Monday, February 26, 2007

world travel galore

I'm a travel junkie.

This week I've been in 3 countries. Sunday in Milan, Monday in New York, Friday in Montreal. Sometimes, if I get distracted and start to think about my own things, I have to stop, look around, and figure out which country I'm in, which language I'm supposed to speak, and what are the local customs. Or who am I supposed to meet up and live a couple of hours with.

It's an unsettling, wonderful sensation. I've even gotten over the fear of flying.

My next step is going to find a way to do this for a living. Earn money from it. I think it'll do for a couple of years.

Friday, February 09, 2007

settling down in milan

Grandma now rests in ashes in one of the main cemeteries of Milan. A little hole amid many, many others... The stone with the inscription and the picture are still being worked on, so all you see is a cemented square. Another week or two, they told me...! I think someone forgot about it.

The reality of it was quite crude. On a Friday I went with a rep from the funeral home to pick up the ashes, and brought them to the cemetery where they would lie. They couldn't bury them that same day. The family of my father's cousin, nice people that they are, met me there for the occasion, thinking it would be the burial. It warmed my heart but they made the trip for nothing. The actual cementing of the box inside the hole would be done the day after, on Saturday. So we went to their home and had a nice lunch. Unfortunately they couldn't make the time to come out on Sat., so I was alone for that process. Not fun.

The weeks after that event have brought new people into my sphere. I met old family friends, randomly tracked down through names jotted down in my father's agenda and some internet research. They all remember me from when I was a tiny pup, and had lost all hope of ever knowing what had happened to me. They took me into their homes and are treating me like another daughter. I seem to keep being adopted by people...

This weekend I'm meeting yet another figure from a past I have no memory of... the daughter of another of my father's acquaintances. Also found through a random phone call from the white pages. So I'll be in Florence for the weekend. She remembers me from when I was just born... Odd, odd feeling.

This time around I managed to actually do a tiny bit of tourism. The pics I posted last time showed some of it. I tagged along some friends to visit the lakes up north on two occasions. A beautiful funicular to see the sunset over the lake from above. A night ride over the lake by ferry. And later a night spent in a turn-of-the-century home, in a tiny town a bit inland, remodeled but with no heat, and thick walls that kept the inside air colder than the outside...! The fireplace did nothing to help, and the covers where damn cold at zero degrees centigrade... but it was a nice time. It belonged to the family of one of my patient, patient hosts (they kept me in their apt for 3 weeks without complaining!).

Today I did the first official tourist thing in Milan. A guy I had met in the most random way last year, while tracking down grandma, took me to the Duomo, the Castello Sforzesco, and for a walk through Brera, a gorgeous section of Milan with pedestrians-only alleys and one of the most famous Italian art academies.

I have made a couple of new friends, almost all nice people up to now, thank goodness. I think I'll be ok moving here. It has a chance.

That said, I am really looking forward for a last trip back to the USA. All my stuff is still there!! Should be around February 20th, through March 14th. Will confirm once I settle on plane tickets.