My cousin U.S. hadn’t had the time to go to school, and there was no way he could even be made to hold a travel blog in his hand. And, as we all know, you can’t get blood from a stone. Once, someone explained to him that one day he would need a piece of paper and that he should U.S. consider getting a high school diploma, as many were doing. No one would deny him a piece of paper. U.S. , a teacher who was married to one of U.S. cousins, took on the huge responsibility of trying to convince him to take the exams for a high school diploma. He was extremely patient in explaining principles of geography and history. Italian was U.S. a lost cause from the start, though he did assign some exercises to him.
Where is U.S.? – U.S. Map – Map of U.S. Photo Gallery
On a hot summer day, the teacher asked Gio to write how he had spent the ferragosto holiday. You must write down everything, but everything that happened to you. My cousin Gio took it in stride and wrote for a long time. He filled many pages, describing almost in real time what had happened to him. His dialect became a kind anthology of jokes and stories of the village. He made a list of all the quarrels he had seen in his father’s cantina, then of those in the neighbourhood, and gave an account of the festivities on the vigil, with all the drinks, the lording over the stew, and the all-nighters in the
barracks while the women were praying and singing in church.
He lingered in particular, with a wealth of amusing details, on Don Lando Lupino who, in a fit of drunkenness, started slapping his lover Mela only to receive a thorough beating himself. He gave an account of a sultry summer evening when some daredevil street kids emptied, through a window that had been left open because of the heat, bags of cold water on two lovers who were in the throes of make-up sex after a quarrel.
He wrote about the interminable auction to win the right to carry the statue of the Madonna, of the procession through the olive groves, about the litanies performed by the faithful and by the band, and the singing and playing. Then he wrote of his return journey on foot from the church of Mater Domini to the village. He spoke of the never-ending sultry heat, in spite of the evening breeze, the coolness he felt near the abate bridge, and named all the people who were travelling in either direction by car. He had a joke for everyone, and he remembered everyone’s stories, not forgetting to mention those who had greeted him, those who had pretended not to see him, and those who had, in reality, not seen him. He wrote more than ten pages, in an invented dialect that the teacher found befuddling.
At the end of his assignment Gio addressed the teacher saying that once he arrived at the cona (icon) of San Nicola, he felt tired: “Still hot it was, Oh mother of mine it still hot was, my master teacher. I stuck my head over the bridge to catch a bit of coolness. Nah! The crickets were singing and I laughed with happiness. Then a toad and a frog began their cri, cri, cri, cri. Look at that, I said! I found a rock on the ground, picked it up and threw it in the water. The water broke into circles making the sound of waves that got larger and larger until they stopped. Look at the fucking toad, I thought. Couldn’t he find another fucking place. This will bring me bad luck.