by Melinda Gallo

Reuniting with friends

So it's odd that only a few days before our trip to the US, I should bump into people I haven't seen in years! We went to lunch with friends near Santo Spirito. On our way back we walked past the mosaic workshop where I used to work and two of the three guys I know were standing outside.

I hadn't seen them in about 5 years when I came for a visit, but they did know I got married. I didn't know how to get in touch with them and since I also lost contact with my friend Martina who worked there as well, I didn't think I'd ever see them again.

Each one of us did a double-take and then said almost spontaneously, "Ah...ciao!" I introduced them to Dave and we caught up only briefly. I told them that we are living in Florence, but that we're going to the US for a few weeks. They told me to just come on in next time I'm in the area and we'll go out for lunch.

I was really happy to see them again. We used to go out to lunch almost every day and chit-chatted during breaks. It was nice to know that some of my friends are still where I left them and that we can be friends again so easily and quickly.

I also had been walking past a shop on via Guiccardini where I finally saw another friend of mine, Perla. I kept wanting to go in to see her and today I finally did. She worked at the mosaic shop as well. She immediately wrote down her cell and home phone number and told me to call her the minute I get back.

And to top it off...I finally met up with one of my dearest friends Rossana who lives in Sesto-Fiorentino, which is just outside of Florence. After moving to Florence in November, I didn't see Rossana because the holidays seem to arrive too quickly, the weather was too cold, and time seemed to slip away.

It's only a 45-minute bus ride to go to her place, but she can usually only meet up after dinner. And at that time, I'm home working.

She decided to come downtown to have dinner with me. When she arrived along the Arno river, she stopped in front of the Biblioteca nazionale (Library). I met her there and because she couldn't find a place to park. Friday and Saturday nights are always busy downtown: people come from all over to go out to bars, restaurants, and clubs.

We ended up going up near Fiesole to have dinner. It was great to visit with Rossana. It was as if no time had passed since our last visit about a year ago. We made plans to see each other again this time so that we wouldn't let a year go by.

So, as soon as I'm back in Florence I will definitely be making more of an effort to see my friends.

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