Smiles come in all languages. A face has a language of its own independent of its words. My Italian is not so good anymore and it was never so good in the first place so I have replaced words with lots of nods and pointings and smiles and eyebrows and more nods with smiles. Smiles work very well.
It is late evening as I sit here in my little apartment and write this. It rained today, drizzled really. just enough to make my hair frizzy and coat the road with perfect shininess. The cobbled streets had been waxed and shined. We walked about, me looking everywhere and my friend trying to stop me getting run over by the cars and scooters that hurl themselves bravely around the bends and corners.
We had spent the morning is these amazing Baths, styled on old Roman baths, everyone wearing identical white bathing robes, and wandering at will through rooms lined in dark stone, everything water. Of course there are no pictures from there, that would have been wholly intrusive, but it is called Terme Milano and is in the Porta Romana area if you are ever in Milan. All my travel fatigue just washed away – though it does not seem to have been replaced with a need to sleep.
I am wide awake and running out of things to read!
All our walking took twice as long, as I was endlessly stopping, handing my umbrella over and taking photos. Here is a quote from Antonio Gramski that my friend showed me, beautifully written on a stone wall along with other graffiti. I have always had a soft spot for graffiti. Especially intelligent writings for all to see and read and discuss.
This was written by Antonio Gramski. Gramski was an Italian Marxist, a thinker, a theorist and a writer. A revolutionary really who stood up and loudly fought for his ideals. Right or wrong – his theories were interesting. While imprisoned in the early nineteen hundreds he wr0te. (And this is a translation remember) “I hate the indifferent. I believe that living means taking sides. Those who are really living cannot help being a citizen and a partisan. Indifference and apathy are parasitism, perversion, not life. This is why I hate the indifferent.”
Whether you support his politics or not. The sentiment is meaty and challenging. And weirdly current.
The light faded as we walked and soon it was time for us to part. I went back to my apartment, cooked a simple meal with fresh ingredients we had gathered on our travels and ate as I worked on my pictures. A glass of wine at my elbow.
I became so tired I could not hold up my head and went to bed gratefully. Only to wake up two hours later totally refreshed and ready to get on with my day only to discover that it is 11pm. No morning yet. Sigh. So now I write.
Tomorrow we walk again – I will be meeting new friends. The best way to see a town is from the feet – having guides is not such a bad idea either. My guides will soon know that in the absence of a horizon I am totally without any sense of direction and there is only so much a smile can do. But I know where all the little stores are now, close to my apartment, the bread store, the vegetable shop, the tiny little supermarket with wine, a place with cheese and olives and a stunning butchers who know where his meat is grown and I know to walk close to the buildings so as not to be cleaned up by a fast moving tiny car with a honking horn.
I think I will be perfectly fine for a while. Two more full days here in Milan! A beach girl from a farm in a big foreign city. It is good to scare ones self out of a comfy body every now and then.
I am such a lucky person.
I hope you have a lovely day.