I’m sitting on a terrace in the centre of Bergamo. It’s a sunny Saturday, people are wearing sunglasses, short shorts and the wind is playing hide and seek with the women’s dresses. Then I notice a pigeon…
A touch of nostalgic feelings suddenly bubbles up in my body, just like the sparkling San Pellegrino water in front of me. I remember the time when I was watching a couple of pigeons which were sitting in a tree at Coupure in Gent. It’s funny to see how their heads are moving up and down with every step they take. It always makes me smile…
Now I’m also smiling when I’m looking at this picture again. The pigeon is in a rather funny position, as if it wants to be bigger. I think he or she is a little megalomania, don’t you think?
You know. I like details. Things almost no one notices. Small things. Beautiful things. Funny things. Such as people I don’t know, but fit perfectly in a picture. Or a nice old floor, or building. A shadow, or the colours of the sun when it sets. Last Saturday, when I took this picture, somebody else was watching my sister and me. We also noticed him and his red camera. My sister wanted to take a picture of him, because he was also noticing the small things and taking pictures of it, but before we could, he had already taken a picture of us…
It’s great how quick you learn to know new people over here. We had a long talk with L. the photographer with the red camera, laughed with a Chihuahua-puppy as I almost killed it because I hadn’t noticed it, had some more sparkling water and finally went home to make diner. Later this week, Jasmina and I went to an All You Can Eat place at Porte Nuova, in the middle of the city. Three portuguese guys we learned to know Saturday evening accompanied us. Great food, great view and great company. What do you want more? Our two neighbours A. & M. cooked for us later this week. The real Penne All’Arrabiata! (If you now have the impression I was only at home to sleep, it’s the right one). It’s a pity they are moving to another part of the town on Tuesday.
P. also invited us over to her place this week and taught us how to make caffè. The real Italian way that is! One of her friends even told us the “special trick” to make coffee as they do at Italian coffee bars. (If you’re lucky, I’ll make one for you when I get home in my brand new Moka) They are such nice people. P. took us for two subsequent Fridays to La Caballo Loco (a latin bar) together with her friend I. to dance some salsa. Or should I say, try to dance some salsa. Two great nights!! Imagine this: a large dance floor, mojitto’s and dancing couples switching of partner after each song. The lovely thing about this all is, they do not change at once. Oh no. The men have to ask the women if they want to dance with them on the next song. Just like the old days. Speaking of old,… my first dance partner was a man who could have been my grandfather, and his hips were still moving and shaking shocking perfectly!
What I also learned this week (besides some salsa moves and some Italian words during the lesson, which isn’t going as well as I thought it would as our teacher is an Italian who only speaks Italian. That’s right, only Italian. But how can one learn a new language without translating it to another language??) is that Italians have a very different idea on the concept of personal space. The “bubble of security” that marks someone’s personal zone is either very limited, or just non-existent. I often catch myself backing up slowly from a person, grabbing my purse closer to my body (horror film style), as he or she continues to move closer and closer to me. But why do Italians do this? I’m not sure, but maybe it’s because they don’t think twice about personal space, or perhaps they just enjoy being surrounded by people?
I could write so much more about last week. It’s like there just aren’t enough hours in the week, or even in a day, to explain you how things are here. I feel like I still have to see so many places, try out so many food, learn to know so many new people.
And I’m loving it.