It’s been raining a lot in Bologna. Rainy weather has a weird affect on me; either I become really productive or I turn into a nostalgic hermit. Lately I’ve been the second, and it’s really draining me. I kind of get lost in this little world of mine, where society doesn’t exist and I’m left alone with my thoughts and faded memories that seem to have never existed in the first place. My window leads right out into a main street, so I’m always hearing the slush of cars speeding against wet asphalt. To some this may get annoying, but I love going to sleep with some sort of white noise in the background. Sometimes when I feel really homesick I close my eyes and pretend I’m back on the beach hearing the waves crashing on shore, at that early morning dawn just before I hit the surf.
I’ve found that I’ve lost any immunity against cold weather that I’ve built up over the years going to school in ice cold Ithaca (I guess it doesn’t help when I go back every now and then to a perfect 72 degree California). Instead I’ve learned to love the wondrous insulating powers of carpet, while I constantly walk around in socks on my cold tile floors—half to keep my feet warm, and half to protect them from the filth that seems to stick regardless of how much I sweep. So I sleep bundled up in a sweatshirt with the dust bunnies keeping my feet company. I find myself strategically covering myself with my blanket in order that there are no holes for the invincible mosquitoes to enter, but somehow they always seem to find another way to bite me in the most random places like the face of my palm, the tip of my pinky, or in between my toes.
Libraries when it’s raining are like malls during Christmas: full of people and surprisingly noisy. Everyone’s tired but somehow mustered up enough energy to leave their homes in order to take refuge among books, music and other people. But just like malls at Christmas, finding that perfect gift—or in this case that perfect comfy lounge chair in which to collapse and study—can be a tiresome challenge. There is this one coveted chair in Sala Borsa that I always try and sequester, but to no avail. It sits right over the balcony on the second floor so I can people watch, and is the only one with an open enough outlet to let my bulky converter fit. Unfortunately that seat was taken today so I sit writing this in the middle of the newspaper crowd, having trouble finding internet connection, while my battery is running out.
I think I realized the other day just how much love I have for my bicycle. I rode into town meeting up with a friend and his roommate to go to the mall. It’s a marvelous thing to see a mall when you haven’t in so long, and I have to admit I felt a little pang of homesickness for so many shops amalgamated into one large mass. OK maybe I’m going a little overboard, but I have to say I was more excited than I should be. Later on we drove to get a hot chocolate at this small but delicious cafe next to my apartment. This wasn’t your average cup of Nestle but a real genuine hot chocolate…mmm. Needless to say amongst all this warm goodness it started to rain, so I decided to go straight home. My bike on the other hand would be spending a bleak night locked up on an obscure street in center, right under a tow away sign. I woke up in the morning with a sick feeling that my bike had been towed or even more likely stolen overnight. If it had been towed I would be in utter shock that in Italy getting internet in your apartment takes more than 2 months but one unattended bicycle is confiscated in less than 24 hours. So pretty much I power walked to Via Marconi in hopes that my bike didn’t get stolen. When I saw the pink rusty paint of my bike I swore, like a mother to a lost child, that I would never leave it alone again. I should really name it.