Waiting for Family to Find Us in Italy

No, no, they are not your family…


Photo from Life in Abruzzo

The homemade nature of the food at Anitchi Sapori was apparent. We were just going to enjoy our meal, the wine, and the Italian dubbed Simpsons playing on the TV overhead. Our waitress was stationed behind the welcome counter and mid-way through our delicious meal we decided to show her pictures taken twenty years ago in an effort to jog some other memory. Poor thing, she didn’t’ know anyone but she offered to go fetch the cook because of our disappointment and relentless nature. The cook came out and flipped through the pictures and at last he spoke out –just as we were hoping, that this one boy, Andrew, was his friend and that was Rosie, his mother!

The cook knew where Andrew’s mother lived, though Andrew was living out of town (they called him Andrea) and he would go see if she were home for us! Really? So, he left his station, we were the only ones in there anyway, and he went out of the front door. We never saw him again, but for the next half an hour or so the waitress would give us updates from her phone. And then, she told us: Rosie was at home and she and Paolo were coming to the restaurant! What? We didn’t know what to expect and were sitting on the edge of our seats when we noticed a woman in her 50’s come into the restaurant and address us with an Italian greeting!

Mom and I probably jumped up from our seats. Mom with her pictures and me with only my language of hello, ciao, mi piacere, nice to meet you. Mom instantly started flipping through her photos, pointing to people, looking for recognition in the woman’s face. Then the woman said ‘one minute’ while she went to grab her husband who was still at the door. About this time our waitress came to see what was going on and that’s when we noticed her confused expression and her head beginning to shake no. ‘No, these people are not your relatives –they just want to eat here!’

Oh! Well, boy we started laughing a laugh that would just not stop. All five of us, we were cracking up so hard, apologizing to the couple who were laughing too, and we just sat back down to keep waiting.

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