Back in Monterosso, we've gotten right back into the swing of things and working as hard (and quickly) as we can to get the bed and breakfast as well as the Cantina ready by April. It's really anxiety inducing and staggering to think that in only a few short months, we need to be set for another season, and it's not that I doubt we can do it, it's just any other year the off-season is spent relaxing and gearing up for another year. For us, after the Cantina ironically closed Sunday, October 23, we spent that Monday, the 24th, taking the expensive bottles down, putting them on the floor, and cleaning every inch of the restaurant, not knowing that the next day our lives would change. We wouldn't have to discuss work schedules for the staff the next year - we'd be discussing if there would be a next year.
Now that we've gotten our act together and everyone has had a chance to reflect on their losses and celebrate a different feeling of holiday gratitude and thankfulness, Monterosso is as ready as we are to continue climbing out of the mud. For example, today we had to go to the bank, meeting his parents there. The "bank" as I knew it, was destroyed in the flood. You might remember the pictures of it, completely covered, and as Manu and I started walking, we stopped after a few steps.
"Um...where did they put the bank?"
A phone call later and we found the adorable little blue structure next to the train station. A bank robbery could easily consist of simply hitching the trailer to your car and tearing off, with the whole bank in tow. In an effort to intimidate, metal bars protect the windows, though I saw a host of other problems at hand. However, it serves it's purpose well, and now we don't have to go to Levanto to sort this mess out. Our laughter continued as we imagined bank teepees, tents and igloos, and we stood in the bright sun outside, next to a squealing train grinding to a stop on the tracks behind us. As I turned to look, I remembered another think. Next to the bank-hut, right before the train tunnel is the building the town volunteer workers named in Sandro Usai's honor.
It caused my chuckling at the bank-hut to stop, as I was again reminded at what this flood had cost Monterosso. Much more then we can recover from a bank, walls or no walls.