Saturday, January 26, 2013

I didnt recongnize you until you smiled...

This was the strange comment I received at the Microsoft store in Atlanta, Ga
I have the one year training program and I am SURE they do not expect clients to come every week.

Well they were in for a surprise when I signed on.....

I am on first name basis with most of the staff but a few are really tired of working with me....

Too bad.......

But this week while waiting for a training session,   I was surprised when one of the staff who I had spoken with about Italy (another Italian American I have met)   said " I didn't recognize you until you smiled".     It occurred to me that now that I have reached the age of 'invisibility' I don't make the effort to stand out.   

And how  strange because almost 24/7 I am happier than I have every been.  Happier than when I made enough money to 'buy things' to make me happy.   Life is very strange.

But becoming invisible was one of the big surprises.     Unless you are strange, forceful or wear something outlandish   a 'mature' person can travel through the mall, the grocery store or even on a busy street and NEVER BE NOTICED......

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Solo Traveler at the weekend market

Focusing on Home to Italy I often neglect to share how I solo travel in Italy 30 days or more every year when possible.

photo is from the website listed below

And every year I learn more about the places I as a solo traveler can spend the day or a few hours and blend into the crowd. 

Weekend markets are a GREAT place to meet or just watch the residents of a town or city.  There is so much to be learned from the items they sell at antique, food or even our equivalent to a garage sale.     Along with a trip to the super mercato I often have some understanding of day to day life or at least a list of questions to try to answer before I leave.

Lesley who has co owns Villa Magnolia  Puglia,  mentioned that she visits a market EVERY week and shared a wonderful web site with me that lists ALL the markets throughout Italy!    I am in heaven.  
Before my next trip Home to Italy, I will print out a list of all the markets in the towns I plan to visit.

Leslie also tells me how to negotiate in Italy:

"Each and every Sunday an Antique Market is held somewhere in Puglia .  We go to the Ostuni Market, the Martina Franca Market and  the Market near Lecce held on the last Sunday of each month.  It is great fun to go to these markets...we have purchased many items for Villa Magnolia eg; rugs, lamps, mirrors, vases, tapestries, furniture &  more.
Obviously when you are interested in an Item never let the seller know, just offer half the asking price and watch his reaction, walk away then return later with an offer slightly higher, in Italy the art of bartering is fun and the perfect place to do this is at markets. All furniture and accessories inside Villa Magnolia are authentic Italian, most of which date back to 1800's."

Inside and outside Villa Magnolia I can see in her on line photos some of the treasures she has found in those markets.