n i g h t i n g a l e s h i r a z / blog
from Aunty Amy's beach hut in Sandspit, Karachi.

june 2023
january 2023
december 2022
september 2022
august 2022
july 2022
january 2022
november 2021
october 2021
september 2021
august 2021
july 2021
june 2021
may 2021
april 2021
march 2021
february 2021
january 2021
september 2020
august 2020
july 2020
may 2020
april 2020
march 2020
february 2020
december 2019
october 2019
july 2019
june 2019
may 2019
april 2019
march 2019
february 2019
january 2019
december 2018
november 2018
october 2018
september 2018
august 2018
july 2018
june 2018
may 2018
april 2018
march 2018
february 2018
january 2018
december 2017
november 2017
october 2017
september 2017
august 2017
july 2017
june 2017
march 2017
february 2017
january 2017
november 2016
october 2016
september 2016
august 2016
july 2016
june 2016
may 2016
april 2016
march 2016
february 2016
december 2015
november 2015
october 2015
september 2015
may 2015
march 2015
february 2015
january 2015
december 2014
november 2014
october 2014
september 2014
august 2014
may 2014
april 2014
march 2014
february 2014
*april 2013
*march 2013
*february 2013
*january 2013
*december 2012
*november 2012
*october 2012
*september 2012
*july 2012
*october 2011
*september 2011
*august 2011
*july 2011
*june 2011
*may 2011
april 2011
march 2011
april 2010
march 2010
february 2010
january 2010
december 2009
november 2009
september 2009
june 2009
may 2009
february 2009
january 2009
december 2008
october 2008
september 2008
august 2008
july 2008
june 2008
may 2008
april 2008
january 2008
december 2007
november 2007
october 2007
september 2007
august 2007
july 2007
june 2007
may 2007
april 2007
march 2007
february 2007
january 2007
december 2006
november 2006
october 2006
september 2006
august 2006
july 2006
june 2006
may 2006
april 2006
march 2006
february 2006
january 2006
december 2005
november 2005
october 2005
september 2005
august 2005
july 2005
june 2005
may 2005
april 2005
march 2005
february 2005
january 2005
december 2004
november 2004
october 2004
september 2004
august 2004
july 2004
june 2004
may 2004
april 2004
march 2004
february 2004
january 2004
december 2003
june 2003
april 2003
march 2003
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]
[venerdý 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.


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] []