Monday, October 03, 2011

In Vino Veritas

Working hard in Tuscany.
This past weekend, the family and I drove back to Capalbio, the small medieval city where the family owns their second home. Basically, this weekend I was paid to enjoy myself. I swam in the sea, ate gelato, tanned, napped, read books, and walked along the shore. Luckily for me, Giulia's friends were also visiting Capalbio, so she played with them for the entire weekend. I honestly think this is the best job in the entire world. People in Italy wear very... different beach wear than we do in Canada. Men were sauntering around the beach wearing speedos of every colours, and the women gave me a fashion show as I tanned. The women here wear extremely low bottoms that are designed much like a thong because their entire butt cheeks are exposed. Meanwhile, some of these ladies are pushing their 50's and beyond. And the thing that was most interesting was... They aren't ashamed of their bodies. It didn't matter that they had cellulite, or that not all of them were wafer thin. Some of them were even... brace yourself... TOPLESS. Can you handle that, Canada? WOMEN AREN'T ASHAMED OF THEIR BODIES, and the men don't gawk at them like idiots and take pictures or shout crude comments at them. They're just natural and quite frankly, I couldn't agree with them more. And Italians aren't the only ones who go topless. I mean, how else was I supposed to get a proper tan? It was very liberating, and it's definitely not something I could get away with at home.
While laying on the beach in Tuscany, I decided what I'm going to do next year. This subject has been eating at me for a while now, and I just realized that I wanted to keep traveling Europe. Of course I can't sleep on beaches forever, but I know what I have to do if I keep wanting to travel - become a TEFL teacher. This stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, which is particularly in high demand in Asia and Europe. I've been juggling the thoughts of whether I wanted to do this, or follow my childhood dreams of becoming a Journalist, or getting involved in politics. Really, I can picture myself in each of those positions, but I see myself happiest in Europe, and this is the best route to go. I think I want to find a school in Toronto where I can do this, and ditch my other childhood dream of going to school in Ottawa. The reason why I actually wanted to go to Ottawa in the first place is because of their two universities for Journalism, but if I had decided to study politics, then what better place than to live in my country's capital? Well... That isn't going to happen now. Toronto is also a mere two hours away from home, so it might be nice to be close to my family and friends after a year abroad. Now that I have that figured out, I really have no worries.
At the house, I picked fresh figs, apples and olives off the trees. On Saturday night we met up with Stefania's cousin and her husband at a rustic restaurant right outside the castle. The night consisted of Giulia and I making up stories of all the animal heads plastered on the walls (deer, boars and antler's - oh my!) I sat at the table listening to these people speak beautiful Italian and had the most incredible meal of my life. My taste buds were in heaven. We started off with fresh bread, and then I had gnocchi that was so small and soft. It was dressed in a light tomato sauce with basil sprinkled on top. For dessert I had homemade biscotti, which was so.. so... YUM! The whole night, my glass was filled with rich red wine that was so delicious that I am having dreams about it. Normally, I'm a white wine kind of girl, but this wine was so thick and fruity and if heaven had a taste, this wine would truly be it. Every time my glass was almost empty, it would be filled to the brim again. Really, how could I say no?! Then we walked through the town where they showed me the crumbling but beautiful little Latin church from either the 11th or 13th century. I can't remember, mainly because I was intoxicated with expensive wine. I went to bed so satisfied that night.

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