Thursday, March 31, 2011

Adventures Of

Last Thursday on the train I wondered if Venice looked like what the movies  have lead me to think.... I also wondered how smelly the water was. ....

When I walked to the front of the station, after 3.4 hours on the train, I thought, the movies did not lie, this time.  Then I thought, staying it is ..... Ya see, I had gone with an extra change of clothes and three addresses of various hotels in case I felt I needed more time. I thought I would have made the decision to stay after some hours of walking, but I knew what to do within the first 20 minutes. 

I never found the first hotel since the Venetian streets aren't on TomTom's grid. I went to a restaurant for help instead. ... I told the waiter that I was looking for such and such hotel. He said, "I don't know where that is, but you can go here," as he handed me a card. 

Two blocks away I spoke with the concierge who spoke English, French, Italian, and perhaps something else. He thought I was French. .. There were no vacancies, but he called another place that could keep me for 40 euros..... He then walked me across the street while saying, "Well there's a room here for 35 euros if you want to have a look." ... When I took a look I saw a windowless room that was situated four feet away from the reception desk. ... "Where's the door?" "Right here,"he said. " 

At the Hotel San Salvador I paid in cash  for (Venice does not like credit cards, due to something about losing 50% of profits to taxes.) a private room and a shared restroom with other guests who never appeared. And technically, it wasn't a hotel. "Is this someone's home?" "In fact it is. It's expensive to buy property in Venice, so many people will live upstairs and rent out the first level." I accepted and liked the concept. 

 On the way to San Marco Square I passed by many people who were posing on bridges. You know those mysterious looking photos of persons who look away from the camera and into a distance? It doesn't seem as mysterious when it's part of the plan. I thought, Are these people taking these photos for themselves, or for other people? Why do I take those photos? (He seems to be a good grandfather.)

Anybes, when I got to San Marco, I stared at this girl until I realized who she was. A classmate from New York. So it's a small world after all... After the exchange of info, (She's doing a semester in Florence.) I went to a glass gallery that caught my attention from across the square. The chandeliers they had were embellished with colorful roses. It looked like a product of imagination, or a cake. They were like the talking cakes from Beauty and the Beast. And I'm all for Beauty and the Beast. ... As I started to leave I heard classical musicians start to play, 'My Favorite things," which is one my default songs. (A default song: A song that you've been singing for years without knowing so.) "Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens." The tears came while singing the words to the music. I can only take looking at streets made up of water, the unexpected run in, the chandeliers, and the song individually. This is why I enjoy traveling alone. Perhaps I would have missed the copper kettles if I were with other people. 

A manager from another glass gallery tipped me off about a good fish restaurant when I asked, "Do you know of any good fish restaurants?"

At the Trattoria alla Madonna I sat at a table for two with Huckleberry Finn..... (After 'War and Peace' and 'Pillars Of The Earth' caused me to pass through a gray period, I needed to laugh a little.) When my waiter initially approached he asked, "Whatdoyouwant?"

I said, "The artichokes." 
Him: "And?" 
Me: "The sea bass." 
Him: "And?" 
Me: "The house white?  
Him, "And?" 
Me: "I don't know.. What else do you want me to have?" 

It felt like he was treating me like a regular or his niece. .. When the fish arrived I was told to close my book as the plate met the table. So I did out of respect, and in doing so I became bored quickly because exploring a city alone makes me feel like I'm doing something that's worth my time, eating alone at a restaurant is like eating alone at a restaurant. (Unless you're outside people watching, which wasn't the case that night.) So I sat up straight and reopened my book. .. A few minutes later I told the waiter that I needed to read by kindly saying, "I like your glasses." He got that there would be no role playing with me, he also got that I wasn't snobbing him. 

After tiramisu, and two sips of limoncello I asked a man and his dog, Carlo and Luna, if they knew of a place that had live music. (I chose to speak with Carlo because of the way Luna was looking at him.) Carlo suggested that I went to Taverna Del Campiello Remer. So, that's what I did. Once there I spoke with an elderly gentleman who was sitting nearby while two guitarists played in the background.  He told me that he was a Buddhist kindergarden teacher who takes his dog to school with him each day. (In one sentence, yeah I did.) His dog waits for him until school is out in a small house he constructed for him... He also explained that Nam myoho renge Kyo means have faith in your faith. (In Sanskrit.) ......... When the music stopped we shook hands. "Enjoy your life." "You too."

The night ended with a 1.a.m. stroll in the Rialto Bridge area. Was the moon out? I'd like to say yes, but who can remember such details..?

..  I have an appointment with ice cream. I'll write more later. 

p.s. The water didn't smell... But I'm from New Jersey -- So who knows, maybe it smells? 


  1. This was so beautiful...I can't believe I haven't read more of your blog posts before!
    Italy sounds like utopia when you say it the way you do. Is your soul happier? I feel like it must be.
    Also, I love that you're reading Huckleberry Finn for the laughs...
    Never come back, unless it is for a brief and opportune visit.

  2. Dearest Lore, I search utopia out... And when I find some, I have something to write about... .. Is my soul happier? Hold on let me ask it.. .. O my, my soul is spicy... it said, "Are you asleep behind the wheel?! Look at this muscle.. I'm gettin' stronger!"
    And never come back? I'm sensitive! I need you to miss me!
    Lastly thanks for liking what I wrote and also for loving Huckleberry Finn, his lies are the same as honesty.