Thursday, August 30, 2007

August 23, Solitude in pidgeon-flesh and the asian contingent

Ah! I slept until noon today! Well, I don't remember much about the night before so I figure that is why my head hurts. It was a beautifully rainy day today. Ma Pop and I took br0n to San Marco Piazza to chase the birds. She wore her water shoes so she could tromp through the puddles on the way. There was thunder rolling over the city and the innumerable pidgeons of the square jumped at the sound of it. br0n seemed to take flight with them, running after them, wet and bedraggled, looking very much the part of pidgeon/scarecrow. Ma Pop suggested we get some gelato and I thought that was a wonderful idea. We walked a short distance in the drizzle, finding ourselves under the eaves of the shop, I went in to talk to the girl at the counter. Gelato is not indistiguishable from iced cream, though it is very similar. The chocolate is so, so good. Ma Pop had the cherry and br0n had vanilla flavour. We finished and went to sit in the salon of our albergo, out of the rain. People watching has always been a hobby of Ma Pop's: picking out strange behaviors and interesting features, commenting and sparking thoughts and conversation. We sat at the window and watched the rain and the people below, playing restaurateur with br0n. We also spent some time in the small column of a courtyard, waiting for dinner time. We went to a pizzaria around the corner for dinner after stealing never from her personal time and noted that all the waitresses were asian girls. It is strange watching an asian approach you, knowing some of their general mannerisms and seeing some of them in the person approaching you, expecting a broken greeting or at least a light accent, and getting a perfect "buonjourno" and an easy prattling of Italiano. I was reminded that we are the foreigners, that we are the ones with broken language and seen as having generalized trappings and faults. Knowing some do not like me or my family on the basis of being tourists was unsettling. Never the less I ate a great spaghetti alla bolognese, as did Ma Pop, br0n had a margherita pizza she didn't eat, preferring a plain bun, and never a very good looking gnocchi (which, I found out just prior to coming to Europe, is pronounced nyo-kee, not no-chee.) With wine undrunk and a long, quiet conversation still to be had with never about this and that, we headed to our rooms for the night.

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