Saying goodbye and a postcard from the edge…

We’ve missed you.

I decided not long ago that a return to the homeland would be inevitable at some point. If I were to go back  Western Canada would be my best bet, as I’d have a better chance of finding work as a Shiatsu Therapist instead of getting stuck in some office-hell admin job until rigormortus finally set in under those fluorescent lights, or subsequently hanging myself with a phone cord in the bathroom during mid-afternoon coffee break. (Those are SOME options!)

Kicking ass with style.
Wanna piece of the Cake?

These last couple of weeks I have tried to keep my thoughts organized, be all zen,  and give myself time to let it sink in and the fact one day I’d have to re-North American-ize myself, in other words re-accustoming myself to the perils of the civilized world, ironic as that sounds. I pondered my preparation and buying those brass knuckles in the hardware store before  (if I were to leave) because you just can’t get them in Canada, while realizing that the freedom and days of an existence sans pepper spray in my handbag, and sleeping with my terrace doors open could soon be finito…

This wasn’t just about dating train-wrecks and my heart-thru-the-moulinex episodes for the past 8 years. Aside from the moral corruption of the general population, exaggerated materialism, and overall bullshit (reality check folks: A designer handbag and shoes does not make me a better person), the poverty repercussions of my bohemian lifestyle plaguing me for the past 2 years has now become intolerable. There is indeed a price for my ‘freedom.’ And I really just miss my Canadian peeps and certain aspects of the civilized world… Pancake brunches on Sundays, cinnamon buns, 24-hour access to everything, extended periods of coffee drinking on cafe sofas, used bookstores, and the fabulous shopping (at reasonable discount prices of course).

But I do love Italy as ironic as it may sound. Despite the bad stuff, ie. the narcissism, douchebaggery, politics, bigotry, and utter disregard for the environment, and our fellow-man, remains the good memories: my small group of dear friends, the wonderful food, the sunshine and sea…

“Thou paradise of exiles, Italy!” -Percy Bysshe Shelley
Like saying goodbye…
Vietri sul Mare, July 2012:
Awesome beach-day with my Canadian home-girl Janiece.
Remembering the good times.

Anyways, I’m not the first expat in recent days to consider abandoning ship. Even my good Italian friends dare to ask: “Why do you stay here? You are a fish out of water, you’d be so much better off in Canada.”

I believe it’s a combination of:
Numerous aperitifs in the afternoon, great food, lots of sun,
the fact Italians don’t give a crap what we do (because they do worse)…
So suck it Jong.

There are moments where  the thoughts of departure sadden me (chalk it up to simple nostalgia.) However truth be known: This place is a damn tough go. As Dee, a fellow expat in the midst of a messy divorce put it:

“It’s all that hazy romanticism -Italy will do that to you, but it’s like the abusive husband that beats the shit out of you 30% of the time. Those retired people and the rich that come here with their infinite cash flow – they buy houses, and they stick their heads in the sand. They never speak Italian, for them life is all fresh cut flowers, shopping at Ferragammo and aperatifs in the afternoons… THEIR Italy is not OUR Italy.”

The truth?… my freedom’s price has been no security or savings: I’m single, living in a demographic where I would either have to sell myself into domestic slavery or play the whore to some married asshole. No thanks. I’d prefer to remain “Oliver Twist with furniture and diamonds” or simply just get the hell out of here and find myself a real man where my opinions and independence are not an issue.

But would I actually do it? MOVE?

I thought about my father, being in his 70’s with questionable health, so at least I would be in the same country if there were to be a problem down the road. So I made a plan… Take my time and savour these last moments, depart come spring, then visit friends and family while researching work opportunities and a place to live on Vancouver Island or vicinity.

Oh no, no, Cakes. That is NOT what the universe has planned for you.
The decision has been removed from your hands. It’s been decided.
Time is your enemy…

2 weeks ago my father called me. He has lung cancer. In that moment it happened again: In exactly the same way that I processed the news 3 years ago of my mother’s lung cancer – Most of the details were distorted as if I was listening to the teacher from the Peanuts cartoon. Details aside… this is very bad. My father, a man I respect, who taught me so many things, has been my safety net is leaving me.

I’m giving myself 6 weeks to wrap up…

I am really leaving…
Excuse me, I have to pack my shit now.


About Cakes McCain

Aka. 'Oliver Twist with Furniture and Diamonds' Ex-pat, lunatic, survivor - A Bridget Jones/Shirley Valentine hybrid, epically flawed, neurotic literary ‘dirty apple’ with a penchant for broad shoulders, epic orgasms, & lazy Sunday mornings eating cake in bed. Almost always broken-hearted, forever analysing everything to a bloody pulp and eternally obessing over 'Pasta for One - The Manuscript' a chick-lit memoir about living single in fabulous Italy, while trying not to throw yourself in front of a speeding bus.
This entry was posted in dating, dating rejects, European men, ex boyfriends, grieving, guilt, humour, Italian life, Italy, Italy living, Life in Italy, Living in Italy, materialism, relationships, self examination, single girl, social misfit, thanks, Uncategorized, writers, x-pat, x-pats and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Saying goodbye and a postcard from the edge…

  1. nikkix2 says:

    Awwww Cakes,,,I am so sad to hear about your father.
    Yes fate has made the decision for you. But just know your native land will be welcoming you back with open arms.
    Will you be going straight out West, or will you stay in Toronto for the Christmas holidays with your father and family?

  2. lararedirish says:

    My darling friend, I wouldn’t turn my back at the Universe if he had offered me a similar opportunity. That’s how I see it. Your dad and your family are the most important thing on Earth, I admire your courage of leaving behind a big chunk of your life and restart from fresh. You can prove that things happen for a reason. Italy? it’s a wonderful place to VISIT ^_^

  3. TheMindOfFreya says:

    So sorry Cakes about your Dad. I can’t imagine being in that position. It would be cool if you moved to Victoria. This is the place to be for alternative therapies that’s for sure. Drop me a line if you end up coming to town 🙂

    • Cakes McCain says:

      thanks 🙂 I’ll be out that way at some point. Kind of looking at that area or maybe one of the Islands (Gabriola maybe) to set up house eventually.

  4. SillyG says:

    Cakes, so sorry about your dad. that is very hard. Mixed feelings when I read this post……
    a bit excited thinking – hell ya cakes and I are going to take in some Canadian music! You are on my date list for when I hit Vancouver to visit my date (if he stays my date). If not…. I am so up for a trip to the coast anyway!!!

  5. A Dog With Fleas says:

    So sorry to hear about your father. Fate has a way of stepping in to make the decision for you. At least you will get to be with him, like you said, in the same country. Wish you the best in all you have to do.

  6. storyofalice says:

    How I missed your writing, Cakes! I’m very sad to hear about your dad, but kind of amazed at how well you’re holding it together. Lots of love, you tough cookie! Let me know if you need to talk. xoxo

  7. I’m so terribly sorry to hear about your father 😦 This is not the kind of news you need…and is definitely putting a damper on the fact that you are finally coming home. But on the other hand, it will mark the beginning of a new adventure for Cakes. Perhaps “Poutine for One”? Speaking of which, I will share one with you soon and talk about the debilitating state of men. Safe travels my dear!

  8. Oh my dear dear Cakes!
    I’m so sorry to hear about your father’s health. I am so glad that I got to learn things with you and from your experiences in this big fiat filled world. I hope the best for you and your new adventures. I hope whatever you do you keep writing, and keep making me laugh aloud at really inappropriate times at work.

  9. The Hook says:

    Good luck. All the best to your father – and you, of course.

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