Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Do We Have Enough Underwear, Can I Conjugate the Verb Avere, Do I Know How To Get From Cortona to Arezzo?
We have just over four weeks until we leave for Italy and the details are endless. It's more or less like planning a wedding for two hundred guests, or an invasion of Britain, or any other minor such task. Wayne and Mackenzie are not the world's best linguists. Asa is fabulous, but a bit too young to want to sit down and do dedicated study (although she's so fast at acquiring language, I think she will pick up the most of any of us while we're there). But that leaves me as the sole communicator of la famiglia in the many parts of Italy we'll be traveling through that are likely to have few fluent English speakers. Rome and Florence I have no worries about, but what if we need to get directions or buy food in Rigutino or Fontiano (both on the way from Cortona to Arezzo)? I don't want to be one of those Americans who assumes everyone will speak English, so I've been studying and studying hard.
Funnily enough, I took four years of French in college, and while I did learn it passably well I had no real incentive to do so. Now, I have a burning desire to be able to communicate competently in Italian, so that's fueling my aggressive Italian learning spree. I have Italian on my MP3 player, my computer, my car stereo, my DVD and VCR, and in books and workbooks scattered across my kitchen table.
Besides that, I just need to make sure we have a compact and lightweight wardrobe for all kinds of weather, the biking gear we need, enough training on the bikes to climb the hill towns of Tuscany, cell phones, cameras, adapters for Italian power outlets, maps, routes, train tickets and schedules, and oh yes, enough clean underwear.
Ho mólto fare! I have a lot to do.