Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sweet Italian Memory

There's a lot of talk in US news these days about Perugia and the appeal of American Amanda Knox. I am not writing about the trial, I am not passing judgement one way or the other. It's just that I could not help be reminded of a Sunday that I spent in Perugia a little while back. It was a blustery day, but as intrepid tourists, we forged our way through the city, into the cathedral, in and out of side streets, trying to avoid the downpours and slipping along the cobblestone. As with all of our collective memories with good times, I can remember it all as if it were yesterday. You know that Perugia is famous for its chocolate but foolishly, we did not pause to think that on a Sunday in Italy, the shops would be closed. And then, it happened. We found the only chocolate shop opened in all of Perugia. That's when my drawing stopped....

...and the sampling began.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What's Lisbon Without Fado?

Long before I arrived to this city, I was warned not to miss Fado- and to be sure, as soon as put my first steps to the cobbled roads, the haunting strings of Fado echoed up and down the hills of Lisbon. Even without understanding the new tongue that I was surrounded by, through the animated conversation, I could hear so many speaking about.. Fado. And so, it was to my great surprise and pleasure that on the Friday eve of the symposium, I set off with four new-found friends, in a crazy taxi drive to the beautiful streets of Alfama and to an evening of magical, mystical, Fado.
It lived up to its reputation and more. Stuffed into a small room, we were surrounded and embraced by the deep emotion, the smells of the kitchen, the allure of the wine and of course, the music. So close, so tangible. And then, there was the matriarch of it all- the Gypsy mama, who greeted her boys with a slap up side the head and they kissed her back in return. I was all at once intimated and fascinated by her, and when she danced with that bottle on her head, she had me. And so did this night..Thank you Deb, Sally, Frank, Norberto for making one of the very special memories, amongst many, in Lisboa.