrams to show us how to arrange the bait. We decided on a bobber/sardine combination. He sold us some equipment and as we left, he said, "I won't tell you 'buona pesca' as that brings bad luck, I'll just say, 'have fun!' "
From there we walked to an ATM (first three didn't work) and then on to a bar/cafe that a friend of Maurizio's runs. They served in the military together. Jacob and I enjoyed a cappuccino and pastry (Jacob with Nutella, mine with vanilla cream) while we heard stories of their service together. I think the guy looks like Rocky.
After that we made our way up to Patrizia's so he could get his haircut. If there was time, I would get one too as it is time. On the way we talked about God's will. Does God withhold gifts sometimes until we've learned a lesson? Does God wait until we're ready sometimes before giving us what we long for? We talked about the importance of being grateful for what we have today instead of being frustrated for what we don't have. This is the stuff that he really loves to talk about and wishes he didn't have to struggle with. I love his raw honesty - it SO sharpens me.
We got to Patrizia's and were greeted as we approached - she yelled through the open door as she finished up a young lady's hair who was getting a 'do' for her birthday. Patrizia introduced her to Maurizio. Awkward. Her miniature Doberman, Ernie, greeted us at the door. Were I a miniature Doberman, I would be angry to have the name 'Ernie'. Give me something to make up for my miniature-ness, you know?
We sat and waited - continued our discussion and joked as Patrizia continued cutting and styling. Maurizio put on his 'smock' and got his hair washed. Somewhere in there, Patrizia took our order and called the nearby bar to have something delivered. While I waited I noticed Jenova's birth announcement on the wall - Italians seem to love postcards - I smiled...I had remembered late in our furlough. Next, Anna called and asked if we could meet up with her family before our church's gathering tomorrow. Then Lilli called and said thanks for the 'postcards' they had received recently. :)
Half-way through Maurizio's haircut - during which he continued to argue with Patrizia, trying to get her to fit me in after him, before the two women already waiting. - the barista arrived with a tray. She put four espressos and a sandwich on the counter and Patrizia called for a coffee break.
I smiled, which reflected in the mirrors all around the room, as we all stopped our activities and stood around sipping our coffee: Patrizia set down her scissors, Maurizio had his smock on, hair clippings on his face and shoulders, one of the clients waiting patiently and the out-of-place American. The moment was so UBER Italian.
We continued on, speaking of horoscopes and Italian marriages and eventually left, after paying the 13 euros for the haircut. We walked the mile+ back to the car as it began to rain. Maurizio dropped us off around 12:30 after we had made arrangements for next week: a dinner on the beach, an appointment to see a villa in the country for sale, a hike down the cliff to fish at sunset along the coast. I greeted my neighbor as we walked in the building and smiled at how different an Italian Saturday can be.