I survived today. I finally fell asleep this afternoon for four hours.
I am sitting at the computer in the library of the apartment I am a guest at. It is a library as you would imagine from days gone by. Two walls of books floor to ceiling. Furniture galore. The room is not small. Furniture all antiques. The desk I am working at is the strangest I have ever seen. Strange only because new to my eyes. Different. Long, tall, wide, fancy heavy wood. A poor description, but the best I can do. Old prints and paintings adorning the walls.
It is Wednesday evening. Normally, I would be doing this blog in the morning. However, I must be up and out of here at 8 in the morning in order to get to the plane timely. I am not going out tonight. Too tired. So nothing will be missed by doing the blog at this time.
I hope to sleep tonight. Last night and this morning were disasters. I even took a pill this morning. I forget the name. It is what is taken in the United States to reduce swelling. It also induces sleep. It did not help me.
I lunched in at the apartment. The housekeeper took pity on me. She prepared a light lunch for me. She cooked a fish. A whole fish. Actually microwaved it. In oil. The fish is native to the Mediterranean Sea. I do not know its name. The name unimportant. The fish delicious! She served me the fish and a fish knife. She said you know how to clean of course. I smiled and said, no. What would I know about deboning a fish and otherwise preparing it for consumption! She tought it cute that I was so inept.
I followed up the fish with a bowl of fresh strawberries.
When I was walking the streets of downtown Novara yesterday, I saw a chocolate shop. There were many. This one a Lindt. A Swiss company. The store had small thin hollow Easter bunnies. I love them! Bought one. Ate it as part of my lunch.
A couple of months ago, I read an article on Yahoo re chocolate producers. Lindt was listed as #1. The best chocolate in the world! I had asked Lisa to get me one for Easter. She still buys her father candy for Easter. She could not find Lindt in Key West.
I have spent a lot of time in bed the past 36 hours. Not necessaringly sleeping. Trying to sleep. The mattress is wonderful. Hard. I love a hard mattress. This one the hardest I have ever slept on.
I inquired how so hard. The mattress is stuffed with sheep wool. Stuffed till the enclosure is at the breaking point. The covering holding the sheep wool was thicker than an American mattress and box spring combined. Big time comfortable! Even the pillows were so stuffed.
The mattress and pillows were not as down filled. The one I am sleeping on the rock of Gibralta!
I mentioned the other day my acoustical theory about how pedestrians avoid cars. I was wrong. As far as I myself was concerned. Five times yesterday I almost got hit. I never heard the cars coming. Someone had to pull me aside each time. My theory needs adapting to I guess.
I am anxious to share with you my cherry and strawberry experience.
At dinner the first night, fresh cherries and strawberries were served. A huge bowl of each. Both looked anemic.
The cherries were small. The red coloring dull. Most yellowed.
A large bowl of water was set in the middle of the table. Spaghetti bowl size.
One of the guests had picked the cherries that afternoon. He took his ladder and climbed a tree to pick them. A bushel full.
I noticed everyone was picking up a handful of cherries and dipping their hand full in the water. Hand and cherries combined. Why, I asked. To clean the cherries was the response.
Although the cherries did not look appetizing, when in Roman do as the Romans do. I did. The cherries were the most delicious I have ever eaten
The strawberries looked anemic also. Small. Dull red. White in spots. Sweet! I asked if any sweetener was added. The host looked at me as it insulted. I explained why the query.
I shop at Publix in Key West. The cherries are huge and a deep purple. The strawberries fat and robust. No comparison between the taste of the fruit purchased in Key West and that eaten at the dinner party. The artificial additives to American fruit adds to its appearance, not taste. Whereas the natural fruit served in Novara with no artificial additives had a fantastically superior taste.
The weather is consistent. Hot by day, cold by night. Notice the use of the word cold as opposed to cool. From humidity in the afternoon to three blankets at night. The weather is much like that found in our Adirondack mountains in the summer. Think Old Forge. The only way to avoid the three blankets is to have body heat next to you which, unfortunately, I do not.
I will be in Athens tomorrow night. Another world I am told. I have been advised to be prepared to dance syrtachi and bouzouki. I am sure I have not spelled them correctly. My mind is already filled with Greek music. I can envision tomorrow evening and its pleasures.
So much for today. My next blog will report on my first day and evening in Greece. As much as some of you may not be able to wait to read it, I cannot wait to experience it.
Enjoy your day!