After India, I headed to Montebelluna in north Italy just outside Venice.
It was such a drastic change of scenery and culture. Everyone is well dressed. The lawns and the green spaces are manicured. There is no trash on the floor. People hold themselves with dignity. It was like stepping into a god realm in comparison with where I had just come from.
The first day upon arrival, I met my old friend Roberta who told me that her partner Fiorenzo, a shoe designer for US Polo, was lacking a male model for a show they had the following day and if I was interested in filling that vacancy. After dropping my things and showering up, I went to meet Fiorenzo at his work place and we talked about the arrangements for the following day. That night there was a lovely banquet for all the sales reps and the execs who had flown into town for the show.
I was feeling like I was in a dream, being where I was, with all this food in front of me, and in my delirium, had bread, cheese, and alcohol, as though my body had no intolerances.
I was so sick the next 5 days. I still managed to make it to and model at the shoe show the next day. It was a long day.
The following days were transformative. I felt like my body was burning up from the inside. My stomach would spasm when I would lie down.
I also had the chance to digest the past 6 weeks spent in India and on a grander scheme, life. One day Roberta sits me down to have a talk. That was a strong wake up call. I won’t go into details, but it shook me in such a way that forced some deep issues to surface. I can’t tell you the value I got from it and so that in combination with the ending of my fiery sickness, I felt like a phoenix reborn from the ashes.
I celebrated my 35th birthday at her house with friends and was able to spin fire for the first time on my trip. That was fun.
During the 2 weeks spent in Montebelluna, I visited a lovely park called white springs and a neighboring city, Vicenza.
I enjoyed meeting Robert’s son, Tomaso, for the first time.