Rainy days

Today brought a glorious cooling and with it a pace that was far different than the pace of enthusiastic exploring. A thunderstorm that came in from the south kept us indoors all morning.  An extra coffee, a full load of laundry, another session of German lessons and lovely, uninterrupted conversation. 

A rainy view. Held captive by the blustery grey, thrilled for the chance to don pants again!
The view from the laundry room. A place that will forever come rushing back to Helena’s memory when she inhales musty, damp, earthy-ness. “I love this smell” she said to me this morning. “You do?” It’s all about perspective…for me the laundry room represents duties, chores, never ending filth. For her it is the earthy smell of secret passageways, adventure and quiet moments alone with mom.

The day’s outing had been planned as a quick trip to Italy to take in the Saturday market and stock up on deliciousness found much cheaper in Euros. Once we thought the worst of the storm was over we set out to catch our coach. 

The glamorous way we travel. A very punctual, Swiss bus. The first choice when the weather makes the stroll into town less appealing. 2 busses, a train and a short walk and we’re in Italy!
Pretty tile work on the stroll into Italy. Across a bridge, around a corner and Voila…
Nice to see you again Italy. I think we’ll get along just fine.

The market was everything a good market should be. Bustling (albeit a bit soggy) shoppers, quirky vendors, cheap and gawdy wares, leather shoes to drool over and samples of the most amazing fruit, cheese and cured meats. We wandered the aisles for ages comparing prices and showing serious contemplation for each sample we tasted. We came away with a feast, proscuitto cut melt-in-your-mouth thin, fresh bread, Parmigiano-Reggiano, melon, anchovies and of course wine. Narrowly escaped the purchase of a pair of new shoes I so did not need!

Oh the cheese…so much choice.
Can’t help missing my book-club ladies. They’d be in heaven here. Only 1 bad goat-cheese mishap. Perhaps I can host soon…
Savoury delights.
Check out the size of these loaves!
The sweets. Oh heavens. How to choose!? We went with almond and pastachio …
The produce was gorgeous but still a bit pricey.

Not everyone thought the trip to the market was amazing. The kids first impression of Italy is a bit poor…

WHAT is that smell Mom!? That, my dears, is the smell of deliciousness.
“Can we please get out of here?”

But at least this trip we didn’t need to deal with the lack of toilet seats…a whole other toilet adventure instead.

“Mommy, there’s something wrong with this toilet.” Welcome to your fist third-world-style toilet. She took it on like a champ, even uttered a proud “bull’s eye!” with success.

And back to Lugano in time for the sun to come out. The trouble with a day like this is that the lack of walking makes the feasting feel entirely glutinous. Here’s hoping tomorrow offers more opportunity to keep the balance just right. 

We did want to offer a helpful interpretation to anyone finding themselves on a train and unsure about the rules. The Swiss, after all, are known for their order and civility. These symbols really are proof that they’ve thought of everything. If you see these symbols, this is what they mean:

Starting at the top left and moving clockwise, despite the lack of the slash through the circle we have concluded (through direct personal experience) that these signs are indeed an indication of what NOT to do. No feet on the chair, pretty obvious. Do not comb the hair of the person in front of you. We have yet to experience this but commend the Swiss for being proactive about this possible problem. No mega-phones on the train. You will be seated uncomfortably close to your fellow train riders so they will have no trouble hearing you. You can leave your mega-phone at home. You are not permitted to ask questions. “Are we there yet?” ” How much longer?” and “Can I have a snack?” are all examples of forbidden questions. And clearly, no smoking. Seems necessary to be said as smoking is fair game pretty much everywhere else.

We’re hoping tomorrow brings the sun back out. We need to get back to walking as adjusting the quantity and quality of what we’re eating is definitely not an option. 

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