Saturday, June 16, 2012

Full on summer

Paving Via Molinelli!

My weather whining has paid off and we are rewarded with summer sun and temperatures in the high 20's (mid 80's), a cloudless sky, and still seas all week.  The forecast, though remarkably unreliable, backs this up and I'm hoping for once it's right.  As we enter the weekend, the towns start to fill up with  Italians trickling in for weekends at the beach from the cities, and I start to again loop my head around speaking to several tables at the same time in several languages.  I've been doing a lot of flood explaining lately, as people come in lamenting about "poor Vernazza".  Poor Vernazza, indeed, but it's a good sign and a little frustrating at the same time that people don't even know that we were also on the brink of being destroyed.  It's a testament to the great amount of work that we've done, and the amazing job of rebuilding Monterosso undertook this winter that we are as beautiful, if not more, then before, but it does get frustrating when people don't understand that the last little flood fixing up that is going on is not poorly planned street work.  Via Molinelli is being paved this weekend, after being ripped up and gutted in the flood, and more then one group has commented on the "Italian" non-sensical behavior of paving a street in the prime tourist season, as though they could simply just wait.  As though the street was never filled with meters of mud and water.
I'm the first one to complain about Italian non-sensical behavior, but it's funny that the last signs of flood cleanup are being construed as poorly planned town maintenance - that the last little pieces of the puzzle would be seen as the biggest.

I've also realized that this world is full of disasters that destroy lives and towns and cities every day.  About once every few days, someone asks me about the flood and the recovery, then follows with a horrible story of their own - a group of women who saw their town destroyed in the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens.  New Zealanders from Christchurch who saw their lives crumble in the earthquake.  New Orleans natives who never made it back after Katrina, now living in Virgina.  A group of Thai girls who have their own horrific experiences with flood, one of whom lost her house.  It's sometimes surprising to me that our disaster didn't make the front page of every newspaper in the world, but then you take a step back and realize that though the flood was the only thing you have talked about, thought about and had nightmares about in the past few months, the rest of the world has their hands full too.

Now, more or less, it seems like NOT seeing what happened here in October is easier then seeing it.  The water is blue, scattered with canoes and surf boards, the beaches are colored with towels and umbrellas, and the restaurants, thankfully, are full of diners smiling and commenting on how wonderful Monterosso looks.  The familiar smell of asphalt wafts down Via Fegina, and visitors walking by wrinkle their nose.  And I smile, again remembering how thankful I am to have streets.  And people to come in and walk on them, noses wrinkled or not.

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