A profile like a Roman emperor

In Italy, life is quite hard for quite some time

It is a demanding society, but if you’re used to it, you can survive. Did you know that there is nothing like “living on benefits” in Italy? If you are out of a job, you’ll have to live off your savings. And if you don’t have those, try your family.

“No wonder, family life is so importante, he? People depende on eachothere. No family, no jobe, no income – no life!” when she turns her head, I see her roman profile. She looks like a roman emperor, but then feminine. I enjoy her stories very much. She always took her time, went into details and with that italian accent, it is so real.

No benefits in Italy

At first, I did not believe it. I was flabbergasted, but I have no reason to doubt her stories. When you work with volunteers, you hear all varieties of reality first hand. I did not have any idea, that life can be that tough in Italy. I thought it is a civilized european country, but it seems to have american conditions. Everybody for himself, not one institution that will take care of you.

Little shop, big problems

Clara used to have a little shop in Milan and sold perfumes, expensive lipsticks and aromatic creams – all that kind of stuff. She is not at all the type for it, I would never have guessed it. No nailpolish, no artificial nails, no complicated hairstyles – so that was surprising to hear as well.

It was not that easy to make your money with it after a while. When there are more and more people depending on their families because they lost their jobs, they don’t buy that many expensive creams or perfumes. They tend to choose for bread.

It made her quite nervous, so after a short while she packed up and went somewhere else to work for a nasty lady in another shop in another city. We were always talking during and after dinner, and I loved to listen to her stories.

Love in windy Margate

When she met Paul, it was love at first sight. It was an easy decision to move to England, but it was not so easy to stay and live there for a long time.

They lived in Margate the first years, the place where the famous Harold Turner painted. It’s always windy in Margate – very difficult for an italian woman who loves the heat. Sometimes, she had to put stones in her pockets to stay on the ground.

Santa Clara back to Saint Paul’s

She adored to hear that there is a monastery in Coimbra called Santa Clara, and that it is under water when it rains a lot in winter. “Just like me” she sneered, “when my little shop went under water.” and winked at Paul.

Pity you two went back to England. I enjoyed the stories and the beautifully mosaiced trees very much. Good news though: the other day they sent a message that they might come back in september. I am looking forward to that, you guys!