About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Car Sizes

Wednesdays forecast: decreasing clouds, high 30 = 90 degrees.

Italian phrase: I dolci siciliani sono buonissimi = Sicilian desserts are very good.
It was a warm night. After a cool evening with no AC, we had to turn it back on in the middle of the night. Then, at some point, Katrina and I were awakened by a shower of water above our bed. For some reason, yet to be determined, the AC dripped a bunch of water on the headboard, splashing us and our pillows.

Small car in Italy. Most are a little bit bigger than this Aixam.

This Jeep would be considered very large. I've only seen one...and its in our apartment driveway. I saw a full size Hummer the other day (missed taking a picture). The Hummer looks like it would take about 3 parking spaces at the local shopping centers. Imagine those US 'compact car' spaces at shopping malls, then make them a little smaller and you have the average parking space at an Italian mall.

This older Jaguar also sits in our driveway. It would be considered a little bit above average in size for Italy.

I was just flipping channels on the TV. Sports. Sports are big here in Italy and in Europe, but they vary a bit from the United States. Over a few weeks of watching and flipping channels, I have come to the following conclusions. Soccer - Calcio - is huge. There are so many soccer leagues and so many channels to watch soccer. Aside from soccer on the normal channels, there are 20 channels reserved exclusively for soccer. Some of the other sports that are popular: rugby, American baseball, Amercian hockey, volleyball, European basketball, tennis, car and motorcycle racing (including a little bit American Nascar), cycling, and golf. I've also seen roller derby, beach soccer, beach tennis and urban downhill mountain bike racing (down narrow allys, stairs, etc). With all these sports, one thing I am sure of. No matter what time of day I turn on the TV, there is always a soccer match going on.

I walked out the front gate this afternoon and spotted this van sitting on the street. I've seen many of these in the past few weeks. I'd say it gives new meaning to the words "mini van".

I picked up Brandon this afternoon and we walked into central Vedano for a haircut. New experiences abound in Italy. Apparently a haircut is also a social occasion. We learned that Brandon would be third in line. We had to wait for 45 min while the barber cut the hair of two other customers. 50% of that time was conversation time. It was fun to listen and try to figure out what was being said. Finally it was Brandon's turn. His haircut took about 30 min. The barber commented - in broken Inglese and with hand gestures, that the previous barber did not do a very good job of layering Brandon's hair. I'm sure that is fairly true since his last haircut was at Supercuts in Corvallis. We chatted in our broken language attempts. After awhile, a woman and her son came in. She spoke a tiny bit of Inglese, so we chatted a little more. She helped me speak in Italiano and I helped her speak Inglese. I think Brandon's haircut turned out pretty good - better than his past couple of haircuts. We'll see what Katrina thinks when she gets home... Oh, and for those who are wondering, a bambino haircut was e15...about $21!

On our walk back home we stopped at Parco di Matteotti for fly some paper airplanes that Brandon made at school today.

This evening we tried one of Rosella's (our Italian instructor) recipes for pasta: saute 1/4c olive oil, 2 diced tomatoes, 1 small onion and 2 chopped cloves of garlic. Meanwhile, boil pasta until al dente. Drain pasta and add tomato mixture, along with parmagianna and chopped walnuts. Very basic and tasty. We enjoyed it with some bread sticks and red wine...orancia rossa for Brandon.

I am bummed that Levi Leipheimer had a tough day yesterday and dropped to 6th place in the Giro. On the positive side, Lance Armstrong seems to be slowly working his way up the standings, sitting at 12th overall. As he wrote today, for a guy who drank beer for the last 4 years, crashed hard last month and broke his collarbone, and is the 4th oldest 'dog in the pack', he's pretty pleased with his efforts so far.
Only 3 stages left in the Giro. The final stage is in Rome on Saturday.


  1. I think I'm going to have to try that recipe. It sounds fantastic!

  2. What did the hair cut cost at supercuts?