Ever since I left Italy last summer I’ve been actively missing it. It’s not even just a little bit, I mean it’s like a pining desperate kind of missing. A lot of this missing is centered around food admittedly.
I spent a solid few months last year trying to recreate the most amazing homemade Italian meatballs I have ever tasted to absolutely no avail. I was placated with my friend’s Italian Grandma’s recipe and my mum tried to make me feel better about such a terrible loss by sending me on an Italian cookery course for my birthday. No biggie but I can make pasta from scratch now so that’s pretty cool.
I managed to deal with missing Italy in England because it’s actually pretty easy to recreate it. You can still watch Italian TV, you can, if you seek them out, find Italian delis and you can make huge pots of sauce whilst writing your dissertation and boil your Italian coffee every morning. I did do this. It’s not the same as opening your shutters to stifling hot days and Tuscan orange rooftops, having coffee with an 85 year old Italian lady that speaks no English and cycling to work dodging crazy Italian drivers, but it did the trick until the next time I could visit. Think one of my favourite days in Italy was also walking back into a house in Tuscany after going swimming in the river with friends and seeing every single surface possible covered with homemade tortelloni and stuffed with the mushrooms and nettles that I had gone picking with a 60 year old couple the day before. It got better when all the tables were moved outside and there were upwards of 30 Italians, and myself, sat around eating said pasta and chatting until late in the evening. That was the first night I saw a shooting star actually. Those days were pretty surreal, they were much more difficult to recreate back home.
I thought moving to Hong Kong would be the end of this pining seeing as though I relocated to another amazing place. For the most part this is true but after stumbling on an Italian deli in mid levels a few weeks ago I hit the downward spiral again. I’m now a regular and I often just go there, grab some food and just sit and listen to them speak Italian. That’s the best thing about Hong Kong I think – that it’s equally Hong Kong and everywhere else at the same time. If you want to eat traditional Chinese dim sum, you can. If you want to re-immerse yourself in Italy for the day, you can. Hong Kong can pretty much guarantee you anything that you want.