This is not a love story, I want to you realize that. Love stories are full of fluff and sparkles, and while my wardrobe is not lacking in sparkles, this story deserves more than that. It deserves a kind of quiet reflection at the end of every day, a moment in which to think about all the tiny pieces of the universe that came together at precisely the right time to unite two people from opposite sides of the world. Often we forget to be grateful for love, once we find it, we culture a sense of entitlement towards it. Having to love at a distance has made me more cognizant of this and while I do not claim to be all the wiser, I can tell you this: be thankful to hold hands and rub noses. There have been many moments in our story where this was not possible, when sometimes the most we could do was smile at each other on a computer screen and that would have to be enough.
Becoming Italian is no easy task. It encompasses many an ideal that stretches from how one dresses to matters of manners and composure. The most important of tasks to master is of course, cooking. It is helpful that I have always been a master in the fine art of eating, therefore cooking is just the prelude to my art and something I was more than happy to embrace. The Italians look to cooking not as a task to be accomplished, but as an act of love. It is love in a tangible, tastable sense. In North America, so many of us have either lost or never had this relationship with food- it is the elusive ingredient that every tourist who ever visits Italy cannot quite put their finger on. Fantastic views also add to the touristic dining experience; whether they be the Tuscan countryside or that handsome cameriere’s backside, Italians seem to have quite the knack for surrounding themselves with natural beauty. More on this topic later on, I would like to introduce the pasta I made yesterday. Yes, it deserves it’s own introduction thank you very much. The beauties you see before you are called casoncelli alla bergamasca (casonsei in bergamasco, the dialect of my fiance’s family) and they are a typical dish of the region where I will be living. This is a hearty dish for a Northern Italy autumn lunch as the pasta is served with butter, sage, and pancetta. It is my belief that Italian woman stay in shape because you expend as many calories kneading and rolling the pasta through the machine as you gain when you eat it. There is a saying in Italian that goes: ‘chi mangia bene, vive bene’, or those who eat well, live well. If that is the case, I am living well indeed.
Once upon a time, I met a charming Italian boy in a bar in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I immediately fell in love with his wits (and white pants). Through the years, we endured the challenges of an overseas relationship as well as the greater challenge of living in the same city. There were moments the Atlantic seemed endless and between the two of us, we have probably flown over it more than a dozen times. I even have a Heathrow airport ritual consisting of dry shampooing my hair with Batiste dry shampoo (there was a time it was only available at Boots drug store), then picking up the latest Tatler and sitting at the gate with a Caffè Nero cappuccino. The first part of the ritual is very key as you do not want to arrive in Milan looking like you just swam the Atlantic to get there. I digress, apologies. Returning to the backstory, we have certainly had our comedic moments, mainly when I could not speak Italian and Massimiliano (that would be the aforementioned charming Italian boy) was still perfecting English. But love knows no language barrier nor borders of countries. I ended up studying Italian after my first trip to Italy and when I graduated from university, four years later, I was taking classes taught in Italian. So here we are, almost six years since that fateful summer night and I have fallen not just for a boy, but a dream. That dream is to move to Italy and it is coming true as you read this. My hope is to bring all my loved ones on this adventure with me through this blog and I want you to know that my story is your story. This is your one-way ticket to come with me.
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Jasmine is a former pharmacist turned writer and wine drinker from Alberta, Canada living "the sweet life" in Bergamo, Italy.
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