Rebecca Helm-Ropelato
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Doing the Funk, Italian Style
As anyone knows who read the much discussed article article in the New York Times last month, Italians are in a funk. I would have known this even without the Times. Mauro, our neighborhood grocer, recently offered a grumbling commentary on the current state of things Italian as I was paying for a quart of milk and some bread.
I nodded and opined that this was pretty much the state of things all over the world. Mauro conceded this only grudgingly. He insisted that the Italian funk is, in fact, funkier than elsewhere.
He may be right. In any case, it's the soup you're in that gets up your nose the most. Which brings me to my own case. I've also entered a funk of late, one that snaps its lips shut and refuses to march merrily along in step with life's passing parade. A wave of shyness, humility, sense of inadequacy, accompanied by the occasional surly kicking of tree-stumps (when I can find them), has swamped my spirit as it observes the world at large and also the more immediate ambiance.
I could blame it on this local mire as described by the Times and Mauro, I suppose. Italians in the sunniest of times are a mysterious people. In a funk state, the enigma goes essentially opaque to the outsider. Perhaps my courage is failing me in the face of this, or it could be that this particular fool simply doesn't want to rush in.
It also could be that I've entered another one of the myriad stages of adaptation to living in a different culture. As the Italians say about many things, ci vuole un po' di pazienza (it needs a little patience).
Meanwhile, what to do, what to do, what to do? A blogger must blog.
An idea has come to mind. All will be revealed in the next post.
by Rebecca Helm-Ropelato
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