Okay so 8 days is a little long to go without writing. BUT I have good reason. This past week was my last week to spend with Giulia and rather than stay late at work so I could use the computer I chose to go back to the house early so Giulia and I could watch movies and drink wine together. She had to leave me this morning, and I can say that today is the first time since I came to Italy that I am actually sad. I want to cry just thinking that when I go back to the house my friend won't be there. Just me. I can imagine what you're thinking, "But Rachel, you said that having another intern made it harder for you to learn, shouldn't you be happy that now you can go back to how things were before she came?" And my answer to this thought is: Yes, I did say that. And yes, it was hard at first to get used to everyone addressing Giulia in Italian rather than taking time to try to explain things to me. BUT the truth of the matter is, I was jealous. It was easy for her and hard for me, and therefore I was jealous. And once I admitted that to myself, and to her, we became really good friends. We were together all day except for when we slept. We'd always be assigned the same tasks and when we'd have to stick labels on 500 some odd bottles of wine we'd say, "Ma daiii, siamo sfortunata!" laugh about it and then take our time so we could talk about... everything(always with our best friend, the dictionary, close by)! I tried to convince her to stay, and she wanted to, but she has to go back to school. She's in her 5th (or was it 6th) year of their version of high school and in this last year the students are allowed to spend the first month of school on a Stage in a winery instead of going to classes. I hope that she'll come to visit and my other friends in teh winery have already planned a visit to see her closer to to end of November.
So I think the best way to catch up is to seperate into sections and summarize rather than go in chornological order.
WORK: Last week I wrote about our fiasco in the warehouse, unfortunatly (perché siamo sfortunata) the fiasco continued on into this week. After we remade all of our boxes (with glue, not tape) we were given another order that was going to the US (Minnesota). The laws in the US about the information that must written on a label for a wine bottle are different than the laws in Italy. This is why I'm always sticking labels on bottles, and right now I'd like for the person who made the laws to come and stick the labels on bottles and see how they like it. Anyway, this was a partically large order so we started on Friday afternoon to put the labels exactly where we were shown to put the labels. Fastforward to Monday morning when we returned to the Magazine (warehouse) and continued to stick labels to bottles. Giulia had just said, "Rachel, we only have six more boxes to go and we're finished!" when Daniela walked in. The labels were wrong....all the labels we had already put on all the bottles were wrong. Also, the place we were told to put the labels was wrong. SO, we first had to take off all the labels, THEN clean all teh bottles, THEN when the new labels arrived the next day we had to put all the new labels on the bottles in a different spot. We we SO HAPPY when that order went onto the truck yesterday morning. My whole week at work was spent in the Magazine. Luckily for Giulia and I, Alessandro let us borrow his portable speakers so we could at least listen to music.
FREE TIME: Giulia and I went to the house everynight this week at 6 (we would practically run out of the Magazine like we were being freed from our prison of labels). We borrowed movies from one of our friends in the winery and each night we watched a different flim. We we put the audio in Italian and I'd put English subtitles so I could understand what was going on. Luckily the only film I hadn't seen before was also the only one that didn't have an Italian audio option. I had to chance to try to explain some interesting things. You don't think about where a saying comes from until you try to explain what it means to be "cracked out" (the film we were watching was Blow, and is about drug trafficing)to someone who hasn't heard the saying before. Giulia and I would share wine with our movies. We bought some bottles of red wine (because Fattori only does whites) because it has been really cold here and when it's cold outside there's nothing better than movies, red wine, and blankets!
WEEKEND: Last weekend was my last full weekend with Giula. Friday night we had a movie night because after the fiasco with the boxes we didn't feel like asking if we could use the car... Saturday night we made it all about Giulia. We went down into the town of Roncá (down the hill from the house and directly to the right) and attended the anniversary party of the enoteca there. I had expected it to be small considering the rather small size of Roncá, but it was packed! We drank a sparkling durello (which is a new type of product for this region). Durello is a frizzante wine like a prosecco which this region is famous for, but the durello is a bit fruiter and still not sweet like moscato. Quite lovely. Last Sunday was a day of rest and recovery for all, laundry (and for a random thought, I seem to have the WORST luck with the washer and drier here, and I've lost three pairs of socks and have no idea how I could've managed to do so...)and being lazy. Fastforward to this weekend- Last night was my last night out with Giulia. :( We came home from work and she had to pack up her room. When she started to do so she found her video camera and we made a video of us just being silly. I also gave her a going away present of a bracelet that she looked at every time we went shopping (which was a lot because at least twice a week we'd need to go for food or to get money out of the bank). At 9 Daniela came to pick us up so that we could all go eat dinner together. We went to Daniela's favorite pizziera and it was delicious. I have learned that if I ask them to put polvere di peperonchini on my pizza it comes out amazingly spicy and delicious. We enjoyed about two hours worth of eating and talking and then we walked down the street to the Sangra di San Giovanni. Which is the town's yearly festival. It's compareable to our county fairs with the rides and games and booths, but add in an awesome dj and an outdoor dance floor overflowing with beautiful Italians. I also got to try chestnuts for the first time, and yes, they were roasted on an open fire! It was a great time, and getting up at 8 this morning to come to the cantina with Giulia to meet her father was almost impossible after going to bed around 3. Giulia also gave me a gift this morning, she gifted me wine from her family's winery, prosecco and tocai...I'm excited to try them out. She also gifted wine for us to drink when we all have lunch together on work days. I've her the cabernet franc from her winery (and the fruili region as a whole)is the best you can find. This is her father's winery if you want to check out some pictures... www.bidolivini.com . Today at 3 Daniela will come to pick me up and for the afternoon I have no idea what she has planned. Tonight I believe we're going back to her town's festival. Tomorrow will probably be another day of rest and laundry...seems that no matter what country I'm in Sunday is alway laundry day. :)
RANDOM: I tried a tiramisu here for the first time. I always see it on the menu and think that I'd liek to try it, but I wanted one that was really made in the restaurant and not in a factory. I think i chose wisely. It wasn't what I expected it to look like. It was in a dish rather than on a plate. But the marscapone part was just rich enough and creamy like silk. The lady fingers were soaked to where you could see they were lady fingers but when you ate them they melted into the creamy custard. Mmmm...it was delicious. Before that I also had a pizza (imagine that!) that was Ratatoullie...I was surprised when I ordered it that one of my Italian friends had no idea what ratatoullie was...isn't it an Italian dish?
The harvest is almost over...or at least to a slowing point. A lot of our farmers have finished bringing in grapes and no longer do we have lines of tractors waiting to dump their grapes. Some of the farmers even brought cookies or cakes on their last days for the workers in the Cantina, as a way to say thank you or maybe just HORRAY WE'RE DONE! I'm not really sure, but it must be a tradition beacuse for the past week we've had a different kind of biscotti or torta on our desk at the weighing station, sometimes made by the farmers wife and sometimes bought from the grocery store. And speaking of torta, yesterday Giulia bought a torta from the store for everyone to share at lunch time. It was a two layers of cake with a hazelnut cream in between and on top....absolutely to die for. It was rich and creamy and the cake wasn't dry, and it was just nutty tasting enough without being too much...yuuuuuuummmmm. I ate two pieces and afterwards wished I hadn't because I was so full, but it was so good I couldn't NOT eat another. :)
I've started making plans for my travels after I leave the winery. I've been in contact with my friend from Rome. As of right now I'll leave Antonio's house on October 22nd and meet my friend in Cinque Terre. From there we'll head to Rome and I'll be there until Nov 2nd when we will travel together to Hungary to visit my other friend. I will stay in Hungary until around Nov 15th where I've through a kink in my travel plans and will not be going to France but rather coming back to this area of teh Veneto to see my friends here. Add in there somewhere, at un determined times, a trip to Florence, Pompeii, and possibly a trip to learn to make olive oil from my friend Colleen who lives in the Tuscany area...aaaaahhh so much to do and so little time.