17 January 2008
2008 came in with a bang. And then another. And still more.
The fireworks were more a storm than a smattering and they kept the New Year's sky over Milan bright. Color flew up from every direction: from homes, from parks, and from the streets.
We stood on our balcony, in the cold dark with our jackets balanced over our shoulders, watching sparks shoot into the sky and trail back into the night.
Milan has never felt as active as in those first minutes of 2008. There was the booming of the fireworks and the light above the city. There was the confusion of where it was all coming from, and the question of who could possibly be in charge of all this chaos.
But chaos wasn't solely for the skies. The television options were a right mess. There was the red Barney-esque Gabibbo counting down the seconds with his dancing showgirls and veline, and Frankenstein Junior (aka Young Frankenstein) in Italian. And before that, a little film called Empire Strikes Back to set the tone for the new year; use the "forza" Luke.
Our New Year's Eve meal consisted of an excellent plate of puntarelle with anchovy sauce prepared by Stefano, and slices of baguette topped with the amazing delicacies we'd picked up in Treviso the weekend before. We had squash crème and ricotta. Herbed anchovies with olive oil. Crème baccala. Mostarda. Ricotta and pesto. We sat on the floor and ate everything, accompanied by a bottle of wine.
2008 will be more than a small challenge for us, and soon our days of Gabibbo and dancing showgirls will be in our past rather than our present. But we're not there yet. There's still more ricotta to eat, and more Italian tv to melt our brains. And once that's all said and done... That's when we'll have to use the "forza" ourselves.