Arriviamo. Il primo settimane. (Arrived, our first week)
Casalanguida is quite small. The population is listed at 1000, but there are probably not that many perm residents. We are the only Americans, and have not yet met any other foreigners. There are a few brits in a couple nearly villages about 5 min away we are told. We have been welcomed warmly. The ‘New Americani’ everyone has heard about. Being a small village in a fairly rural area, nobody speaks any English really. Truly the deep end of the pool and I am learning rapidly. People are quite happy to gently correct me and help me with new phrases. We already have ‘A guy’, someone who we can go to for stuff. He is a local builder. Already our first project is to install a pellet stove which will save us a ton for heating during the winter. So far, quite a brutal winter. Christmas Eve and the weather is in the 50’s F. Beautiful sunny day. Kind of like an early October day back in Wisconsin.
Tonite at midnight the bambini Jesu will be placed in the manger, and I assume a mass will be after. It will be another chance to integrate into the village life. There is a small pub called Pub Tunnel, the owner is Maurolo, I have renamed the pub Moes. Pop by for a coffee during the day, and then a drink in the evening. Two Euro a pint for a generic German pils.
Most days a truck stops by the piazza for a few hours. Wednesday is the fruit and veggie buy. Tonio. He has a whole produce section in his truck. Everyone stops by to pick up a few things and chat. If you want to make Minestrone, just tell Tonio that is what you want to make, and for how many, and the ingredients are selected for you. Along with running commentary on exactly how to make the best Minestrone.
Jessie the cat finally arrived last night. A bit spooked, but none the worse for the trip. He is settling in well. Still a bit clingy, but is selecting his favorite spots to hang out already.
We have pretty easy access to two larger nearby towns. I say pretty easy because of the roads. We are in the hills, so a straight road is more or less non existent. Atessa takes about 20 min, and Gissi about the same. Both have decent sized grocery stores, and plenty of specialty shops. Down in Vasto, a fairly large coastal town, there is the Conad superstore, which is a big as a typical American grocery store. The fresh fish section is quite large. The cheese and processed meats deli is large and busy with several people behind the counter slicing and packaging at all times. Pasta has its own entire isle of course. Most of the small stores are closed between 1 and 2:30 every day, but then often open until around 7PM.
Ok, next task. Time to sit down and fill out the Permisso de Siggorno