Dinner in a Convent, Trieste Day 1

—  Larry?  —  Uso un tono professionale.

—  Non diremlo, —  l’anticipo lui.  —  Quando mi chiami “Larry” con quel tono inamidato da neurologa

After two weeks in Italy, self is so genius she speaks Italian fluently.

Not!!!

The above quote is from a book she pulled at random from the shelf in her little apartamento.  The book is from Capitolo XII of Henry Denker’s Un Caso Di Conscienza (in all probability, with a title like that, a mystery).

She had dinner (and a glass of red) at a place called Antico Convento, in a narrow alley off the main street.  The owner of a pasticerria (She had two chocolate eclairs in lieu of lunch —  gaaah, she will be a regular Porky Pig if this keeps up) gave her three restaurant recommendations, but upon seeing the name Antico Convento, self was absolutely tickled and determined that she would have dinner there.

She ordered a Primi Piatti (first course) of soup.  The waiter said it was a kind of specialty of the region, called yota.  Then, she ordered a main course of pork with porcini.  Even though the pasticerria owner told her that seafood was the thing to eat in Trieste, the restaurant was so unadorned that it reminded her of Louie’s in Bacolod.  So, since Filipino food is mostly about pork, she decided to try the Trieste pork.  Of course, it arrived second, after a HUGE —  and self does mean HUGE —  bowl of bean soup with sauerkraut (The waiter thoughtfully provided a bottle of olive oil to sprinkle over the soup) and pieces of ham.  Oh Mama Mia, self should have restrained herself, she should have known the second course would be unmanageable after the soup, but no.  Self plowed through the soup, leaving only two tablespoons at the bottom of her bowl, and then — TA RA! —  out came the second course, steaming, piled pork and porcini accompanied by a kind of side dish of sauteed potatoes (Sauteed in bacon, but not served with bacon, the waiter proudly informed self) and it was soooo delicious!  Self could hardly see straight after that.  She stumbled home, inwardly cursing at how tight her jeans were.  At the door to her building, she encountered two young people crouched right before the entrance.  Self’s first thought was:  Finally!  What The Man always warned self to expect:  A Proper Mugging!

But no, one of the two young people was a slender young woman, and she smiled at self and said Perdon or Scusi or something like that, and moved about two inches to one side, just enough for self to get her hand on the entrance knob, and give it a good (and somewhat hasty) push, and self nearly fell over a pristine, white baby carriage that looked as decked out as a gondola, and there was a baby inside it, sleeping, and self put two and two together and realized that the baby’s parents were right outside the building, right there pressed against the door, enjoying a few illicit hours of peace in the Trieste night.

Self, you stupid twit, if you’d woken up that peacefully sleeping infant, you’d never have gotten over the shame.

Grazie e Arrivederci, dear ones.

Trieste Day 1

And now, dear blog readers, self is in Heaven.

No, not in Heaven.  She is in Trieste.

La Serenissima is hours away.  Here, the Adriatic is cold, pewter.  There are boats lining the harbor.  And a giant aquarium.

The taxi she took to her new digs (for at least three more days) cost 7.5 euro (about $10).  The man refused a tip.

Ah, thanks much, Alexei J. Cohen who wrote the Moon Handbook:  Italy.  Because of the five-page section he included about Trieste, self was determined to get there.

For a brief couple of minutes, she wondered if she were in her right mind, for every available seat in her train compartment was taken up by a group of very young, very athletic-looking men, who were oh so bursting with energy and high spirits.  And self had the mean thought that if these young men were all bound for Trieste, she would have to return to Venice bright and early tomorrow morning.

But, lo and behold, the young men all stayed until Trieste, and just when self was reaching up for her roll-y, one of the young men swung it down for her without having to be asked.  Ah, grazie, grazie!  He smiled and said, It was nothing.  So there you go, another of her mean assumptions exploded.  Traveling is certainly good for self, as it forces her to abandon her old thinking.

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At the moment, self is unwinding in her all-white room (with its rather florid chandelier) and waiting for the kettle of water to boil so she can have some tea.

A Sweet Little Kitchen

A Sweet Little Kitchen

There’s a TV (Perhaps self can get caught up in “Game of Thrones”!), but she has not turned it on just yet.

There’s a shelf of books:  John le Carré’s A Most Wanted Man, Jo Nesbo’s The Redeemer, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, and a travel book:  36 Hours:  125 Weekends in Europe, by The New York Times.

Self pulls down 36 Hours:  125 Weekends in Europe and browses through the Table of Contents:  London, Oxford, Cambridge, and Edinburgh are all in a section called “North Atlantic.”  Paris, Lyon, St. Tropez, Madrid and Pamplona are in a section called “Southwest.”  Berlin, Frankfurt, Vienna and Salzburg are considered “Central.”  Rome, Naples, Capri, Florence and Milan are considered “Southeast.”  And Copenhagen, Moscow, St. Petersburg and all of Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Finland are of course “Northern.”

Time to stop posting and start rejuvenating!

Arrivederci, dear ones.  Stay tuned.

Venice Love: Scenes From a Vaporetto, and an Island

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Could this be a sundial?  (Seen on the island of Torcello)

Could this be an ancient sundial? (Seen on the island of Torcello)

Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta, on Torcello (No pictures were allowed inside -- sigh)

Outside the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta, on Torcello (No pictures are allowed inside — sigh)

Most of the pictures self took yesterday were grey.  True to form, she decided to bring her umbrella, for the second day in a row.  It is quite an annoyance, this bringing-along-of-an-umbrella, because she is already so laden down with maps, guidebooks, her travel notebook, and the book she is currently reading (Per Petterson’s Out Stealing Horses; good thing she didn’t bring The Portrait of a Lady.  That book weighed a ton.  More to the point, she wouldn’t have gotten to it:  since arriving in Venice, she’s only gotten halfway into Petterson’s novel which incidentally, she found out from googling, received the Dublin IMPAC Prize).

Yet another contest announcement today, this time from Flyway.  True to form, self doesn’t even remember joining.  What is interesting about the announcement, however, is that a Filipina named Catherine Torres has earned second place.  According to the Flyway announcement, Torres is “a diplomat and writer, and her work has appeared in magazines and journals in the Philippines, the United States, and Singapore.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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