yes, on all the many macelleria doors here, there are signs that declare this town “the city of meat”. i’ve been here now for nearly a week (though the bulk of that was spent in a fog of jet-lag and general disorientation), and, as you might have guessed, i’ve discovered many interesting tidbits about bra.specifically, things you can find in bra: swiffer, philadelphia cream cheese, and outkast (“lend me some sugar, i AM your neighbor!”). all at the supermarket, naturally. and hamsters! there are hammies here. and excellent cheese. (neither of these are at the supermarket.) the cars also seem unusually large here; the number of SUVs that nearly run me over every day is disconcerting.
things you cannot find in bra: thai food (but there is a chinese “rotisserie,” and i actually discovered some fish sauce at the spice store), good bread, and, well, i guess you can find just about everything else here. that’s globalization for you, i suppose.
i had a mostly amusing/slightly scary run-in with the next door neighbor last night. you have to light the stove everytime you want to use it, and after some minor difficulties, i managed to run out of the matches a friend had donated to me, so i was compelled (by my desire to finally cook a meal at home and thus feel more at home) to borrow some. however, little old man next door invites me in and is immediately intrigued by my foreign face. he tried to ask me some questions about where i’m from, what i was doing here, but my minimal comprehension thwarted these efforts. and every time i tried to explain that i didn’t understand, he would laugh and grab my cheek and pinch it. sometimes he got so worked up, he would grab both cheeks at the same time, “che carina!” (apparently incomprehension is cute.) he started telling me how he’d lived in the town for 27 years and now he was in this house all by himself. when he started opening the doors to his closets, i made for the exit and managed to make it back to my dinner unscathed. that shit ain’t a joke.