Thursday, February 28, 2008

No , I am not Frances Mayes, Angela Bassett or Diane Lane

It's so funny how 95% of the people who ask me about Italy say, "I bet you meet a man in like a month" or "Will you have time to write in between all your dating?" Folks need to get a grip! "Under the Tuscan Sun" and "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" are movies not real life. I love how in the first movie, Frances gets to stay in Italy no visa, money or language issues. Meanwhile I am trying to figure out all this contract stuff for an apartment rental. Regarding "Stella", you see how the non-fiction version of that story turned out.

The freaking dollar dropped to an all time low!!! The Fed is going to cut interest rates again next month, so the dollar is not rebounding any time soon. How can I even think about romance when I might be broke in two months? sigh.


homebody at heart said...


The only thing I can tell you is that it is what we don't do in life that we regret. Isn't that true for you, too?

Anonymous said...

Mind you don't count out romance happening. I had more of a dating life in Italy than I ever had in Canada.

Tina said...

I was never without a date in Italy. It just happened! It was impossible to avoid. So in between all the writing and bureaucracy, I bet you do meet some nice guys - and hey, free dinner! :-) ha ha ha

erin said...

*sigh* indeed. uck, don't even think about it...somehow the Italians give me hope, b/c I don't know how they do it, but most survive just fine with the low income here making even less than a "ok" job back in the states (even with the exchange rate).

bleeding espresso said...

I love this title. And that dollar is definitely stressing me out too since I still at least partially get paid from the States--it used to be a *good* thing to live in southern Italy on American money :(

Anyway, you're too talented to go without raking in the euros for too long :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

homebody - Yes that is true. I have to believe things will work out.

ms. violetta - okay, I will go with an open mind. :)

tina - ha. good point about the free dinner. I have to say even my platonic male Italian friends would not let me pay for anything.

erin - I will just have to rethink my budget. One thing I must do is put some money aside to travel a little bit. I am going to take a big hit at first paying for a security deposit, various shipping fees/customs, taxes, things I have to buy in Italy once I get there etc. However, after that my budget after paying rent should be pretty low as long as I don't eat out all the time.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

bleeding espresso - at some point the low dollars is going to hurt the American economy as well. So far the price of clothes and other non-luxury items made overseas have not gone up too much. However, economists predict if the dollar continues its slide these companies will have to raise prices.

Regarding earning euros, I really want to focus on my writing. Since I only write in English any income I make from my writing will be in dollars (unless I see the publishing rights for my novel in the UK.) :)

shelbyinitalia said...

love the blog and best of luck in your upcoming move! how long are you staying in italy? im already on my way back to the states in april :(

'A Tuscan view.....from Umbria' said...

Hey, I just came over via Bleeding Espresso, coz the title of your post is so funny! I have a real 'thing' about Frances, read all the books and I'm not complaining but I mean really who lives such a life? I was in Cortona last summer and overheard an English couple arguing about whether or not to visit her house, he said "Why not, it's the whole point of Cortona", yeah, never mind the Etruscans or Fra Angelico, who cares about the medieval architecture lets just check out Frances. Opps better stop, I know it's not her fault. Love your blog, am going to have snoop through your previous posts. Ciao

Anonymous said...

Funny post and so true! However, you are going to the land of love and dating is a very likely side effect and soooo much fun.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

oops in my response to bleeding espresso it should say "sell the publishing rights"

shelby - thanks for stopping by. I am going to check out your blog. Look forward to reading about your time in Italy. I plan to stay in Italy for as long as I can afford to. ha

a tuscan view - ciao! thanks for visiting. I know "Under a Tuscan Sun" is a cheesy movie but everytime it's on TV I must watch part of it. Plus Sandra Oh is too funny. I am going to snoop through your blog as well.

I can't believe some people go to Cortona just to see Frances' house. That is crazy.

confessions - I need to keep the expections low. haha. For all I know I could be the only American women of a certain age who goes to Italy and never dates. :)

Texas Espresso said...

NYC - I panic a bit myself when I think about moving to Italy because of the money. It is true, Italians seem to survive just fine on low wages. How do they do that? lol It will be fine - things seem to be falling into place just fine for you so I seriously doubt things won't work out =)

On Frances - I liked her Year living in the world and the Tuscan books though always reading them with a skeptical eye. I'm with you about the movie - I don't really like it, yet every time its on I watch parts.LOL

Claudia said...

Well, I'll say this much...italian men are certainly more bold than most american men I've met!! The whole exchange rate is worrisome...but I suppose at some point it had to happen. I just wish it would have been much you know, another 100 years or so.. :)

modelbehavior said...

Yeah, the dollar-euro combo is a killer right now. That's why I'm taking this time to explore South America. The men down there are super fun too.

PS You will be dating. If it helps think of it as saving money on meals

Los Angelista said...

I always thought things were a little too easy for Frances too. Just hop off a bus and decide to buy a villa. Um, okay, sure.

And Stella, LOL!

I worry about the dollar as well but something will work itself out. Maybe you can make a little money teaching English or something and then get paid in Euros.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

The dollar sucks, but life won't. Enjoy while you can! How's that for a stupid aphorism, but seriously, somehow I think you'll learn from some Italians and it will all work out.

glamah16 said...

Do what you love and the money will follow.That always irked me in the movies how a single character can just pick up and move to a foreign place without dealing with work permits, financial verifications, visas, etc.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

texas espresso - I know low wages in Italy are a major problem esp. after the introduction of the euro. Housing and other goods are going up but the wages stay the same. That said most of my Italian friends are in their 30s/40s so maybe they have already paid their dues and are doing well. Their wages might be low by L.A. standards but their quality of life is a lot better.

I forgot to mention how I love that Frances meets Marcello (Raul Bova) in the street in Rome and four hours later she is having hot sex with him. That never happens to me in L.A. is that an Italy thing. I kid!

claudia - the first time I went to Rome I thought I had landed on another planet. You know, the one where men actually talk to you. No one was sleazy or anything just flirty.

At some point the dollar will stop dropping. I just hope it happens before it is at 2 dollars to the euro, like it is with the pound.

model behavior - I had hoped to make to B.A. this year but with the move going to Argentina is out.

re: dating...ha. Well I do like to eat and I like men. It's all good.

los angelista - my sister and I went to see "Stella" and Jonathan had a two second cameo. We looked at each other and said "He's gay. Why is Terry with him?" Of course I had to watch the Oprah when both of them were on. Drama.

jen - One thing that will help is I need to stop converting things in my head. Once I transfer some money I cannot keep saying things like "this loaf of bread is 2 euros but I'm paying 3 dollars for it". I will drive myself crazy.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

glamah16 - I so hope that is true. One thing I do know is, I won't be bored. Now I just have to make it through this move in one piece.

Anonymous said...

" the first time I went to Rome I thought I had landed on another planet. You know, the one where men actually talk to you. No one was sleazy or anything just flirty."

wow, it's always eye-opening to realize how different perceptions totally change an experience. I found/find Italian men to be rather sleazy- in general whereas I find North American men much more down to earth.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

anon - you must not live in L.A. :) Men here who are not even all that will ignore your ass unless you look like a Barbie. I don't find men in L.A. down to earth at all. Most of them are from somewhere else so I don't know if they act like that when they go home.

Maybe my Italian male friends protected me from the sleazy guys. The guys I met (most who work in the same field as me, film) were outgoing, funny, smart and kind.

Me said...

Hey Ragazza,

Not for nothing, when i moved to Spain for a year, I swore up and down that I'd not even get involved with a Spanish man b/c I JUST knew it would end in heartache when I had to return to normal life...

Well needless to say me and my Spanish hubby are just about to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary. So, you never know.

And you know you can read the rest of my story in the book, Kinky Gazpacho.

I'm very excited for you and your journey.

Oh and FYI, all of my Black female friends who moved to Italy, came back with Italian men.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

me - Of course that is what happened! It seems whenever we say "I will NEVER..." it is what we end up doing. I am so excited to read your book (great title by the way) after reading about it in Essence.

I will be buying it when it comes out next week.

Tracie B. said...

you may be broke, but good food doesn't cost much in italy. and who isn't comforted by that :)

Kataroma said...

I moved here to be with a northern European guy, so was never on the Italian dating "market" but, that said, I've found Italian guys to be pretty sleazy. I get stared at and commented on a lot on the street - I kind of feel like a piece of meat sometimes - and to me it's just gross. But maybe some women like that stuff, I dunno.

In real life, though, I know lots of nice Italian men and woman. It's like anywhere - some are nice and some aren't. Some are attractive and some aren't. Don't believe all that "latin lover" stuff though. :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

tracie b - very good point.

kataroma - yes, I do remember reading about your experiences. Men and women stare more in Italy than they do here (where you don't even make eye contact) but the Caribbean is like that too. People are all up in your grill.

I get the occasional "ciao bella" or "bellissima" but in all the times I've been there no man has ever stepped out of line.

The place where I received the most comments walking down the street was when I was living in Washington DC years ago. If you didn't acknowlegde said "compliments" you would hear things like:

"Whatever bitch you are not all that"
"What, you can't speak?"
the sound one makes when they are calling a cat followed by - "I know you hear me"

wordtryst said...

Hello, just leave my Under the Tuscan Sun fantasy be, please. Life often imitates art, no? So don't rule out the fabulous romance. Stella was stretching it a bit, though. I wouldn't go with a guy half my age. My main interest in that movie was ogling Diggs.

I love Sandra Oh as well. Can't count the number of times I've watched her put that whipping on the Church guy in Sideways. One of my favourite scenes in one of my favourite movies.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

wordtyrst - haha okay I will. Yes Taye was looking fine in that movie.

I agree with you regarding Sandra Oh. I saw her in an indie Canadian film called Double Happiness years ago and I have been a fan every since.