I think today is Friday. I’m going to need to ask someone soon. It was a long but very comfortable couple of flights from Boston to Milan to Florence. I only got a few hours’ sleep, but it’s bright here in Florence—even despite the clouds—so the circadian rhythms seem to be doing okay.
As I sat in the taxi that took me from the airport to my friend’s apartment near Piazza Puccini, it hit me that I forgot my journal. So while I may not be able to blog much while I’m here, I certainly want to get down somewhere my notes from today. And that somewhere is obviously here.
Boston to Milan: never heard anyone speaking Italian but the flight attendants and pilot. Counted half a dozen Sox caps. Had a nice conversation with the lady next to me. She has two adult sons—one is published in the Best American Sports Writing (of 2003, she thought), and the other who is a department head at Georgetown. She herself is an artist and instructor, and she was to lead a small group through an art tour of Tuscany.
In the Milanese airport, I discovered for myself what everyone says about Italians anyway—they really like to people-watch. There were a couple of moments when I thought I was being given the stink-eye for being anti-social, that is, for reading a magazine instead of looking around.
The Florentine airport has just reopened. It felt about the size of the airport at White Plains, New York, and one could understand why most visitors to Florence actually fly in to nearby Pisa. But the renovations—if that’s why it was closed until last two weeks ago—look excellent. Lots of stainless steel facade-ing, presumably to cover up walls they didn’t feel like touching up, and some pleasant but rather corporatey wall art. The ceilings were low and the layout straightforward, as if it were from the classic era of airports, when they were still known as airfields.
My friend, I still haven’t seen her. She’s at work for a few more hours. But her roommate was incredibly dear. He doesn’t speak excellent English, but he was excellent company. He cooked pasta with pancetta for me, and we shared some wine. He pointed out essentials on the map my friend has left me. And we managed to like each other enough that neither of us is worried that I will be here eight nights.
Now it’s time to shower and head out to get my friend some sort of house-gift. I’ve already started a photoset on the Fungible Convictions Flickr account, so check it for updates throughout the weekend and week.