Excerpts from my Italian Adventure: Part 4

August 31, 2006 at 10:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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June 16, 1999
Ah, Venice. Truly exotic and beautiful. I was fascinated with the canals, and enjoyed exploring the city–getting lost most of the time…Our hotel is small, but at least it’s clean. I’m sharing a room with Ariel that’s smaller than my room back home. My bed blocks the window/door to the patio–I have to move it back to shut the window, then move it forward to open the hallway door. We share a bathroom with everyone on the floor, and we share a shower with just about the entire hotel. I think that explains much of Italy’s stench…This is the third beach I’ve been to, and each one is different. Pisa had large waves and filthy, seaweed-filled water. Here the sand is chock full of shells, but the water is wonderfully clear. The beach isn’t very pretty, but it still feels nice to be in the sun. I’m here with Karen and Stacey B.,–two I don’t get to see that often. I like being in Italy with a large group (there were about 25 of us in all). Every night I’m with someone different, or I can be alone if I choose…The animals here are not afraid of people–especially the pigeons. I really have grown to hate those birds! They fly everywhere and have no qualms smacking right into you.

June 17, 1999
Tonight we played a drunken game of Ucker (pronounced Yook-er) in the Piazza San Marco. It was almost surreal. We scouted a spot near the big tower while string quartets played on all sides of us. People in formal attire crossed the Piazza, stopping to waltz when the song was right. A man sang and a wino yearned for my bottle of cheap table wine. After many attempts, a gypsy sold Bill roses for each of us girls. I got the only pink one.

June 18, 1999
We went to a modern art exhibit in Venice–Venice Biennale 1999. Very creative, original pieces here. Like a room made of green milk crates with red carpet you could walk inside, wooden chairs that did a sort of dance, mattress frames and couches made into drums that you could play. My favorite was a video display in a small, dark room. A man facing the camera and with his back turned to his audience sang first on one screen while a woman in an empty auditorium kept her backed turned on the opposite screen. Then, when he stopped, she started singing. He and his audience stared out amazed. Her voice and movements were mysterious, captivating, beautiful. I stayed for two showings. I later realized the woman was being played backwards. Then there was “Nothing,” a piece that blew soap bubbles filled with smoke into the air. Each one burst, emitting a puff of smoke. Then there were the Asian clay figures–full-scale, and left to crumble as the artist constructed more each day. Sad.

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  1. […] Liam asked if I’d like to waltz, which he’d learned how to do in school this year. Eighteen years ago I sat in St. Mark’s Square at midnight with my college friends watching adults in fancy dress […]


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