I am directionally challenged.
I came up to Trieste for the weekend to carry some of my things here, and to see if I could go to the antiques market that’s supposed to be on the third Sunday of each month, at least according to a couple of websites I found. “Behind the main squares” (Borsa and Unità, from what I could gather) and “in the Old City” were the only directions I was able to find. None of this was of much use. I asked one of the folks at Caffè degli Specchi and he had to ask someone. I was told it was “that way” (along the waterfront) about two minutes. I suspect they thought I meant the antique shop/mall (?) on one of the piers. I’ll explore that on a weekday, I think.
“Behind” is such a relative term, really. Did the website mean “behind” from the perspective of the train station? From the waterfront? Did “the Old City” mean up on the hill above the Roman amphitheater? I walked up the waterfront and in a block. I walked up the hill and up some stairs to the streets behind the amphitheater. I walked back down again, toward the public garden. No antiques market was in evidence.
I have no idea if I simply couldn’t find it or if the market is actually only a summer phenomenon. I’m leaning toward “summer market” at the moment. No matter, though. I got a chance to walk through more of the city on a Sunday morning and into the afternoon.
Lunch was pasta with salmon in a vodka sauce at Caffè San Marco. It is a large place with classic-looking art painted on the walls, and classical music playing. The wifi was free and fast, at least at that hour on a Sunday. The food was good, as well.
It will be nice to walk through the city on a weekday, when things are open. I need to get more of a sense of where different types of things are available, and I definitely need to find a shop that specializes in organic food. Yesterday I went into a couple of the small department stores near Piazza Unità; Coin and Upim. Everyone is having sales right now, probably for end of year inventory reduction purposes after the holidays. Coin seemed a little more upmarket than Upim, but now I know where to find a few household things of different types. I picked up a bathrobe and some slippers. With the polished wood floor in here, I don’t want to be wearing shoes in the house, but I’m not keen on wandering around in just my socks, either, in this weather. I haven’t done the shoeless in the house thing since living in Hawaii, back in the early 80s, so it will likely take a little getting used to at first.
I brought pots and pans and flatware with me to the flat this weekend, which means I’ve been able to cook a couple of meals here for the first time. There’s something satisfying about being able to cook in my own kitchen again. I’ve got some curried lentils and mushrooms simmering on the stove right now, which makes my heart very happy. On the phone, I’m playing some Mediaeval Baebes for a little background. Earlier it was Corvus Corax and Abney Park. Let’s just say my musical tastes are eclectic.
This evening I had to call Lufthansa to deal with getting a flight back to Seattle to pick up my dog. With an APO as a billing address for my credit card, it is impossible to book a flight online. I called from my Skype number on the computer. Between the echoes in the room because the flat is nearly empty, and the crap connection, it took us nearly 40 minutes to arrange everything, but I’ll be able to bring him here for about half of what the places quoted me when I checked into getting someone to ship him here without me. And I’ll get to spend eight days back in Seattle, visiting people. I’ll still have to pay for my dog’s ticket ($200) when I check him in at the airport, but that’s rather minor compared to the rest of the situation. Quotes for shipping the dog ranged from $3300 to $3700. With the dog, I’m only paying about $1200. Needless to say, flying myself and visiting everyone wins by a mile.
I’ve found a decent mattress and a bed for the flat. I tried to get store credit for them, but I have to actually have my Permesso in hand, and my Carta d’Itentità in order to do so. It won’t be a problem once I have them, but that’s still probably two to three weeks in the future. In the meantime, I put a little money down to hold the items at that price and have the receipt for later. This does, however, mean that I’ve got cash enough in my accounts to still get some other things I need within a reasonable time frame.
I knew when I sold all my furniture that I’d need to replace most of the material things that make life comfortable. It takes time to find things that I like, though I’ve started locating likely items. A clothes washer is next on the list, as I’ll need to use that frequently and it’ll be easier than hauling clothes down to a laundry and back. Another Real Soon Now item is a desk and chair for the computer. I’ve brought a measuring tape with me so that I know what dimensions I’m looking for. Now that I have them written down, a shopping trip is in order.
My brother took me to Ikea near Palmanova earlier in the week. They are the same everywhere. The vast maze of the place aggravated my dizziness and I suspect that visual overstimulation may well have something to do with it. I’m not fond of them at all, as the styles aren’t really what I’m into, with only a few exceptions. I’ve had Ikea items before and the bookshelves, at least, just don’t hold up to my literary needs. They’re fine for paperbacks and cheap hardbacks, but my books tend to be of the heavy and often academic variety, which seem to weigh about twice as much per square inch. Ikea shelves die under that sort of assault fairly quickly. My brother took me over to the furniture shop on the base, run by an Italian company that custom builds things, but I’m not sure if I can afford shelves there on the scale at which I will actually need them. I’ve taken measurements for the room that the library will live in, but until I get a look at what comes out of the boxes and gets stacked around, I won’t be able to make a fair assessment.
We got lights for the hallway and dining room walls. Those will be installed next weekend, when we come back again and I move my stuff in permanently. I’m still going to have to do some travel back and forth between Trieste and Montereale for the Permesso and ID card issues, but I’ll have enough notice of when that will need to be done to handle it all. It’ll be good for both of us to have our own space again. I’m definitely cramping the sib’s style.
I unpacked two of the boxes I mailed to my brother before I left. Four of the items were damaged but only two of them were unrepairable. They were not the ones that were most important to me, so their loss doesn’t bother me much at all. The other two will be fixable easily with a little glue and it won’t be noticeable at all on one. The other will have a little seam in one place, but that won’t be much of a problem. I set up a temporary Brigid altar on the kitchen counter, which makes things feel much more like home.
Home is such a lovely word, isn’t it?