by Mirna Pleines
Five days into the program, I had a moment. Actually, I had two moments. The first moment came when, after being let out of class 10 minutes early, I was elated to think that I would be able to make it to the Kebob restaurant and eat something besides pizza or pasta before they closed for pausa. Disastro!!!!
Pausa had swept Kebob land early. I had a moment of delirium. I wanted to cry but I composed myself enough so that my roommate wouldn’t think I was losing it. Although, I think I did momentarily lose it at flashing thought that I would have to ingest another piece of pizza or pasta noodle today. Disappointed, sad, frustrated and desperate, we walked away.
Pausa has been culturally inconvenient for me. While I understand the concept of pausa and if a time schedule wasn’t ingrained in every fiber of my being, I would probably embrace it. We, as American students, are working on Italian time with an American schedule and it is clashing.
When we break for lunch, which is during pausa, we have options, a communal pasta lunch at someone’s apartment, a dry sandwich at Jakes or a dry sandwich at Mimi’s. I just can’t anymore. The stale tasting bread at both cafés makes it difficult to swallow. It is necessary to take swig of water to soften the bite of sandwich in your mouth before forcing it down your throat.
After the disappointment and moment of delirium at the Kebob restaurant door, we proceeded to head to the piazza to consider our lunch options – of course, we already knew what those were. On our way to the piazza, we walked by Angelo’s, the only restaurant that serves steak that is not horse meat. It’s pausa and so naturally I assumed it was closed. It was then that we see our classmate heading to Angelo’s. “It’s closed for pausa, right?” I said. “We shall see,” he responds, as he tried the door. The door opened!
I think I momentarily heard the sound of angelic music coming from within. Well, actually it was more like the smell of something that was not pasta or pizza. Angelic music and non-carb food is practically the same thing to me at this point. My reaction? I was sort of laughing and sort of crying and sort of feeling like I wanted to run into the kitchen and hug the cook. I was a ball of emotions… and that was my second moment.
Pasta, Pizza and Pausa are not my friends!