Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Italy – CCX. Our Daily Life (19 of 19)

The ship was luxurious and took moneyed people to cruises across the world. On that day we saw how the other half lived; and here we were but poor refugees with an uncertain future! We looked at more than cabins: kitchens, dining rooms, and machinery rooms. We also got an accelerated course on the ship navigation. Some of his colleagues who were around, went into detailed explanations as to how this ship sailed the seven seas. Mercifully, they took into consideration the fact that this technology was a total mystery to us; that the technical terms were gibberish for us, and that we required a “translation” in plain Italian.

The previously mentioned supper invitation was not the first time La Signora has invited us to share a meal with her and her son. My mother, of course, reciprocated, and our guests loved her Egyptian cooking.

It was not long before these two ladies exchanged recipes. One of those recipes was Mrs. V. sublime spaghetti (Bolognese: tomato and meat) sauce.

Many years later, my wife, Norma, used that same recipe for her spaghetti sauce; she didn’t stop there, she improved on it. Again, many years later, my son, Michael, used that recipe and improved on it. Finally, when I first used it, I added one more ingredient, a mix of mushrooms that earned it the term, “the food of the gods!” And, no, it was not for the calorie-conscious!

I have often remarked in my writing of the uncanny gift women have to connect with each other. Fola and Mrs. V. were no exception. Language and cultural barriers quickly fell down, and when time permitted, they talked by the hours.

La Signora talked of her early life, her late husband, her children, and above all the hell Italy saw during the reign of Mussolini, and the war that followed. My mother had her own hardships to recount, but she was almost apologetic doing so, because they never even came close to the horrors our landlady has lived through.

When departure time eventually came, we left behind more than dear friends, or even beloved members of one’s family; we separated from loving souls who cherished us not because of friendship or family ties, but simply for who we were. They indeed were the kind of Christians Christ had in mind when he said, “love one another as I have loved you.”

Years later, my mother referred to this lady as “La Vranichichi.” And that name was enveloped by an affectionate tone mom reserved for few others.


  1. Milan: Introduction –
  2. Milan: History –
  3. Milan: Points of Interest –
  4. Milan – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  5. Livorno: Introduction –
  6. Livorno – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, History and Economy
  7. History of the Jews in Livorno – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  8. Rapallo, Italian Riviera
  9. Santa Margherita Ligure, Italian Riviera
  10. Portofino, Italian Riviera

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