November 4, 2017
After traveling to Italy for over ten years I finally feel proficient at operating basic daily life tasks. It seems silly, but I feel proud now as I effortlessly release the the rope-like fasten of the window security shutters in a movement I imagine not so dissimilar to that you'd make while descending rock-climbing. It's embarrassing how many times I've almost broken them.
Perhaps I'm even more satisfied that I can finally understand how to use the house key, something that looks like an elongated cross, or some type of ancient relic used in Game of Thrones to open a door inside Winterfell. How many times I've stood outside the house door almost sweating while the key turned infinitely to the left - for some reason this has always been eerily discomforting. And now, for the first time, I see it -- the dividing ridge of one side of key that marks head from tail; and now after endless terrifying turns of a key that can find no entry point, I have finally learned by heart (or terror) to turn this ancient thing to the right.
There are many ways that entering into Italy one, like me, from a more modern city, feels like they have been transported through a time capsule to the past -- and shockingly (because I am always shocked experiencing ineptitude) cannot function with ease, let alone grace.