Last year I attended a 4th of July barbecue-aperitivo organized by various expat groups. I didn’t partake of the buffet but I was there more for the company than anything. This year the BBQ was on a Sunday and I was out of town, so I was lucky enough to be invited to a small gathering of U.S. expats and friends.
Ok, I’ll admit it. I look for any excuse to celebrate something. Isn’t the day better when you’re celebrating? At work I offered a coffee to those that were around and tried to soak up some of the blazing sun that came out right after a particularly dreadful hailstorm that morning. There was a nice wind blowing and my coworkers joked that just down the street was the seaside (Milan is landlocked).
But as I recounted what normally happens on the 4th of July back home, I connected two very important points in my brain that hadn’t previously been in contact: Americans set off fireworks on the 4th, and exactly one block from my house, there is a fireworks shop.
I just went to pick up a package of sparklers.
I left the store only because I ran out of cash.
I felt maybe we deserved a little fireworks, too! Luckily my host and her husband were excited by the prospective fireworks. They too were looking forward to sparklers, and perhaps took a step back when I brought out what S called “la batteria” – a solid block of fireworks the size of a car battery. I couldn’t resist!
With every good 4th celebration, you have fireworks, and FOOD! We were lucky to have a nice mashup of expat-smuggled food (my Pepper Jack cheese was opened) and locally found ingredients. Guacamole, Pepper Jack Cheese Barbecue Bacon Burgers (yum!) and Nachos and Salsa. Drool.
Then it was time for the fireworks. We walked out of the apartment building and went around the corner to where there was a bit of an abandoned building and open space to set off fireworks. We started off a bit timid but started to really enjoy them as they were finishing up. Fewer people poked their heads out of the apartment buildings to see what was going on than you’d think, although one did say, “Mica che e’ Capodanno?” (It’s not like it’s New Year’s!)
And of course, there were sparklers. Next time I’ll buy more (and take more pictures)!!
I was reminded by Copyblogger about the classic Schoolhouse Rock video of the Preamble of the Constitution – here’s my bit of patriotism – Schoolhouse Rock really rocked! (Click through to view the video):
I hope those celebrating had a good time yesterday! Anyone else, if you need fireworks at your next party, I’m available!