What I am looking forward to…

2 Jul

As I begin to write this from the airport in Zurich (where I got scolded by not just one but TWO immigration officials who lamented the fact that I had not insisted that the Italian immigration officials stamp my passport upon entry – as if this should be MY responsibility), I reflect not only on the beginning of my European adventure in love and family, but also on what I am looking forward to as I return to Canada.

Of course, family and friends are at the top of that list.  And saying goodbye to Alessandro for the next 4-6 weeks is the hardest.  Over the last 4 years, no matter how many times we’ve parted, it never gets any easier.  But it’s also a privilege, allowing us always to remember to be grateful for the moments that we do share together.

So here’s what I am looking forward to the most Toronto after my weeks in bella Roma:

1)    The freedom of taking my bicycle to get from place A to B.

Cycling in Rome seems to be reserved as a pastime where riders remain within a defined, safe area (like pedestrian zones in Centro!); unless you are in training for the Tour de France, and you ride fearlessly along the twisting country roads.  I’ve not seen anyone ride as a commuter – and between the crazy drivers, the complete lack of shoulder (let along bike lanes), and the heat, I can understand why!

2)    Lingering over my coffee in casual and atmospheric cafes

Sure, I have no complaint about the coffee itself in Italy – in fact that will be one of the things on my list of things I miss from Italy!  But I do miss the comfortable informality of Toronto cafes – finding an armchair with a friend and a BIG mug of something hot, rather than hovering at the bar with a thimble for my caffeine fix.

3) The occasional cool-ish summer day

I used to despise the unpredictability of a summer in Toronto but after the onset of the non-stop intensity of Rome’s heat, I long for the temperature to let up, just a smidge.

4)    Options other than pizza, pasta and panino when you go out to eat.

OK, there are more options in Rome than that, but you have to seek them out.  I love and miss Toronto’s little ethnic villages and eclectic eateries!

Unfortunately I’ll not have long to enjoy as I am getting on a plane for Beijing on Tuesday for my new job!  But I’ll be back in a week…

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