Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A bicycle built for a city

One afternoon complaining to myself and to others about feeling uneasy and an evening of chitchat and cooking later and I am starting to feel at home. I arrived in Ferrara not feeling terribly enthusiastic, what an ugly city, the same words my mother spoke when she arrived in Milan. Once I infiltrated the ugly outskirts and found the charming center of twon, monuments interwoven with everyday shops, and sprnkled with palazzi, there is something about this twon that I can grow to enjoy. The colours and architecture are reminiscent of Venice. I can befriend the woman in the cafe, the man at the hardware store. People are friendly, the make small talk without caring about much else. And bikes, they're everywhere, watch out. They come streaming from all directions.

In the bank today the woman asked me if I was going to stay in Italy. Funnily enough, Sarah got the same question earlier this week. It seems like having come to this little town, removed from the tourist path, and absolutely filled with bicycle traffic, that we stranieri might be serious about the whole Italy deal. But as both Sarah and I say, vedremo, we shall see.

I am back in Italia, the heat is back, the sweat is back, the constant Italian is back. I find myself swimming in the language, watching Grey's Anatomy in Italian, starting to think and dream in the foreign tongue, so much I am removed from any English whatsoever. The onlyEnglish I possibly have is on the phone with my parents and writing on the Internet and for myself. I've started putting together writings for this writing mentorship I have signed up for. 4 installments of around 30 pages or less (less please!) of writing, which means 4 installments of comments and suggestions to guide me on the path to more serious writing. It may be enough for me just to let the words flow from mind to fingers, ma vedremo.

Although my walls are still white, my little apartment has these gorgeous terrazzo floors that make everything better, just look down. Plus, if I climb out my window onto my quasi-balcony, an outdoor corridor of sorts, I have a nice clothesline, but moreso a space outdoors where to hang out. From that space I also face the bell tower of Santo Stefano, perhaps a sign that I'll be okay here, wandering these streets of jumbled architecture, medieval towers, renaissance palazzi, eastern-influenced arches. I think it might be time to start taking photos.

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