In Carcere

Today, I brought the Professor's daughter, Mini, in an effort to avoid a potential SNAFU with involving work agenda, transportation, the American Embassy and Italian security guards.

Mini always says she doesn't want to go to school. The nuns are mean. The food is bad. It is boring. I thought hers were the usual complaints of small children who don't like to be told what to do. Bu after visiting her school, I realized all her comments werer more than valid. Her school is a nun-run prison with a terrible menu, bad attitudes and weird visitation privileges.

My experience:
Upon entering the non-monitored opened gates, Sister Stache, the short, hair-friendly gatekeeper, approached me and asked if I had accompanied Mini. I thought it was obvious since Mini was still holding my hand (to be fair, she was trying to drag me to her class), however, I remembered what my mom said "Nuns can be mean and have hard shoes".

I stuttered a reptilian "sssssssi". Not out of fear but because I was confused. Was it correct to say "Si, Suora"-- the English equivalent of "Yes, Sister"? Probably but since I have a fond disregard for nuns, I usually say "Yes, Ma'am", if anything. I couldn't remember an Italian ma'am and eliminated "Si, signora"because even though she is a bride of Christ, she is not a married lady. And I was kind of preoccupied with her moustache. So yes, I hissed a Si.

a small catholic school run by nuns.
the gatekeeper nun (short, old, moustached) asked me if i had accompaned Emilia
i said yes and she promptly asked me if the mother knew and how the mother should know.
i told her the father should know and twas him who sent me (i didnt say Twas in italian as i don't know how)

she told me i had to present myself to the teacher.
emilia dragged me to her classroom-- i think she wanted to show me off to her friend Lucrezia who i often equate to Charlotte (basic bonding between 5 and nearly 35 year olds). no one in the classroom, must be in the playground.

Playground was a concrete 8 m x 8 m outdoor penitentiary. Another short, but younger and equally moustached was acting Warden for the hour. She eyed me up and down, but since I obviously made it through security, i was allowed visitation. She didn't even ask me who I was. Great security.

The kids were running around like maniacs. Typical, except that the ground was concrete and every now and then the nun would groan, point and shake her head at an inmate. Said inmate would then shrug and shrink up against the wall for a bit of rest. I met Lucrezia, Valentina and Ginevra-- i think they wanted me to break them out. we spoke in Italian, as I had been specifically advised by emilia to do so. However, i let some english slip to Emilia when all of sudden two fair skinned, blondes approached me.

"Are you Emilia's new mom?" (english) i knew that was code for "please help us break out."

"No" code for "i cannot physically tear you out of here. you will have to do it yourself. There is a file in the heel of my prada platform sandal. I will pretend to fall and you grab it."

so i tripped in the blonde twins did NOTHING.

"What's in your purse? Are you her babysitter?" Again, they were asking me to help them escape. Translation: "This place sucks. We are malfed. No speaks to us except in grunts. We need more than a file."

"I have accompanied Emilia today. My purse holds a pink hat and some lipstick. Play with Emilia, she speaks English."
Translation: If you are silent, they will not notice you. Work together with the others to start an uprising. The Warden will weaken and you will be free.

But i was cut off by Emilia shouting "Bye Erica!!" meaning my cover was blown. The nun caught my eye as I pretended to touch up my gloss, my signal to the inmates that timing is everything-- be patient and then fight the man....