While talking with eyes lost in the memories, she soaks “bucaneve” biscuits in her cup of tea which she prepares every morning just like her grandmother did for her as a child, she smiles and, with wide eyes, she recounts her adventure.
New York has always been my dream. I departed in 2013 to work as an au pair. I had the very first encounter with the difficulties during the training period that the agency had us do: my English was purely scholastic and far below the level of all the other people I met during those hectic days. Nobody could understand me and I didn’t know what to do but communicate with gestures. I felt so ignorant!
The family that hosted me was wonderful: father of Italian origins, Danish mother with two little angels under my wings, 2 year old Sofia and 9 year old Elisa. Both parents were very busy at work and I had to follow the little ones in their daily rites, from breakfast, to school, to afternoon activities and to bedtime.
I stayed with them for two years. The visa for au-pairs is not extendable, so in the last period I attended a beautician school that allowed me to get hired at the studio I work for today. The co-workers are very welcoming. The center’s clients are people belonging to a high and very particular social class: they are celebrities who regularly use our SPA which opened a division also in Los Angeles.
What I love most about this city are people free to live together, mixed without prejudice or racism and the dynamism and speed with which things change, a very clear contrast with Rosano.
In Rosano everything has a name: tortelli and pizzetta of Lucia, Massimo’s salami and Aldo’s cheese are a warranty. You know who produces them, you know the story, the supply chain, you get the feeling of “home”. I often ask to send me food packages with these products. when Mom comes visiting she brings a suitcase full of “Bucaneve”(a brand of famous Italian biscuits) (here, I only found them last year in a small store where they are sold at 6 dollars a pack), cheese, salami, small pizzas and tortelli. I need to feed on my land and feel a bit at home.
I miss the window of the house from which I can see the Stone (Pietra di Bismantova), the green of the meadows; here I only see a brick building when I open the windows. I miss living at the slow pace of our areas where nothing or little changes. I miss my grandmother, taking care of the hens, I miss the duck that runs through the courtyard and then ends up on our table. I miss mom, even if we talk every day and she follow all of my adventures. But I don’t think I’ll be back to live here. When I return my first need is to find the flavors and fill my sight with the people I love the most. Once this need is satisfied, I feel the immobility asphyxiating me. A contrasting feeling: on one hand I miss my land and in New York I look for it and on the other I am scared and I flee it.