I have been back on the US now for ten days, and even though I cannot say that I was fluent in Italian while traveling in Italy, I did know enough to be able to communicate with the Italian people, and even carry on conversations in Italian during an hour-long taxi ride. I have friends there and plan to continue communicating in Italian on email, Facebook and Skype, so I do not lose what I have learned.
I am finding that at times I am thinking in Italian and talking to myself in Italian. I even am thinking of Italian words when playing Scrabble. I guess I did have the benefits of being immersed in the Italian culture and language for three months.
Last night I attempted to make veal milanese, and while I was able to get the veal thin enough, somehow it just was not as good as good as what I had eaten in San Remo. Somehow I sadly know that it never will be either, although I will continue trying.
At least every other day someone asks me if I think I would like to live in Italy, and although the idea may sound tempting, I absolutely know that life is much harder in Italy, and as an American, I am too spoiled with the conveniences of life in the US. Having spent three months there though has definitely given me more of an appreciation for those conveniences, and I am reminded of it every day.
I believe you will find we raise veal calves much differently than they do in foreign countries. In the USA they are required to have room to stand up and turn around in their crates. Likewise geese are not nailed to boards to prevent them moving around and failing to fatten their livers maximally.
I will stick with soy burgers but I confess that nothing smells like nor tastes like beef. Nor for that matter can match the nutrition of beef. We vegetarians are constantly chasing after minerals, B12 and so on that is so easily found in red meat. That and taste, lol.
In re the continuing emersion of langugae, perhaps you can pick a couple of days a month or one a week and simply do your best to think Italian. It would be a shame to lose your skills. Perhaps writing it to Italian friends would also help? Audio files to friends? Not sure. When I lived in Miami we all spoke some version of Spanglish. It is much different than the Spanish of Mexicans but they are far kinder to you in your efforts to be understood than the older Cubans were. I take it the Italians were helpful and not snobby over the efforts you made. I like Italians very much and did not read anything in your blog that would change my mind. Well, maybe the old men trying to hit on you!! LOL
Welcome back!! I enjoyed reading your blogs and was so glad to hear that you had a wonderful and exciting experience pretty much the entire time! 🙂 Can’t wait to see you in person and hear all about it.
I remember working with a girl from Cuba who often talked about thinking in Spanish to the point where she started talking to a client in Spanish and had no idea why he was looking at her so strangely.
I think part of the reason your veal milanese wasn’t as good is that when someone else prepares food it seems better and you were at home, not Italia. Don’t give up on that.