As I write this my background noise is a cacophony of coffee cups clinking and calls of ciao grazie! being shouted over the trill of the coffee grinder. Euro coins clink into the cash register and the milk frother screams. I’m across the river, hidden up in the corner of a multi-level coffee shop that is the perfect mix of American and Italian – good, big coffees, and functioning internet.
This morning I had an interview with a wine tour company. They need a blogger. Number 11, third floor, the email said. So I got up early and factored in time to walk across town so I wouldn’t have to bike and work up a sweat. It’s the time of year when the heat isn’t on but the scarves are, but only in the morning and in the shade, because if you hit afternoon sun you’ll melt in the flitting rays of the summer warmth. I dressed for the weather – boots, scarf, leather jacket. I was comfortable on my way in at 9:30 this morning and thought I’d won the outfit lottery, but the palazzo that held the office was my nemesis anyway. Number 11 – a big old palace adjacent to some of the most beautiful shop windows in the city. The entrance door is thrown wide open, the back courtyard full of parked cars. There aren’t any names on the doorbells, so I walk in and up the stairs, blindly hoping for a sign I’m going the right way.
The first set of stairs I could handle without losing my breath, but where the second floor should be, there’s a maze of hallways drifting off in different directions, I chose one and start unwrapping my scarf. The air is stale, no movement, and soon, I’m starting to get hot, unable to breathe. I find another set of stairs that l leads to another hallway with a glass door and another set of doorbells. The tour company name! I’m at least in the right building. I start to take of my jacket. Still ahead of the perspiration, taking time to catch my breath. I press the button and wait, no voices, a faint click of the door being automatically opened. I walk through and am met with a painting of old Roman ruins hanging dramatically over a wooden cabinet, on the right wall there a bookshelf with two bright yellow armchairs, but still no one. I walk down the hallway and see an office with life inside. I knock on the door and tell the woman who I’m looking for. “Not here!” she shakes her head. I apologize and walk back until I find another staircase. At the top of that landing, I hear voices and am finally met in the hallway by one of the women that works for the company, and I’m in a full sweat, dripping down my forehead. It literally lasts for about thirty seconds, and then magically my body adjusts, but dear lord those initial moments are terrible.
After I escaped into the corners of Ditta, where I began this blog, but since I left the coffee shop chatter and am wrapping up my day in the old convent of the Oblate. But as the sun is setting and a full day of work has been put in, I’m ready to head home – back to my wonderful husband who has decided that the days I work out of the house, he turns our house into a restaurant, and cooks at least two or three meals. Meal prep – but better – and I wish I had the same passion.
On the way home I’ll probably be cold now the sun is gone, but overall, I handled the temps pretty well today, layered enough, and didn’t feel utterly ridiculous except for the first two minutes of the interview as I desperately tried to look like I wasn’t melting.