Paint’s Peeling

Hello again Dear Reader,

Since last we met somethings have changed, and others are still the same. I’m still living in Rome with my sister, her fiancé Massimo, and their children- the twins Leo and Bea. I’m still slowly making my way through a book on Real Analysis (I’m no longer unaware of what a Cauchy sequence is (I might blame math for making me think it’s okay to write statements in double negatives) ). I’m also no longer jobless!

Through a friend of Janel’s I’ve started preparing for an internship with OrientDB here in Rome. This is way-super-exciting to me because I’ve been out of school for only a few months and have dropped into a foreign country and already I’ve got people outside of academia (in the Real World) interested in my skills as a coder! I’m not trying to brag or anything, but I am really excited to work with the creators of OrientDB. Right now I’m halfway through an online course at that introduces graph-databases and how to use OrientDB’s software.

Also in the way of new news, I’ve taken my first solo-two-night-excision into a place unknown! I went to Bologna a few days ago, and it was fantastic. I met some nice people and biked around the town almost the entire time. Biking around in Bologna is unlike biking anywhere in the US. The streets are narrower, the buildings are older, and the drives are nuttier. I just feel blessed that I got to take such a trip.

I think the funniest part of the trip came after I biked up to Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca. I left the sanctuary famished by the bike ride. I stopped at the first Pizzaria-Kabab I found because I knew these generally have cheap and filling food. The three guys working there were all from Pakistan and all obviously interested in me, by the way they asked me a ton of questions (Where are you from, how long are you here, do you like this city, why this city, … ). I better say now too, that they had a genuinely friendly way about asking me things.

I feel delusional for having thought this, but in the back of my head was… “what if these three guys are terrorists AND they want to know so much about me to see if I’m right for abducting!”  There – I said it. And it sounds so silly and improbable to me now.

In defense of this possibility though, I reflected all of their questions and friendliness back at them. Surely if these guys are in it with the terrorists, then I might be able to charm them into continuing their friendliness feigned until it would become sincere! Now this sounds just as silly to me too. If they really were terrorists then they would have had a deep-rooted hatred for the western world. Why would they open a restaurant in a European college town and make such friendly, idle conversation with an American if this was so? It doesn’t matter whether my delusional (likely conditioned) fear of mine was true or not though because what happened here was hilarious!

I learned that the oldest of them had moved to the city eight years ago and opened shop to sell kebabs and pizza. The youngest of the three guys didn’t talk much. When I asked what food on their menu didn’t have meat, (“Che comida senza carne”) I was told that I was handsome. I still don’t know if this was a genuine flirting advance or if it was the older man’s way of voicing his supposition: A man who doesn’t want to eat meat must be gay. It didn’t matter to me though. I just accepted the complement and kept putting together my order, trying to do it in Italian as best I could.

I soon learned that all three guys spoke English. One was giving me Italian lessons by naming all the ingredients in the food that I ordered. He even invited me to the kitchen to see where they were prepared the food. The paranoid/delusional part of me screamed not to go into the kitchen but by now I had dismissed the notion that these men were dangerous as comical. They were so nice!

I’m sure you’ll take what you will from that story, but if I can let myself get a little preachy on my own blog I’ll say that the first thought that you have about a person (especially a fearful thought) is generally unfounded. I think it’s important to not let your thought be who you are. You can have a thought about a person or place or other thing but it’s okay to simply acknowledge it and then leave it there. If I clung to every first thought I have had I’m not sure where I would be, but I know I wouldn’t be where I am.

753 words before this paragraph. I should cut my shpeele here and drop some pictures now. Thanks for reading! See ya next whenever I write on here again ;D


2 thoughts on “Paint’s Peeling

  1. Carol Coleman

    Matt, so glad you are enjoying Italy. Thank you for sharing your journey. Good luck on your job endeavors. Love you!


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