by Art Por Diaz
While spending time in Cagli, I made a great friend named Paolo. He invited Kelli, Rachelle, and me to Furlo to hear his band play. We were told, “You are the first Americans to come to Furlo to see a band play. Thank you.” Upon our arrival Paolo announced, “Please let us all welcome our American friends who are here to spend time with us.” One by one, every person came and introduced themselves to us. A mixture of English, Italian, and Spanish interchanged like carbon and oxygen in the capillaries of our lungs. We laughed when we couldn’t grasp what the other said and sang the night away while building friendships.
As soon as everyone heard I am from California, Hotel California was played and I was asked to join the band to sing; even the songs I didn’t know I was asked to sing. At some point that night someone said, “Fresh Prince,” which I immediately thought they meant the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I was right; except it was in Italian. While most of the people sang the theme song in Italian, I sang it in English.
The night ended with us all staring at the stars and Paolo inviting me to meet his father at his shop where he makes world famous smoking pipes later that week.
I could not have culturally immersed myself any better while dealing with the issue of not speaking Italian. I hope to see Paolo again, this time speaking in Italian.