Thursday, July 9, 2009

Arrivederci Italia!

I've been very slack in blogging lately. Well that's if you call moving apartments, organising things to be sent back to Australia, signing a million customs and tax forms and buying a car over the internet! Not to mention the little bambino doctors appointments.
And if I'm being honest, I've tried to sit down and write but I honestly don't know what to write for what will be my last blog written in Italy as we leave this Saturday morning. So here are a few of my random musings and thoughts as we countdown our move back to Australia:

i) Everyone keeps asking me, no actually make that everyone keeps TELLING me, that I will miss Italy and how sad I must be to be going back to Australia. I have to be honest and say that we are SO excited to be going back home. I know that living in Italy is a lot of people's dreams and we were blessed enough to experience living it. But it wasn't MY dream and really was a job assignment for my husband that brought us here. What I'm trying to say is that while we are SO grateful for this opportunity and seeing what we have seen, lived what he have lived through and ATE WHAT WE ATE (!), living overseas has made us appreciate our own country even more. Big family homes being the norm, backyards, organised streets, little bureacracy and the cleanliness of my country. Italy will ALWAYS be dear in our hearts, after all we are even bringing back a living Italian souvenir, but it was never a permanent stay for us and we are so happy to be going home sweet home.

ii) I have been so touched by the people I've met in the last two years of living abroad. Random people in coffee shops, people that I've met from online blogs, people I met at Italian school and especially the couple of dear friends that I have become so close to. Having friends overseas is a hard situation. You know you are leaving, they know you are leaving. Sometimes it's hard for both you and them to make an effort to be friends as it really is just a temporary friendship. If I'm being honest, some of my friends here that I had coffee with will maybe write and email occassionally or I'll facebook them. But realistically they were just a friend for a season. That is awful to write and probably sounds awful to read. In saying that, I have made one dear friend in Florence that I know will be a friend for life. We met in January but I feel like I've known her all my life and I know we will be friends for years to come. I'm grateful for all my friendships here in Florence. I love meeting people from all walks of life and even if we met once and didn't become 'best friends' I still valued this time meeting new people and finding out what brought them to Florence or where they were heading to next.

iii) Italy has taught me a lot of things. Don't necessarily stop at a stop sign. Never order a cappucino after mid morning. Do not expect an Italian to eat by 8pm. But on a serious note, Italians really have it right when I look at how much they enjoy life. They don't pride themselves on having a big house (with a big mortgage) and flash cars. They pride themselves on living life. Enjoying food with their families on a Sunday. They love children. They don't put their jobs before everything else.

We leave Florence on Saturday morning to head back home. It is both with happiness and sadness that I leave the place that has been home to us for nearly 18 months. Even though we have both loved and disliked different things about living here, the most important thing is that we have learnt so much from this experience. For that we will always be grateful. One day we will return to this beautiful city with our son (yes we found out it's a boy!) and show him this amazing chapter in our lives. We'll walk past the apartment where we lived, the pizzeria that treated us like family when we went there each week, our favourite landmarks and favourite gelateria. Years down the track, Italy will all be a distant memory so I am so grateful for having kept this blog to look back on all our experiences. And I'm so grateful to my readers for some of the wonderful friends I've made this year have been online friends that I've never actually met in person.

I'm still planning to keep this blog up when we move back to our small town of Karratha. Although I'm yet to see what I will write about being that nothing much ever happens there and it certainly doesn't hold the same allure as Florence. We'll see if I continue to have readers I guess!
I'll be on holidays for about a month while we holiday in Perth so I won't be blogging. But I'll see you all very soon. Except I won't be strutting the latest fashion in stiletto's just to get some milk at the shop Italian style. I'll be back to flip-flops and 4wd's and fishing in the country. Hope you can join me.


erin :: the olive notes said...

Hey Monika! I can't belive it's only a couple days away until you leave. I know you're so excited...I'm actually really looking forward to anything you end up writing in AU as it will be a new place for me to learn more about. (And hopefully we'll make it over there one day and can catch up again).
Also, congrats on finding out it's a boy!! How exciting.

baci and safe travels

The Fat Girl said...

Hey Monika! Hope you have a safe and happy flight home. Can't wait to read more about you life in Aussie and you little boy!

Gil said...

I only hope for the best for you and your family in the future! I've learned interesting things from your writings in this blog and just enjoyed the pictures you posted of your whirlwind trip through Europe!

Again, the best of luck to you and your family!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi Monika...I cannot believe it has come around so quickly :-(

You were given a fantastic opportunity to live in Italy, you were blessed and now its time to go back home. To settle with your baby when he amazing this will be another new chapter in your life :-)
And such a great idea that when he is older you will return to Italy!!

I noticed that I am the only blog you are following, well I know you follow more, but my name is the only one of your profile :-)

I do hope that you continue blogging, when back home, great to see more of Australia life.

Take Care and safe journey. Anne

Anonymous said...

Monika, I have so much enjoyed reading about your time in Europe. Your stories and photos were lovely. And I can't wait to hear about the rest of your pregnancy (congrats on your baby boy) and your life back in Australia.

Safe Journeys!

xdiesp said...

Very kind to kiss everyone goodbye telling them that Italy doesn't have the cleaniness of Australia! Wow australians, you got the nicest people!

Sue said...

Dear Monika,
First of all, congratulations on your soon to be son!

You are well into your journey by now, and I would guess you are enjoying your holidays in Perth. I look forward to seeing and hearing lots when you get the chance to blog again.

I hope all is well, and I look forward to keeping in touch, no matter which continent you live on!

Take care of yourself, and enjoy life back in flip-flops!

A Little Gnocchi said...

Have a wonderful trip back. I think you're very right about the Italians and the general approach to what is important here. I think I need to copy that and post it somewhere where at work when I get back. All the best.

Anonymous said...

Czesc Monika,
I have spent the whole day reading all your notes... I'm leaving for Florence pretty soon, just only for 2 weeks but it's better than nothing :-) Hope to move there some time in the future.
Take care and regards from Poland :-)

Anonymous said...

glad to hear you two are really enjoying yourselves as you make another huge transition in your lives!

and can i just say, you look fabulous woman!!! that baby boy has got a hot mama :-)