Bison Abroad | In Fair Verona

As time passes in this beautiful country, I find myself picking up the Italian language (I’m not great, but better than a month ago) and in accordance with that, I find it more and more difficult to keep my hands still when I speak. The Italians are a very expressive group of people, and it’s near impossible not to absorb the energy and enthusiasm they exude.

Whether it’s dinnertime, game time or whenever, there seems to be so much energy everywhere. However, while the happy emotions are exaggerated, the sad ones receive an equal amount of energy.

RYAN KOCKELMAN | PHOTO COURTESY Verona: a beautiful setting for some Italian drama.

One evening, I was making my way downtown (walking fast) for dinner, when I heard raised voices. Ten feet ahead of me, there was a man and woman almost shouting at each other. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but it was hard not to, and to my excitement, I understood a considerable amount of what was being said.

It turned out the guy had been cheating on the girl and she had started to catch on. The guy started to get quieter and quieter as she made more of her accusations. All of a sudden the girl stopped in her tracks and firmly said, “Guardame,” (look at me). The man walked ahead about four steps before stopping and doing a slow turn like you would see in the sad part of a rom-com.

As he turned, he made eye contact with me and gave a strange look. I realized I stopped when the woman had stopped and was just standing on the sidewalk like a fool listening to the fight. Getting absorbed in language can be dangerous.

I quickly made a hard right and crossed the street in the wrong direction so as to not extend the awkward interaction. Sadly, I didn’t find out what became of those two.

This past weekend, some friends and I went to Verona, which is by far my favorite place in Italy. We found all sorts of drama. We sat in the old coliseum, and instead of watching gladiators we witnessed fighting of other varieties.

Two couples had broken up with each other, and some guy named Marco had been seen with another guy’s girlfriend, and they were presumably about to duel for honor (they didn’t use those words, but I was picking up context clues). Despite all that, the sun was shining, it was 65 degrees, and the gelato is to die for.

I do miss you guys in North Dakota, but I check the weather app every day, and it always helps me in those mild homesick moments.

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