I met my Italian Dragon a whole year before we became friends. Our first encounter was brief, and when I ran into him the second time, a whole year later, I found out that he was fluent in Italian. He is also fluent in French, English, as well as Turkish, and probably Spanish. As I took an Italian class before with too large of a group to learn anything, I asked the Italian Dragon if he would teach me on a private basis. He declined saying that he is retired and that he doesn’t have the time, and as he walked away from me, I remembered his name and I said it out loud from across the room. He returned my way like a boomerang, with a surprise and a smile, and he immediately offered to be my teacher. That was the moment we became friends. Although I haven’t taken Italian lessons from him for two years, we have stayed in touch. I passionately regret that I haven’t kept up with my lessons, but as I mentioned before, I have many faults. Although I stopped lessons because of my work schedule at the time, I feel bad (often, I might add) for not keeping up and fulfilling my Bucket List wish of learning to speak Italian, although there is still hope. Yes, there is always hope.
When I met with the Italian Dragon today, 13 days before my departure to Italy, he expressed what I feared with the recent news of Pope Benedict’s resignation. There is a possibility that I would not get to see the Sistine Chapel because of the upcoming Vatican conclave. WTF!!!??? WHOA. This possibility made my heart sink. The Sistine Chapel was the very first treasure I wanted to see on my very first day in Rome. But since it’s been 600 years since a pope has resigned (again, WTF!?) they will probably need more time to vote, sort things out, etc. I can’t think about this anymore. The possibility of flying all the way to Rome, Italy, and not seeing Michelangelo’s masterpiece (albeit he has more than one) makes me feel so utterly devastated.
After spending 3 1/2 hours planning my trip to Italy with the help of the Italian Dragon, when we were leaving I happened to mention to him that I would be in Rome in 13 days. He then said that although the number 13 is a sign of bad luck in the U.S., it’s a sign of GOOD luck in Italy! As I also found out that Holy Week begins on March 24th, my birthday, I can only think of the good…if the Sistine Chapel should be closed, I guess I will have to return to Rome to see it. How bad could this be? I will have faith that whatever happens, I will be more than fine with living La Dolce Vita…twice!
and hope for the best…