Fanjoy lives and works in a Cree community in Canada's far
north where she is presently on sabbatical from her job as
a teacher and school counsellor.
I fell in love with
Italy the moment our train passed out of the tunnel through
the Alps: out of the picturesque, tidy, regimented, clock-work
Switzerland into the unkempt, sun-filled, joyous landscape
Suddenly the postcard
panoramas were gone and people were everywhere-young boys
throwing kisses toward our train; old ladies in black giggling
like girls as a man on a bicycle, a plank laden with bread
balanced on his head, rode singing past and winked at them;
couples strolling arm-in-arm about the dilapidated villages
we rumbled through.
was sensual. Even the colour of the sunlight radiated
a golden warmth I had never seen before in my travels
under pale, transparent northern skies. I was entranced.
Soon my empty
compartment filled up: an elderly couple, two nuns,
a young soldier, a mother nursing a baby, and a man
with one leg and crutches -strangers to one another,
it seemed, yet they all began chatting immediately.
Even before the train lurched to a start, baskets of
food came out. Fruit, cheese and hunks of salami were
mom tried guessing...
was the object of much good-natured curiosity-a
young woman travelling alone, speaking no Italian. The
nursing mother began guessing where I was from: "Germania?
Australia?" I shook my head. The nuns tried, "Sei Americana?
Inglese? Svedese?" It became a game. More wrong nationalities
were called out. Then the soldier spoke. "Canada", he
said with conviction. "Sei Canadese!" I nodded and the
whole group was greatly pleased, congratulating him
and pressing more food upon me.
The soldier, having
divined my origin, claimed triumphant ownership of me,
gesturing to the old woman beside me who promptly changed
seats with him. First, to everyone's great amusement,
he decided to teach me Italian, pointing at various
objects and making me repeat their names. Who knows
what he really made me say, but I still have, in the
back of an old address book, the drawings he did with
arrows leading to labels I can now read.
He also flirted
with me outrageously, eyes gleaming with mischief. I
couldn't understand his words, but his intent was perfectly
clear. He was not in the slightest intimidated by the
holy sisters sitting knee-to-knee with us who, in fact,
seemed to find our charade rather jolly, and laughed
heartily when I slapped his teasing hands down.
the train arrived at his station, he stood up and made
an eloquent speech to me, of which I understood nothing,
but our audience applauded and he blew kisses to us
all from the platform as we pulled away.
Other came and
left the compartment as the train moved south. Some
spoke a little English or French. Everyone brought food
and drink. The entire trip was a rolling picnic - a
moveable feast - among friends.
like an old lover now...
was just passing through Italy on my way to catch
a boat to Greece, but I knew I would be back. The humour,
warmth and generosity of the people, the crumbling beauty
of the small ancient towns we passed, and the glorious
light left an indelible impression on me.
It took ten years
for me to return, but once I did, I could not stay away
and I was never disappointed. Italy is like an old lover
now. I know its wrinkles and bad habits, but oh, the
happy memories we share. The joyful expectation of seeing
it again never diminishes.
She loves Italy...
love every part of Italy, unlike Italians, who like their
part and hate all the rest.
They say things like, "You're going to....Rome?"
(Fran Lebowitz,Travel & Leisure, 1994)
with a dream should come to Italy.
No matter how dead and buried the dream is thought to be,
in Italy it will rise and walk again.
(Elizabeth Spencer, The Light in the Piazza, 1960)
She loves travel...
nomad I will remain for life, in love with distant and
(Isabelle Eberhardt, The Passionate Nomad, 1988)
me travel is a triple delight: anticipation, performance,
(Ilka Chase, The Carthaginian Rose, 1961)
She loves love...
is a fruit in season at all times.
(Mother Theresa, A Gift for God, 1975)
real love you want the other person's good.
In romantic love you want the other person.
(Margaret Anderson, The Fiery Fountains, 1953)
Source: The New Beacon Book of Quotations by Women, Rosalie