I just got back from pranzo at the circolo (I know, I’m spending my whole life over there!). Beatrice’s English has really improven since we started singing “Miss Sue From Alabama” together (remember that hand clap rhyme?). She also knows one chorus of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”, which is absolutely hilarious to listen to.
To give you an idea of a low-key pranzo, here’s what we had for lunch today (always served separately in courses):
Bresaolo with Parmesan and olio
“Lasagne” which was more like what we would call fettucine with red sauce
Really thin breaded & fried chicken tenders with lemon
Asparagus with parmesan and olio
And apples (that Carmela, Bea, and I picked up at the farm yesterday) for dessert
Most people drank wine or vino-con-acqua with lunch, but a couple of the kids (who came down from the school upstairs) had Coca-Cola (good luck finding Pepsi anywhere around here!).
Don Matteo, Sinio’s priest, ate with us today (well, I got the impression that he eats there a lot, it was me that was the newcomer). Don Matteo is a little hard of hearing, so communicating with him is un po dificile. I tried to explain to him that I only know the responses to Mass in English, and attempted to ask him if there was a book that had the responses in it that I could borrow. I don’t think he quite understood me because he started reciting the Our Father in Latin…
Luckily, Giuseppe came home shortly afterwards and translated for me. They got out a book and tried to figure out which prayers I’d need to have for mass. This is where it got really interesting, because obviously some of the people at the table hadn’t been to mass in a long time and couldn’t quite remember how the prayers went. But, of course, they didn’t want to look bad in front of Don Matteo so they made it up as they went along.
Well, when the one person who had been to church argued that what the others were saying was wrong…mama mia! I don’t know how to describe this except to paint the picture for you: Half of the table was reciting the Padre Nostro to me (extra-slowly and extra-loudly in the hopes I would be able to understand what they were saying), while the rest of them were arguing about which prayers they use in everyday mass and screaming at each other across the table. During this whole exchange, Don Matteo was mumbling something (mostly to himself, because no one ever really listens to him). At the same time, Bea was trying to teach me a new card game, but I wasn’t paying a whit of attention to her, because I was trying to to listen to Don Matteo and show some respect for the priest — something that no one else seemed to be doing.
It was absolutely ludicrous, and yet, we were all communicating with each other– at the same time.
Most meals at the circolo have that same feeling of being just a-little-bit-out-of-control. But that’s part of what makes them so fun!
P.S. Bea is short for Beatrice and is pronounced Bay-ah, and not Bee. Likewise, it’s Bay-ah-tree-chay and not Bee-a- triss (like my former car).