Once upon a time in Texas, there was a girl with an appetite and a dream...


Tracie, you are too...

precisa: preh-CHEE-suh (adj) precise; for most Southern Italians, one of the most annoying qualities a human being can posses
I have quite a bit to catch up on. Maybe if I were a bit more precise, or simply owned a computer, I would have let you in on all of my little secrets by now.

I want to bring up this topic, because I've had the "precisa" discussion with many an Italian, many an Italian with his or her own unique sense of the passage of time.

Precisa, it turns out, seems to be one of the qualities that created such ill will between my last boss and me, that I will not be working at the yacht marina this year. I thought that arriving to work on time, and leaving on time were perfectly acceptable--perhaps even desirable qualities to have in an employee, but just in case I forget from time to time that I am living in a very different culture, something like precisa comes along to remind me.

I had a discussion last year on my last day of work with the boss's girlfriend (the girl who created our positions of yacht marina hostesses), and she confided to me that maybe if I hadn't left at precisely 8 pm every evening (never did it without asking if boss wanted me to stay), or maybe if I had just let one or two of those overtime hours slide when I scored a good tip (I was making at the MOST, 800 euro a month, but for two months I was making 400-600), that maybe things would have all gone more smoothly.

Right, maybe if I hadn't religiously written down every extra hour and half-hour (I made 10 euro an hour for overtime) that I was owed, someone may have been able to rip me off and wouldn't that have been fantastic?!! For them?!!

I may not be the sharpest tool in that thar shed, but I sure know when I'm swimming with sharks I'll kick their bums if they try to bite me.

So that brings me to my present status. As I was waiting to hear from the same people and whether or not I would have the same job (I should have chewed up that pride better before I swallowed it), my old friend Pierpaolo who owns the wine bar offered me a job. Ex boss and girlfriend finally told me that they hired another girl and that they weren't sure...whatever. I happily accepted the job at the wine bar, and couldn't be more pleased.

Now I have turned my life upside-down and my usual routine inside-out to accommodate my new work schedule. I'm not used to keeping late hours, but since I've accepted the brief change of lifestyle, I'm actually having fun. We have lots of English-speaking tourists who come to the enoteca and are genuinely curious about wine.

I am sleeping shamefully late (I mean, what sane girl can get out of her of bed before noon when she has worked until 1 the previous morning?). Getting out of bed I open my windows to the seagulls and take hours to get ready while listening to my new CDs. Sometimes, I go to the beach down the street, but that requires an earlier wake-up time, so my risk of remaining a mozzarella all summer is dangerously high. I spend no money on neither food nor wine, since my wining and dining takes place at work. I miss my kitchen, but it's just for the summer.

Being precisa has, in a way, shaped my short-term destiny and has put me in a work atmosphere where I am surrounded by good friends and opportunities to be more active in my wine education so things are definitely working out for the best.

There's another chapter to this incredibly tedious catch-up story which will explain my brief visit to Positano to see Nicki, but I'll get back to that soon...


Blogger Giulia said...

Good luck on your new job, Tracie! You go on and keep being precisa. A lot of Italian employers take advantage of workers who put in those extra hours. Pffffft
Hope you had fun with Nicki. :)

6/29/2007 8:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you that you didn't put up with their tyranny. And good luck with the new job. It all works out in the end. Like the saying goes,"Va stuorte e vene areta." And, by the way welcome back! You were missed.

6/29/2007 11:17 AM

Blogger Sicilian said...

I have missed your life stories. Can't wait to read more.
I suspect jealousy on the GF's part. . . and then there is a little butt kissing that Italians expect since you are so obligated to them for the job.
Miss Mozzarella.

6/29/2007 1:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I missed reading your blog. Good to have you back. So, are you not in Ischia for the summer? You did the right thing by taking another job, however.
My husband and I are coming to Ischia and Naples on July 9th-31st. Maybe I will stop by the enoteca.

6/29/2007 2:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a much better job. Good luck.

6/30/2007 9:11 AM

Blogger Delina said...

Great to see you back! I'm glad for you that you're not going back to work at your old place. Sounds like they didn't deserve you.

Auguri for your new job! I imagine it's much more fun working in the wine bar. Free wine and food?! - sounds like my kinda gig :)

6/30/2007 10:26 AM

Blogger Thistlemoon said...

See Traci, everything happens for a reason! This job sounds much better suited to you ! Congrats and have fun!

6/30/2007 11:49 AM

Blogger Thistlemoon said...

See Traci, everything happens for a reason! This job sounds much better suited to you ! Congrats and have fun!

6/30/2007 11:49 AM

Blogger Kristi said...

hello...I left you a "hi my name is" note on your taco post from April? I think...
Anyway, wanted to be sure you saw it. So hello from Texas, Austin, that is...

6/30/2007 12:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back l was wondering what happened to you... Things always work out in the end. Enjoy your new job sounds like fun!!

7/01/2007 1:11 AM

Blogger Texas Espresso said...

congrats on your new job! cant wait to hear more about your summer

7/01/2007 1:21 PM

Blogger nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

complimenti on zee new job. :)

7/01/2007 1:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


7/01/2007 10:34 PM

Blogger Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

Are you back for good???

7/03/2007 5:48 AM

Blogger Tracie P. said...

thanks for the well wishes! i miss reading your blogs...;(

hey emi brady and tobey! i love y'all too :)

7/03/2007 1:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tracie, this is a great blog! Reading through it reminded me of a that great summer so many years ago at Jesus, Oxford. It's nice to know that you are still interested in wines as am I. I guess we should exchange tasting notes.

7/05/2007 9:15 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Tracie -- It's Jennifer, as in "Bob and Jen", the couple from Houston who stumbled into the wine bar a few weeks ago and kept you guys up till the wee hours. I'm so glad I found your blog; you write so eloquently and with such a great point of view. I'll be checking back in every so often. Did they ever reopen the Cantina? Bob and I were so bummed because we planned to spend our last night in Ischia there -- and we never got a pic of the place, so I loved seeing it in your blog entry. Best of luck in your adventures and thanks again for being such a sweetheart when we were there.

7/05/2007 6:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best wishes, precisa. I hope everything goes well at the wine bar. I actually think the white skin will fit your vampire work schedule! I miss you!

Tina Bug

7/05/2007 9:20 PM

Blogger Tui Snider said...

Hi Tracie,

I just discovered your blog and, more specifically, just read your post about "precisa." Very interesting! I have just moved to Naples with my fiance and it's all very new/exciting/baffling to me (and fun to blog about!) I've already bookmarked you and will definitely be back to read more.

Ciao! Tui

7/07/2007 12:14 PM

Blogger Shannon Sims said...

Ciao bella Tracie! Che piccata che non potevamo incontrare a Texas quando stavi qui...pero forse possiamo incontrare a Ischia, perche sto facendo tutto che posso adesso per andare all'isola. Ovviamente, quest significa che anchio sto provando di trovare lavoro! E anche un posto di rimanere. Pero ogni volta che provo di fare ricerca, l'unica cosa che mai penso e di come voglio di assaggiare tutti i sapori d'ischia, e come non posso aspettare di stare sul'isola. Poi, cos'e il tuo piano adesso: vai a lavorare a quest enoteca per l'estate, oppure stai facendo qualche altro lavoro? I ogni caso, dobbiamo di rimanere in communicato perche voglio dividere una bottiglia di biancolella con te! Nel fratempo, per favore, dimmi se conosci qualche posto di lavoro oppure qualche posto di vivere che sembra comodo....perche dopo che trovo queste cose, posso iniziare altro avventura al mio posto preferito!

Spero che tutto va molto bene per te, anche con tutti i cambi che sembra di avere adesso nella tua vita. Brava per essere confidente quando lavori con i pazzi ischitani! Ciao for now,

7/08/2007 5:29 PM

Blogger Cherrye said...


I hope you are enjoying your new job and enjoying "sleeping in" a little bit.

7/10/2007 10:46 AM

Blogger Delina said...

Hey I see that Hilary Swank is in Ischia for a holiday. I'm glad to see that she chose Ischia over the usual Capri etc. Did she pass by the wine bar? :)

7/10/2007 12:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

tracie your writings touch heart

7/17/2007 12:22 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I just love your blog.
Lao, who was in Texas until 10 days ago... ;-)

7/18/2007 10:54 PM

Blogger Alfonso Cevola said...

Wow, you sure do post a lot

7/20/2007 6:45 AM

Blogger Nadine said...

Cultures are very different a lot in Europe. Southern Europe handles the concept of time quite different from the northern parts. Had you lived in Germany, you might be the less precisa around!

Good luck on your new job! Sounds a lot better.

7/21/2007 4:58 AM

Blogger avery said...

Hope zee new job is going well. I suppose summer is the busy time for bars in Ischia but it sounds like fun.
So congrats on the job, on being precisa :) and congrats also because I chose you for the schmooze award. What's that you may ask? I posted about it here: http://averyinrome.blogspot.com/2007/07/im-schmoozer.html
Happy schmoozing!

8/01/2007 2:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anonymous with the long comment---Write your own damn blog and stay away from this one!!!!!

8/20/2007 8:20 AM

Blogger Tracie P. said...

well it looks like somebody has a little opinion...and most probably very, very few teeth :)

8/22/2007 1:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog! I have family in Ischia and would love to try to live there so your experiences are very informative to me. Where can I e-mail you if my sister and I make it to the island ... I'd love to have lunch and chat.

Joe DiMeglio

8/27/2007 3:43 PM

Blogger Dear AL said...

The job sounds great, just wish I could sleep in.

Tracie, can you mix me a drink? You wont believe the stress I'm going through right now. I have a chance for promotion at my job, but I think I'm gona get passed over by a newbie!

8/30/2007 3:29 PM

Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

Thats too bad because it seemed like a great job. Not sure what it is about the folks in this country. They sure do have a different way of doing things around here. I am STILL waiting to get paid for working at a summer camp back in July! Can you imagine THAT happening in America?

I think your new job sounds like fun and I know how you feel about wine! Best wishes!

9/10/2007 1:55 AM

Blogger Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

This post slipped by me, apparently, when you published, and now look, the summer's over....

So what happened? Spill it girl!

9/11/2007 3:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love to read american stories spiced with italian taste! I love it, I love it!

Probably it has to do with the fact that I lived one year in West Texas and another in Italy.

9/16/2007 4:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does everyone miss Tracie's posts as much as I do? Hope all is well with her.

9/23/2007 7:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the way you write your stories. I will read your blog more often from now on.

9/23/2007 9:16 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

I just found your blog a month ago and have caught up on all the back postings (yep, slow reader). I was sad to see no entries after June 29th but more concerned that everything is okay with you.

All your regular readers are concerned....

9/24/2007 3:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Traaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacccciiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeee

Where aaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaare yoooooouuuuuu?

We miss you. :-)

10/06/2007 8:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tracie, where have you gone? I used to check every day, anxiously waiting for a new entry from you. Now I check every couple or few weeks.

Please come back, I loved your blog! I hope everything is okay, I'm actually a bit concerned.

10/09/2007 9:58 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leesa, I'm a little concerned, too. I know the summer season has wound down in Ischia, so I can't imagine that is the only thing keeping her from blogging. Maybe she doesn't have internet access? I don't think it's impossible to find in Ischia, though.

10/09/2007 5:05 PM

Blogger Suz said...

I got hooked on your blog just before you went away for months! Will you post again? I miss you!

10/10/2007 9:50 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


10/11/2007 10:44 AM

Blogger Stephanie said...

I love your blog. I am not sure where Ischia is (sp?) My parents are from Ustica (small island just north of Palermo) I too am a libra, and 32. Nice to meet you Tracie :) I am Stephanie aka Stephania

10/18/2007 2:52 PM

Blogger Abas KS said...

hi, obviously you are too busy to blog recently.

I am surprised.

Also, I was wondering whether you would be interested in exchanging links with a relevant blog of mine.


The one is a PR2 blog.

I believe that a link exchange can do our blogs some good.

Thanks for your consideration.

11/29/2007 9:01 AM

Blogger erin said...

Hi Tracie! I didn't have another way to contact you, but I'd love to email you about Ischia. I know you haven't posted on here for a long time - but you mentioned to me once to let you know if we ever made it to Ischia and I wanted to get your opinion on visiting there next month and if you know of a mineral spa! I hope you're doing well...you can email me if you'd like erin@chrisanderinlewis.com

ciao ciao

11/29/2007 10:17 AM

Blogger Anil P said...

Time and tide wait for none, even when you decide to follow one out :)

Oh, the excess of everything.

12/16/2007 11:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across your blog randomly and found it very witty and well-written. My husband and I are living in Honolulu Hawaii at the moment, but are hoping to move to Europe (Italy is first on the list) next year. So, I've been doing some research ala blogs. I am facinated by Americans brave enough to make the leap! I have a bagazillion questions, so if you have any spare time to help some ingnorant wannabes, my email is katiemcaldwell@hotmail.com. I would sincerely appreciate any wisdom or advice you could pass on! Good luck and thanks for sharing your experiences!

1/03/2008 2:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice writing:) - keep going - all the best

2/15/2008 8:19 AM

Blogger arachesostufo said...

ciao, be happy.

3/08/2008 4:11 PM


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