Tis Returns to Italy! Day 61: Trulli Living in the Moment
When I woke up in my Smurf house today, I decided to wipe the slate clean of frozen clam dinners and make a fresh start. My plan was to go out for my morning tea in a local caffè and then take the 12-minute train trip to the town of Locorotondo.
Locorotondo is another of the many beautiful white villages in Southern Italy. Its old town is filled with whitewashed homes in blue trim, lining little pedestrian streets one can get happily lost wandering. From the pictures I’ve seen, it’s absolutely beautiful. Heck, it might even have a fully functioning train station, currently lacking in my Smurf village.
The Best Laid Plans
I packed up what I would need for the day and headed out to find a caffè out of the touristy center. I much prefer the everyday buzz of the locals, instead of the annoying chatter of the guidebook reading crowd. I headed toward a caffè I saw last night that looked perfect. As my current run of luck would have it, the caffè was not yet open.
Karma, what have I done to enrage you???
Instead, I ended up at another place just down the street. It was lovely! I had my choice of many types of teas, which is very uncommon in a country where they mainline espresso morning, noon, and night. A rush had apparently just ended so I was fortunate to get the one table in the window. I sat there enjoying the warm sun coming through the window.
It became clear to me that a trip to Locorondo was not going to happen today.
This was going to be a slow travel day.
Things Are Heating Up!
After leaving the caffè, I passed a shop that had coats on sale. Just within my budget! Now was the time to seize the moment and grab some warmth in the unexpectedly frigid South of Italy. A lovely woman was helping a mother with her screaming toddler pick-out shoes. The little boy was having none of it, resisting the mother’s attempts to have him try on alternatives with temper tantrums. It’s good to see some things transcend cultures.
I stood patiently watching the mom struggle with her toddler, waiting for the moment when she had a “Come to Jesus” meeting with the kid. This never happened, extending the torture for all. Finally, the screaming toddler had shoes so the woman was free to assist me. When she came over, I explained I was in desperate need of a warm coat. She took her time, helping me try on different options, and giving me her unfiltered opinion.
Let’s just say she didn’t hold back when I unsuccessfully tried to get a smaller size over my arse. I told her thanks but I would just take the one where the sleeves hung well beyond my short arms. A girl needs her bum covered in this cold! Plus with the extra-long sleeves, I don’t have to shop for gloves. I HATE shopping so this is a big bonus!
My luck was changing. Take that, Karma! I am back!!!
A Stroll Through the Trullis
The sun was bright now, lighting up the whitewashed Trulli of Monte Rione, where the largest concentration of the cone-shaped homes is. I enjoyed a slow peaceful stroll, admiring this unique little corner of the world.
I stumbled upon a shop that had a sign out front, explaining the different symbols that are on some of the Trulli roofs. I was definitely going to buy my usual fridge magnet souvenir despite the fact that I might need a new refrigerator to display them on after this trip. I might as well buy my magnet from someone who shared something thoughtful instead of another rack of things to sell.
After carefully choosing the magnet that was to represent my memories of my Smurf Village stay, I headed to the counter to pay. I told the woman at the counter that I found the information on the signs very helpful and interesting. She thanked me and welcomed me up the backstairs to check out the view from the roof. That was truly amazing! Pun not intended but very convenient!
People Over Things
Afterward, I found a lovely pizza place with a friendly man welcoming everyone as he took them to a table. A couple arrived and there was only a table for six left. The young man working there did not want to let them sit. The jovial man quickly intervened, saying that was not acceptable. He welcomed them with a big smile and seated them at the large table.
Now that is how you run a business people will recommend and return to. Put people over making the most money.
After lunch, I had tea on the main square, enjoying my last moments before I had to head back to my Smurf home and get some work done for some of the most neurotic clients I have ever had. I cannot count the times I’ve had to resist saying “Easy! We are not curing cancer here!!”. Needless to say, it was a struggle to tear myself away from this surprisingly lovely and simple day.
Living in the Moment
Do I regret not seeing Locorotondo? Not at all. I had a perfect “slow travel day” full of lovely little random moments.
It made me think of the time when two friends from Sweden were visiting me in NYC. We were sitting in a nothing special caffè. Trying to be a good host and make sure they saw all they wanted to, I kept asking what was next on their list. Finally, they said it really did not matter. They were having a good time chatting in the café. Why would leave and go somewhere that might not be as much fun?
I never forgot that amazing life lesson in that lovely moment. Since then, I try my best to live in the moment. I will never be as good at it as they are but as the years go by I come closer all the time.
Today was a very successful “living in the moment” day.
Ciao for now!