Monday, October 1, 2007

Cleaning the Front Door

I was peeking out the window from our 2nd story into the neighbors 1st story kitchen entrance. It was early in the morning and the brooms, brushes and buckets were just outside the door and the owner had just cleaned the entry way into the house. In Italy, there seems to be this daily routine of cleaning the entry from the public to private space. Restaurants and other public places clean the sidewalks and entrances and private homes do as well. As you walk the streets of Firenze in the morning, there is water trickling down sidewalks and streets with the faint smell of cleaning products. I guess it keeps the entropy of the city in check.

There is also this weird type of rag that is sold in stores that is meant for cleaning floors that you often seen old ladies pushing around with a stick cleaning the threshhold. It’s like a precursor to the swifter (which we have seen in the local grocery store).

I laughed at the neighbor’s cleaning, but about an hour later I was doing the same thing. Sweeping outside our door and swooshing a bucket of soapy water on the stones leading up to our door to keep them clean and tidy.

Maybe the cleaning of the entry is noticeable because that is usually the only interaction point between public and private. A house could have inner courtyards and and other outside areas but you can’t tell from the outside in a town like Firenze. Or maybe doorways get dirty here?

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