Around 10:30am Federico (another Sardinian friend whom we met in Australia) came by and picked us up, driving us up to the top of Villacidro to pick up Paolo. Then we were on our way to the coast. The guys had planned to drive us along the coastal highway up until the point where we’d catch the ferry into Carloforte.
Around 4pm we boarded the ferry for the island off of an island. Carloforte was great to see, although I can’t imagine what life would be like if you lived there. It is an island, bigger than what I had the chance to witness but still small in theory, and it’s far from the world of Italy. There’s something comforting about a place like that.
People often call Florence “Disneyland” and this stereotype really becomes clear when you travel in Italy and find that there is an authentic feel to the rest of the country. I’m not saying that Florence isn’t authentic, it is made of age-old structures and some of the word’s most famous artworks from centuries ago are on display in its numerous piazzas and museums, but there’s something missing. It may be that I live my every day life in Florence, that I sit side by side with expats and American students, but there’s a certain amount of Italy that is just lost on Florence.
For example, in Sardinia, rather than speak to Lorenzo or speak to me instantly in English solely because it is so obvious that I’m not Italian, the Sardinians not only speak to me in Italian but they speak directly to me. Smiling and nodding still gets me by on this island. I found myself much more confident to make transactions and interact when I didn’t feel like I was going to be judged for my level of Italian.
In a tiny town like Villacidro for example, our receptionist, bless her, didn’t even know how to read my passport or stop to think that I might not understand her ramblings on in Italian.
On the car ride back from Carloforte, I succumbed to my Italian-numbed mind and let the boys talk all the shit they wanted about photoshop, Thailand and the movies they had recently watched and I just gazed at the stars. A tranquility came over me as we drove. I realized that I was calm because I was being transported back to a familiar feeling. When I was a kid and we’d drive home late at night, me with my head rested just where the window disappears into the door, I’d watch the stars float above or the guardrail speed past. This moment I did just that and let the background noise fade into just what it was.
That day I had told Lorenzo that sometimes I feel like when we travel we are passing whole days waiting for a certain time, usually a meal, that we’ve planned. I think this anxiety comes from a few different angles. I think that first of all I need to stop my procrastinating and start planning, at least a bit.
Lastly, I just want to simplify my life. Simple as that. I find myself longing for the days we sat on the beach in Australia or in our courtyard drinking beer and talking shit. I have spent the last year thinking too far in advance. I’m waiting for something to happen. Looking too far into what the next day, month or even hour will bring and letting the fluff of life pass me by.