That would be me, Mrs. Moglie. Married to a native Italian, Mr. Marito.
Mother to a daughter in high school, Ms. SmartyPants and a son in middle school, Mr. Uometto.
Employed at a private British School as an English teacher and Coordinator of Children's Studies.
Part of a small, but growing Protestant church in Frascati, a small town in the hills just outside of Rome.

This is where I sometimes gripe, complain and grumble about the things I dislike, have yet to get used to or simply don't understand about bella Italia.
I do, however, have many people, places and things that I dearly love and I am more than aware of being blessed by each and every one of them.
Also - a few helpful posts for visitors to Rome or for newly arrived ex pats. Check the side bar for tags. I've even some recipes that I've borrowed, tweaked or invented. One thing I've come to love about Italy is how it's changed the way I eat - slow food !! Although ... I do miss Taco Bell ... and Jack in The Box ... and KFC ... and ::sigh::
Thanks for stopping by !!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reflexes, Scientists and Mr. Stinky

deodorants, talcs, body mists, sprays & wash, scented lotion
there's just no excuse, really, to be stinky in this day and age
So, you may have noticed by now that I'm a little on the sensitive side when it comes to odori (odors). To be more precise, la puzza, that is, stinkiness - stinky cheese, stinky feet, stinky dog stuff left to dry and age on sidewalks like abandoned prosciutto crudo (lots of that here, both the dog stuff and the prosciutto)... but nothing, absolutely nothing, can induce my gag reflex like good old fashioned persipiration left to evaporate on its own thereby creating the perfect habitat for microorganisms, particularly stinky microbes, to grow and flourish. 

Scientists, today, are saying that this gag reflex may be the result of just one single type of cell, located on the tips of our noses. And apparently, these cells function to warn our brains of potential danger. Wow. My cells are awesome. My tip-of-my-nose cells are super specialized navy SEAL commando Rambo cells. Some of you only have private Ryan type cells - you can tolerate all kinds of funk. *disdainful sneer

Professor Diego Restrepo from the University of Denver Colorado has helped in a recent study conducted by Professor Thomas Finger (cool surname), and he says that certain high concentrations of irritants can even go so far as to trigger a reflex that stops your breathing for a few moments, saying, "This is one of those really hard-wired reflexes. It gives you time to get out." Well ... I'm disappointed. Just where is this automatic-self-inhibitor-from-breathing reflex when I need it? Apparently, mine is a little faulty. Brain !! But I shouldn't complain; I make up for it with my gag reflex. 

So, I'm at the bar, right? I'm waiting for the nice barista to prepare my cup o' Giovanni. Perfect color, perfect froth, perfect aroma, perfect - screech! Go back one ... perfect aroma? Nooooot quite. There's something freakishly wrong with the smell of deep rich coffee mixed with stinky stanky sweat. The kind of husky musky foulness that you can actually really truly palpably feel entering into your nostrils. Without turning, I shifted my eyes down and hard right. A black leather sleeve. Hmmm... Leather. Leather means porous. Porous means permeable. Permeable... by water, air and ... odors. Permeable means absorptive. Absorptive means whatever the fellow next to me was sowing, his leather jacket was reaping and reaping it was.

I breathed in. I had to. I couldn't help it. Apparently, my body's need for oxygen is just sooo much more important than saving the nerve fibers in my nose from doom and destruction. My stop-breathing reflex being what it is (defective), my gag reflex kicked in. I gagged which caused me to gasp and cough which caused me to inhale which caused me to smell which caused me to gag which caused me to gasp and cough again - it was a vicious, horrible and cruel cycle. I knew not what to do. Do I pick up my cup and saucer and move to another part of the counter, potentially offending Mr. Stinky? Or do I continue to stand there, gagging and choking until the offending party leaves? Do I pinch my nose, quickly drink and run for cover? Or do I ask Mr. Barista to simply kill the guy? Those were my choices. I was leaning towards the whole put-him-out-of-my-misery option when Mr. Stinky finished his espresso with a swirling of his cup (classy) and two loud gulps (not so classy). I nearly dropped dead, myself, when he stretched out his arm to grab a napkin. Movement equals disturbance and dispersion of stinky microbes. My near death experience came to an end as Mr. Stinky said his farewells and entered the wide open spaces known as fuori (outside).

Professor Restrepo says that, "only potentially dangerous levels of odors can set off the protective gagging-and-coughing response." That, my dear readers, is frightening. If we follow the Professor's scientific and educated (yet still subjective) opinion, it means that Mr. Stinky's stink was highly potentially, very possibly, practically without a doubt - hazardous to my health! 

Yes, I know that people everywhere stink. I'm not saying this is a distinctly Italian phenomenon - but ... well ... er ... I don't know. Maybe there were so few people back home in my little tiny town that we ... no, that doesn't work. Few or many makes no difference - or does it? I don't know. I'm confused. Why do so many people stink here?!?!?! Why?!?!

*not all -- some Italians smell very very nice ^.^


Anonymous said...

It seems that you are very unhappy here. Why don't you go where you would have less to criticize...or should you be forced to stay, choose to try to see what is good about this country and its people? Does your husband read your blog?

Mrs. Moglie said...

"It seems that you are very unhappy here."
On the contrary, I am very happy here, hence the blog title, "Dazed and Confused but Blessed in Rome." But being blessed and being happy with living in Rome, does not mean I am obliged to like every aspect of my experience here. If you take the time to read the blog description or the disclaimer (right column) then you may understand that my posts are intentionally sarcastic and ironic. But then again, perhaps not.
"Why don't you go where you would have less to criticize..."
Quite frankly, I have no desire to leave. Also, if we were to apply your logic to the general Italian public, then we would have a rather deserted Italy. It takes very little to see that Italians, themselves, are the first to voice their opinions on all the ails and defects of this country. Whole talk shows are dedicated to criticizing Italy by Italian citizens and visitors alike. But this is no different from citizens and residents of other nations - like it or not, people complain. And like it or not, these are real experiences - I hardly see how you can object to my reactions to my own experiences. Perhaps you should take your own advice and go read a blog which doesn't conflict with your opinions or views, a blog that does little more than repeat the same sugary sweet descriptions of beautiful, wonderful, romantic Italy rather than show a more realistic and practical side.
"or should you be forced to stay, choose to try to see what is good about this country and its people?"
I am not forced to stay, but choose to remain because it is and has been my home for more than ten years, it is where my children have grown up and it is where my husband was born and raised. Your imperative to choose to see what's good about this country and its people might seem unnecessary if you consider the blog's description and disclaimer. If, having read these, having read other posts and calling upon your sense of humor, if you are still unconvinced that I do, in fact, see the good qualities of this country and its people, then there's nothing more I can do. I take pains to write in a manner that is obviously sarcastic and tongue in cheek.
"Does your husband read your blog?"
I'm assuming this is not a sincere question with a sincere desire to know if my husband reads my blog. Rather, it seems, to me, to be an attempt at ending an overall civil comment with a cynical and sardonic question. If that is the case, then I am inclined to believe that you can, in fact, understand my own sarcastic and satirical posts. If that is not the case, then, yes, my husband does read my blog and he thoroughly enjoys it. If it's of any interest to you, so, too, does my daughter and my son.

Honestly, I am a little confused as to why anyone would take time to read or comment on a blog, one of many many blogs, if it is to their disliking. This is not, in any way, forced upon you and yet you have taken the time to voice your opinion. I am not against this practice, at all. I only mention it because it contradicts your very own criticism of my opinions on events and situations over which I can not, in the same way as you can, avoid. Do you see my point?

At any rate, thanks for stopping by contributing to my viewer count ^.^

Anonymous said...

I think Mr Stinky recognised himself!This blog is great although I don't agree with you on everything. This blog always brings a smile to my face when I see a post and think "beeen there, done that" Keep up the good work, so we are all very well informed about Rome and smiling at the same time.

Mr. Starbucks in Milano said...

ROFL I agree with anonymous number 2.Mr stinky recognized himself. 'Thanks for stopping by and contribuiting to my viewer count' CLASSIC!!!!!!!

Mrs. Moglie said...

Anonymous #2 Hi and thanks for the comment - I was wondering if anyone outside of my house was reading this ^.^ And I appreciate your honesty in saying that you don't agree with me on everything. Individuality is awesome !! It's good to know that I've written about some places/experiences with which you're familiar - I'm guessing Termini is one of them ^.^ What would we do without our dear sweet Termini ?!?!
Mr. Starbucks Hey there - a big thanks to you, too, for your contribution towards my viewer count -haha- Seriously, thanks !!