Ok so I get it updating is really hard when you are studying, going to class and trying to keep up with the daily happenings so it is no surprise that the Christmas post is coming to you in March.
So as I stated I went back to Cosenza for the Christmas holidays with my friend Moira. She lives in a village just outside of Cosenza called Bisignano which is the second largest village of Cosenza. I stayed with her and her family for three weeks during our holiday. I wasn’t home from Vienna for a full 24 hours when I repacked my suitcase and headed to Calabria which ended up being 22 hours of public transportation. Trains and Buses are now the easiest thing in the world to navigate. We too two trains and two buses to finally end up once again in Calabria. Traveling with us was another friend of ours Lucia who is also from Bisignano. We arrived to sunshine and 58 degrees instead of the in the upper 30s and cold cold wins of Trieste. I was so excited to be back to the place where I first fell in love with this culture and language.
Being that we were so far from Cosenza, it was hard to organize to see my other friends I had made 4 years ago and try as I might it unfortunately did not work out, BUT I met some amazing new people and had the time of my life.
We spent our mornings studying for our up coming exams, and our afternoons lounging around at Moira’s home, or at Moira’s boyfriends home just across the otherside of the village. His family was so welcoming and so kind to me. They treated me as if I was one of them with only knowing me for such a short period of time. We passed Christmas eve (La Vigilia) at Moira’s home where we had various fish dished, then we attended the mass and saw the live manger scene set up a short ways from the church. That night we exchanged gifts as well before attending the mass. Christmas day we hung out around home and had an abnormally large lunch. Then headed off to relax once again at Moira’s boyfriend’s house with his family. In that period we attended the Onomastico of Moira’s boyfriend’s father and they had family and friends attend. We drank, sang, ate roasted chicken,ate cuddrudrieddri (fried doe Calabrian style) and celebrated. This whole eating with the families and hanging out with everyone continued right up into the new year celebrations.
I swear I gained like 10 pounds in those three weeks just from all of the food. I know this because a. my new years dress I bought when we had just gotten back to Cosenza fit me when I tried it on at that point b. two weeks later after our feast of fried shrimp, calamari and pasta, it was a little bit snug when I went to put it on that night for New Years eve. Lets just say when a southern italian mother asks if you want more and you say no thank you, they think you aren’t actually full just embarassed to ask for more so they fill your plate anyways. You ask for one more of something they give you two. And lets be honest who says no to good old fashion southern italian cooking. The answer is no one, because it is seriously just that amazing.
For New Years eve, we had dinner at Moira’s home with her family then got dressed and ready to head out to her boyfriend’s house to celebrate with his. At around 11:30 we were at his home saying hello to everyone and waiting for midnight. Also they will always continue to feed you even if they know you just had a giant feast elsewhere. At midnight we cheered and various homes in the village started setting off fireworks! We hugged and kissed each other, toasted with champagne and ate handfull after handfull of lentils to port good luck in the New Year. At about 1am I, Moira and her boyfriend left to head to a club with their other friends to dance our way into 2014. We had an amazing time. Pretty much all of Cosenza was there and I even briefly saw old classmates of mine. We danced the night away (literally) well into the early hours of the morning. We ended up staying at Moira’s boyfriends house and woke up around 3pm that afternoon to a heavy lunch and then light dinner before heading home to Moira’s around 9pm. Around midnight my parents called me wishing me a happy 22nd birthday. January 2 2014 (italian time) I finally turned 22 years old. Moira had planned a small Tombolata/ birthday celebration at her home that evening which turned out to be pretty fun. I lost every round of Tombola but still had a good time. Moira made my cake of Tiramisu and I got caked in the face after I blew out my candles. It was so kind of her to do that for me and nice to celebrate with new friends.
Three days later we were on that long agonizing 22 hour, two bus, two train journey back to Trieste where our exam period began. From January 8th to February 13 I would be holed up in my room, taking small breaks for eating and semi sleeping, studying for those two months. Nothing really happened of interest. Birthdays of friends came and went and I passed all four of my exams with two 30s (A), one 28 (A-) and a 25 (B-). Overall pretty satisfied with my work considering this was the first time with the whole oral exam process that is oh so different from our own.
Well now that exams are over and classes have started up again I can finally relax a little and catch up on all the sleep I lost during January and February.
happy belated christmas and new year and will be updating very soon