Saturday, January 20, 2007

Addio a Ferrara

Yesterday I folded up all my clothes, leaving nothing but the chiming hangers echoing in my closet. It will only really hit me once my bags are all packed and the room is all bare as I found it. It's hard to believe that 5 months have passed and I find myself at the end, when at times, I languished waiting for it to be over, aching for it to speed up. And here I am.

I went for a bike ride around the city, joining the 165,000 bicycles in the European bike capital for an hour in my life here in Ferrara. I went to the city walls and basked in the blue skies and the wind. The sun filtered through the trees canopying the path around the walls. I made my way to familiar parts of the city, passing the yoga studio where I experienced the weirdest session ever, navigating down the busy and almost catastrophic via Garibaldi, saluting the spiky palazzo dei diamanti and winding around Piazza Ariostea imagining that my bicycle was instead a horse running the annual Palio. This is the Ferrara I got to know, galant castle, blue skies, pinkish duomo, sunshine, old men grouping in the central square, old ladies in mink coats walking arm in arm and the endless string of curse words intrinsic to the Italian language.

I leave tonight to stay in a hotel in Bologna and then catch my early Sunday morning flight to fly back to North America and the crazy life, reintegrating, relearning, rediscovering what I left behind. I feel older now, not just the superficial one year older I had my birthday in December older but actually more mature beyond my years, ready to affront life a little better. It's been absolutely beautiful and at moments gut-wrenching and difficult but in the end, I am very glad I went through with it all. Grazie e addio Italia...

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