(I wrote this post on Wednesday 1st July but have only just got round to publishing it)
It's been one of those mornings, you know, one where you can't get up to begin with and then the first person you see rolls out the old 'why don't you go to the beach' routine.
This morning I'd reserved for going to enquire about how I pay the right amount of tax for the refuse collection, the TARI or F24. As a must do errand which would lead to paying money, it got pushed further down the to-do list until finally I had no choice but to sort it. Thus, I wasn't exactly springing out of bed this morning! I even skipped my yoga routine, preferring to kneel for 5 minutes as some sort of mental preparation.
Anyway, I managed to tear myself away from my Bible reading to begin looking for ways to procrastinate around my house. With this successfully achieved, by packing my first BoxOK box ready to move, just to see if I could pack a box..., I set off for the 'Ufficio Tributi'.
I'd purposefully chosen to wear my work shorts just in case I had to go straight to work after completing my errand. I've learnt that one never knows how long the queue is when attempting to accomplish anything administration based in this town. As a result my untanned, and never to be tanned, legs were gleaming away.
"Are you going to the beach?" My neighbour says this every time I pass him in the garden...without fail. Any time of day or night.
"No." I smile back.
"You need to go to the beach."
"No, I don't" I grin.
"You need to go to the beach, put some beer on yourself."
...yes...beer people. Apparently the solution to my legs inability to tan has got nothing to do with the fact that my skin cells do not contain much melanin but that I need to put beer on them. Honestly, where do these ideas come from?
As I cycle off I dwell on my 'tan', trying to work out how I'm going to get through yet another July of daily comments about my need to 'get tanned'. The suggestions can get quite absurd but the beer one is a new theory for this year. Once a friend and I even tried to explain to another friend how these 'your too white and not tanned' comments are in fact racism, but to no avail - so that's a no go. Smiling and doing my best to let the comments slide from my memory is probably the only solution.
Once I'd stopped contemplating all the witty and sarcastic rebounds I could give to the next "go to the beach" scenario, I realised I was still cycling so should probably focus on that. Thankfully I found the right road and was walking down the pavement when I passed a Romany gypsy begging. I smile and say 'Good morning'. What happens next I could never have predicted...under his breath, but still in ear shot, the beggar replies: "Signora, devi andare al mare" which is translated to "Lady, you need to go to the beach".