Ciao, and grazie (said with more of an Italian accent!) a Flora, Antonio e Carol per le email yesterday. When I return from my various wanderings - with their ups and downs - it is such a gioia when I turn on the computer to see the 'You've got mail' indicator. And Flora, you mentioned it's nice to see me in some photos - I won't feel so guilty now photographing myself as I do, on trains, in shop windows, and commonly, in the mirror!. Of course being here on my own, travelling alone, means all sorts of things.
Tony - you mentioned the vino... sadly, so far, and partly because of my aloneness, I have not had a drop. I have yet to organise that into my life here .... but will work on it - just for you! I have been having a beer at the end of these very hot humid days, a can of Italian brew that I acquire from the supermarket. And as for the Art, that is as you say is ... everywhere! I have way more pictures than I have time to upload! But here now I make a special entry of a gallery I visited last Friday, my first day in Vicenza. The building, the Palazzo Chietano, sits right near, in the same piazza as, the Teatro Olimpico. I was feeling alone and a bit fragile that morning 7 days ago. Everything so new, so unknown, overwhelming, I was lost, exhausted, jetlagged... there was no-one to de-brief with, no-one to talk to, nessuno con cui a avere chiacchierato. When a towering and suave older Italian man came up and started to talk, I thought I had hit the jackpot - I had made a friend. He asked some questions, and in response I practiced my Italian. Then he said - in Italian - that I looked stressed. I was, really, and I thought, wow, this guy can see how I'm feeling. But then the crunch. Then came his pushing upon me two books of religion! We said our goodbyes and I was left even more distressed because what I thought was an amico in the making was just a guy pushing his own agenda. Hmmph! Communque, anyhow, that was then, and this is now, and since then a lot of Italian water has flowed under the Italian ponti, and I have photographed quite a lot of it!
Well, allora, I commenced this narrative at 6a.m. at home before getting ready for my school day . Now, at 7.40a.m, I sit on the train from Vicenza to Padova. As was part of my original plan for this journey to Italy, I am a commuter.... a commuter with a computer on my lap. The time I have had to familiarise myself with this particular place is starting to show. I feel confident on this train journey to sit and write. I am not frightened that I will miss my station, I am not desperate to have my camera in hand. I am not worried about the inspector turning up, or of what people will think. And I am not alone with a computer on my lap! The guy across the aisle has his shoes off and is resting his feet on the seat opposite him as he rests his eyes. The man on the seat opposite me has his work papers on his lap and is engrossed in thought. The ragazzo, the lad further down, is almost a mirror image of me - in terms of what he is doing. And with the sun getting higher in the sky on my left, we are moving into another hot and steamy Padova day.