Every waking moment is spent doing not one but three things (translate-listen to parents-try to keep the boys from fighting, or try not to get lost-translate-teach English, or fight jetlag-talk slowly to patrizia-keep boys amused)! My time to really slow down and think will be in the mornings, since I have several hours off in the morning when the parents are at work and the children at school. The maid, 23, is very nice and we converse in broken Italian and broken English while she irons and I write postcards. Today we talked about how she wants to do the same thing in America that I am doing here in Turin, but she has to work first, then make plans. We also talked about boyfriends (she left someone behind in Romania, I left someone behind in Seattle), about the family (they are wonderful, she agrees) and then I retreated to my room so she could finish her work. Interesting, when I told P--- later in the afternoon that I had spoken much with Rodica, she was glad of it but added, "Not too much, I hope, because she has a lot of work to do." She comes 4 days a week, for FIVE hours each day! Dishes, ironing, laundry, cleans the bathroom and floors. Che strano.
Last night the parents invited a couple over to the apartment for dinner and to watch a high-profile soccer match between France and Italy. I think that the word for soccer, calcio, is funnily enough the same word for "calcium." Go figure. While the ladies cooked pasta and vegetables, I kept the younger boy occupied in the kitchen by taking out every single animal from his big crate of animals and laying them out on the table... and the floor, and the counter... His favorite is the lion, but he's also pretty attached to eagles. Me, I prefer the tiny cows he has - che carini! How cute! All the while F was rooted to the computer (kind of like Master Ben Nadler, no?) looking at a font website he had seen me searching the night before. He loves letters, to write, to draw, more than sports or socializing. This morning, stamattina, his mother picked up his report card from school and tonight we will see how he did. His parents expect straight As, I think; he's extremely bright, albeit moody. I haven't yet taken a photo of him, but I will soon and maybe you will agree that he looks a little like a mini-blonde Adrian Brody, with his pronounced nose and sad eyes.
Okay, time for me to venture out into the city for a couple of hours before the big test this afternoon: I pick up the boys all by myself, and keep them entertained for four hours until we meet the parents for dinner out somewhere. Whew! Cross your fingers for me!