Monday, October 23, 2006

Wandering, Resting, Writing

I wasn’t exactly sure when Chris would arrive Friday afternoon. He had sent me an email that morning saying he would arrive that day, and, since I don’t really have Internet access, that was the last I heard from him. I had sent him my address and hoped his memory served him right to guide him down the main road of Ferrara to my apartment. Surely enough he arrived and a spontaneous meeting with Chiara and Stephanie in the hallways led to a little chitchat gathering in my apartment before dinner. Sarah and I made a simple pasta/salad dinner, for which I thought I had made a horrendous amount of pasta (around 100g per person is always about right but better safe than sorry, right?) but it all turned out alright and after chatting our way to midnight we hit the hay.

I woke up to a very toasty apartment granted we had turned the heat on so that Chris would be alright on the floor of my room. Coffee, breakfast, shower and off we went to Bologna. We wandered around Bologna in the rain that morning, checking out the Gothic/Renaissance cathedral, ample and beautiful, snaking down a street full of food and vendors, umbrellas and fish, and trekked to the top of a tower to see views of the city. Then we decided to track down the restaurant recommended by my travel guide specializing in good deals and typical cuisine. Checking out the map, we thought we were in the right part of town. It was only when we consulted with someone in a hotel that we discovered we were on the opposite side of town.

We arrived at the restaurant about a half hour later to find the tiny storefront crowded with a hoard of older Italian people. Great, we’ll never get in now. But surely but slowly the whole crowd filtered in and we were ushered to a table and a hearty meaty lunch complete with wine. It seemed like the restaurant was like a clown car fitting what must have been 50 people into all their inner rooms, none of which could be seen from the narrow front room of the restaurant. We wandered back to the main square of town to check out a museum with more statues and artifacts than ever imaginable and a church with a maesta by Cimabue. Back to the train station through crowds and vendors and thus ends this weekend of Chris and Stefan. Chris has midterm exams this week so he wanted to get home to study hard and kick academic ass.

I headed my way, promising Chris we would meet again next Saturday in Rome, and came home to have a hearty soup for dinner and talk at length with Sarah about religion, faith, love and learning. It’s really nice to have a friend with whom to just chat the night away, share an obsession for Grey’s Anatomy and just reflect on what we’ve done, what we’re doing and where we’re heading.

I went to bed with a bit of a cold and still have one this morning that I am determined to fight off with water, cough drops, and rest. I took a little walk around Ferrara today; Sundays are always strange here. The city is always burgeoning with life: vendors selling all sorts of kitschy arts and crafts, crowds of people emptying out of the main church and assembling in the square, kids and adults in medieval dress assembling in another square to hold court it seems and perform some sort of coordinated flag display, tossing them into the air, passing them, never dropping them once. I instead, am just going to close myself in my room, nap, rest, and write.

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