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from Aunty Amy's beach hut in Sandspit, Karachi.

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last train to grand central.

how lovely is the train ride from Rome to Florence, at any time of year.  and how much more, when it is  full-and-buxom, twelve-kinds-of-green-and-counting, deep-throated *spring*.

i've done this EuroStar so many times.  i've seen this track of land through every conceivable stage and season.  before i get on, i know how long it takes on the Metro A, to get from Ottaviano to Termini.  i know (now) how to buy my ticket online, so that Trenitalia sends me a text message with my passenger number, no ticket required; the train-conductor will come by with his little Trenitalia handheld-device, and print my ticket on-board.  if it's an afternoon or evening train, i know what kind of mini-bottle-of-wine i want to take along.  i know how to pick my seat so that i sit backwards,  so that i get to watch the landscape unfurl like a carpet away from me, second by second.  i know how to wait for when the cypresses start, for when the countryside changes, for when Tuscany takes over.

this is the last time i will make this trip, for a while.

in Firenze there are so many things to say goodbye to.  like a first-boyfriend, it is always special.  nevermind the flaws, never mind that you've moved onward to better men and bigger cities.  a first love only gets sweeter with time.

i have to say goodbye to Garga.  a first in so many ways.  my first date in Italy.  my first date with Ciro.  my first date in Firenze.

i have to say goodbye to Borgo Antico.  to the Egyptian chef that does the afternoon shift, and always tells me that he's waiting for me to realize the truth and ditch my Italian boyfriend for a good Muslim man.  he doesn't hold it against me that i don't:  he gives me extra, when i order the antipasto del mare special.

i have to say goodbye to Via Ghibellina, and the magic of a neighborhood that made every moment charmed.  from the day Tamanna and i moved in (to find that Florence's very first Indian rosticceria had just opened its doors -- under our living-room window), through the days we tried to stay in and study for Intensive Italian midterms (and boys on the street would tell us -- as we leaned out the window -- that there were better ways to study Italian).  through the days of hunting for Vivoli, and finding it, and racing the sun to finish your gelato on the bench in Santa Croce.  Florence for me, has become so steeped in the magic of inexplicable happiness, i have only to touch the side of a palazzo there, and feel the stone on my palm -- and i feel like i have everything i could possibly need or want in the world.

i have to say goodbye to Santa Maria Novella, to Palazzo Vecchio and the Ponte Vecchio.  to Borgo San Jacopo, to Santa Trinita' and the statue of Spring -- so glad to have her head back.  i have to say goodbye to the Arno.

i have to say goodbye to Le Volpi.


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[EuroStar Trenitalia, Roma-Firenze]
[venerd́ 14 aprile 2006 ore 14:11:52] []

the days -- at least they are longer.

spring feels like it is finally here.  people -- real locals (and not just the thick-skinned Canadian tourists) -- are sitting outside, are going for walks before and after dinner, getting their high-heels caught in the sampietrini, dodging the vespas for roman-back-alley real-estate.  clothes are being hung out on the line; billowy bedsheets and even -- already -- bermuda-shorts.  i open the bottom drawer of my dresser, only to find that all the damp from my bedroom window has left a very gross film of grey moldy stuff over all my non-winter shoes.

sigh.

it is sunday night and i sit here feeling weird and melancholy.  i can't figure out what's wrong, what my problem is.  i try to write and nothing comes out.  i play with the pre-written date for the blog post, and i realize with a start that it's the beginning -- again -- of my last month here.  and so i recognize the feeling: i've been here before.

there are boxes to be packed, and letters to be written.

but i feel like every day that i wait, every day that i don't think about those who believe i should live my life a very specific way -- is a good day.

i know i'll be ready in time.  i don't have a choice.


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Giordano Bruno, Roma]
[domenica 02 aprile 2006 ore 20:52:18] []