Tag Archives: Men

Ti disturbo?

23 Nov

This is one of those things that I wasn’t sure if I should write about, purely for the fact that my mother reads this blog…or is at least my most avid reader (perhaps my only reader)…and to whom this will be the most disturbing. Nevertheless, I believe it is worthwhile to not only recount on the events that were exciting and interesting…but also those that are a little more disturbing. This, I am afraid, is definitely the latter.

I was up at 6:30am for my usual walk down the hill and along the quiet road that runs parallel to Via Bolgherese. Everything was fine and totally normal during my walk up until about 7:30am when I was on my way back towards the house and heard a car through the music of my iPod coming up behind me so I moved over to the right to let it pass. Turns out it was one of those ‘Api’ utes, I think they call them, the tiny one-seater utes with only three wheels that old men seem to use to carry stuff from A to B and not much else as they don’t have too much potential.
Anyway I immediately recognised the driver as the nice old man I’d met two weeks ago out the front of a private Olive Oil factory. That time he had been out the front with his car and as I was passing by he stopped to ask me if I knew the German people who lived up the hill as they’d closed the gate on him or something. After a bit of conversation I obviously slipped up and he realised I wasn’t Italian but we had a quick chat nevertheless and then I continued on my merry way. After then, a few times a week he would pass by on his truck and we would give a wave and I always thought, ‘Such a nice old man’ … can you tell where this is going already?
Back to the present, and the old Italian man in his car drove by slowly and I waved, smiled, and he opened his window and paused his car and apologised for disturbing my walk.
Figurati. (No problem), I’d said.
So we had a casual chat, why I’m walking (the Italians don’t fully understand the concept of purposeful exercise), what I do for work, how my Italian is going, do I like it here, sei fidanzata? (am I single)…?
Si, non ho un ragazzo. (Yes, I don’t have a boyfriend).
Ma ti garba i uomini in Italia? (But do you like Italian men?) (OK so I thought we were kidding around here, it seemed like he was).
Si, non sono male, sono simpatici. (They’re not so bad, they’re nice), I had said.
Ti do un passagio su? (Do you want a lift up the hill?)
Ah no grazie, devo fare la mia passeggiata. (No thanks, I have to do my walk).
Sto lavorando nel oliveto, sai dove? Si passa….ti aspetto li? (I am working in the olive grove past such and such, I will wait for you?) followed by a rude gesture with his lingua.
Ah…no…., I said, stepping away further from the vehicle.
Ma dai, si deve divertirsi nella vita! Sei veramente bella! (But you need to enjoy life! You are really beautiful!)
No grazie, sto bene, buona giornata! (No thanks, I’m OK, good day!) and I slammed the car door and he drove off.
That’s the end of the story thank god…but suffice to say I will be taking a completely different route from now on. My boss Giorgio and the girls have said they will be my bodyguards from now on anyway! Or perhaps I’ll just carry a golf club around with me to knock these vecchi on the head the next time they try something!

Chitty chitty bang bang!

8 Nov

6:15am BOOM!…….BOOM BOOM BOOM!!!

6:30am Krystina wakes up and heads outside to begin her walk
6:32am and on the road…
6:33am BOOM BOOM BOOM!!!
The hunters are out and a firin’!
So I’m in Bolgheri, living at Podere Grattamacco with the Meletti-Cavallari family in their villa and it’s a little weird at times, because this is cacciatore (hunter) season, and especially when the gunfire going off sounds like they’re only 50metres away from where you are and you begin to wonder if they just shoot anything that moves or if they actually wait to see if it’s a wild boar…or me…. :-S
There was a death a few years back they tell me when two men were out hunting individually, one went to the toilet and was there…crouching…doing his thing….when the other heard a noise or a struggling animal low to the ground and shot off a whack of bullets before realising he’d just shot a man who was having a bit of trouble letting one go….disgusting…and disturbing.
I think when I hear the successive shots it’s hunters who are going for birds as they’re more difficult to aim at I imagine instead of the wild boars…the season must be finishing soon though, or at least I hope so. They tend to wake you up pretty early and here in the mountains there are heaps of prime hunting spots so it can’t really be avoided. The only thing that stops them I suppose is the rain…which I can hear outside my window right now…hey I might get a good nights sleep!

I uomini!

2 Sep

So I have been at work a few times now and nutted the place out. It is located in Donoratico – a nice 15minute bike ride from our place (I’m referring to a pushbike Nonna, not a motorbike)! We have lent some bikes to ride to work but I have to have mine repaired after a dodgy pedal continually wants to fall off and onto the road when I ride it. The winery itself is nothing like the winery I worked at last year that was obviously completely ostentatious in order to live up to its name and appeal to the tourists. Giorgio makes his wines here but there are also about three other wineries who come in and process their fruit and do their own thing too at the same time. Giorgio also makes wine on the side for a couple of very small businesses apart from that. The winery at least is very clean, and efficient and easy to work with. There is the main cellarhand Roberto who is lovely and non-chauvinistic to work with. Thank goodness. I have already come across some rich man and his ‘I’ve never worked a day in my life’ son who used to own Simenthall (crappy meat in a tin Company) and now venture in wine I suppose who saw that there were three women working in the winery (Francesca, Greta and myself) and said to Giorgio, “Why have so many women? Your wine will not be as good this year because of it.” To which Giorgio replied that he had no problem with us bimbe’s as he calls us. I’m extremely glad that Giorgio has turned out to be quite the modern guy, he loves to cook and as I mentioned, is not in any way chauvinistic. I think I’m lucky he’s like that. There aren’t too many guys in Italy that are like this, I can tell you that.

Bonding with the boys

25 Sep

Today I was la regina di riempire le barrique (the queen of filling barrels). I did not spill anything which winemaking Andrea Rivetti informed me was a first for a person who is here for only vintage. After work someone pulled out some bottles.

The barrique hall at Castagnole delle Lanze

Myself and the boys drank: 2001 La Spinetta Pin Monferatto Rosso – I thought the 2001 had some real Bordeaux-like characters, which understandable once I was told some Cabernet Sauvignon was added in that year to the Nebbiolo and Barbera blend.

We continued drinking and then my mamma Emiliana arrived with some gorgonzola so we migrated to the degustation room and ate until 7:30pm when I realised my dinner was probably ready upstairs so I left the lads and ran to eat some trout. Afterwards, I decided it would be more beneficial to my Italian and to my reputation with my alcohol-loving boss Andrea if I went back downstairs after dinner to drink some more vino with them…so I did.

We had Franciacorta’s and Valentino’s and whilst the men sang, shouted and teased, I took it all it. I did get the chance to ask Andrea if he was happy with how I am working so far to which he said yes, definitely, which was a relief to hear. We were a little inebriated so I think he would have said something positive whatever I asked!

Drank: Cuvee Valentino sparkling from Piemonte, Riserva Spumante. Dangerous on an empty stomach!

I stumbled back to bed at 11pm and fell into dreams with my head spinning like it never has before!