Friday, 25 September 2009

On the road again

I'm leaving Italy again.
The plan is this: My father has some stuff to do in Bassano del Grappa. I take train there, I'll hang around there on Saturday and we'll go back by car together. So far so good.

Yesterday I wanted to do some errands. Like, go to I Tatti, find a book, copy a few pages, go downtown, do a bit of shopping, go to Antella to see an exhibition, pack. Instead, halfway uphill to I Tatti, I wanted to take a pic of the landscape and found out that I don't have my diary with the post-it that says what I want to photocopy (1).
I did the going downtown bit, got an ice cream, dropped to Farmacia SS Annunziata to get me a bottle of Hyle and there I found out that I left my cards at home. Including the library card to I Tatti. We had a good laugh with the pharmacist and I went home, made an omelette, finished the bottle of Chianti and did indeed pack something. Far from everything, though.

Today, I managed to close the bank account, return all the books, went to Antella and back, in time at home to finish packing, in whose midst I found out that I forgot about my article. During packing, I had an obvious Tetris fail and had to dig out half of thecontents of my suitcase to get rid of the offending corner of a storage box; in the next round, my packing skills were brought to a new, exciting level because not only I placed the box elsewhere, but reorganized the things in such a way that I needed a huge skein of angora blend to stuff the remaining space so that the things wouldn't rattle (2). I don't really know how much may my suitcase weigh but I guess that it's well above 30 kilos; since it contains quite some yarn, there are no air bubbles to speak of (3). Anyhow, I just made it for the 1554 train to Santa Maria Novella. Life is what it is, so the train dropped at track 18, the farthest from the main platform; at the end I wasn't saved from dragging a heap of crap around.
On the 8minutes trip to SMN, I stood by the door with my heap of crap when an apparently homeless guy hopped in to have a ride. He was communicative and stinky, so he kept ranting. He asked me whether I'm German, for reasons unknown (the explanation may be that I carried my knitting in a huge canvas bag with Hedergrens på Stureplan printed on it) I said Nope, I'm from Sweden, which sentenced me to having to listen to a long diatribe on relationships between Sweden and Italy and Swedish history and geography and politics while the guy stank all the time.

I had a sandwich, half of a sandwich,to be exact, before my train to Mestre landed. Dragged my crap, found my seat and all the way to Prato, I listened to a fellow traveller across the table; if I listened more carefully, I'd learn several new curses but I didn't care, I had my eternal sweater to work on and a post-it of notes I needed to decipher.
In Prato, we stopped. Foul-mouthed fellow citizen increased the cadence of his cussing along the lines of Whenever I go by train, there are some fucking troubles, we pay our taxes and our tickets to only get fucking delays. At least, they are not on strike, I thought to myself remembering my past travel experiences. After some time, it was announced that the locomotive is broken, thus the unplanned stop. Foul-mouthed fellow traveller added a few expletives towards the state, railways and universe in general and we could continue.
After doing all the math and lots of pondering, I found out that there's some inherent mistake in my sweater and the pattern is not symmetrical to the whole sweater due to some mess in modules. I decided to forgo ripping it all, casting on again (this particular cast on is very difficult) and decided that a little irregularity doesn't matter that much but for the pattern in the armpits that I could live without but... who is ever perfect.
The train was late about 20 minutes. The connecting train to Bassano del Grappa was already gone so I found another one... and yay for train blogging.

As for now, there hasn't been any railway strike but I'm not there yet. Updates later.

(1) External memory does have certain advantages. Disadvantages, too, as apparent.
(2) The other day, I went to O. with a suitcase of Italian food and various stuff and I was going back with next to nothing. We discussed the matter, finding out that suitcases should contain an inflatable pillow that could be inflated if someone lost fifteen pairs of shoes on the way so that the that remained wouldn't be tossed around. Maybe I should get the idea patented.
(3) Yarn is excellent stuffing for air bubbles, obviously. It can be squished just about anywhere.

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