My blisters were KILLING my feet yesterday, but I’m back in my Dr. Scholl’s ladies’ walking granny shoes after a bit of at-home surgery last night. I had to walk light-weights Ana and Nat home after their one glass of wine and one long drink proved to be too much for them.
I went to the first session today, but skipped off during the coffee break to head to Slovenia with the kittens. We took a bus through the lovely Slovenian countryside to Koper and from there took another bus to Divaca in search of the elusive Skocjama caves. We then learned from the kindly gentleman at the train station that there are apparently “No! No taxi in Divaca!” He directed us to a free bus to the caves where we promptly learned that EVERYTHING is forbidden in Divaca (well, okay, it was actually in Matavun, but whatevs) including, among many others, people picking mushrooms, people kayaking, talking birds, hearts, people writing letters, swimming dolphins, and food trucks.
We walked around for a bit, bought Spominki (souvenirs), then headed back to wait for the train, which, according to the kindly gentleman was “Divaca, Koper. Divaca. Koper. Divaca, Koper.”
While waiting for the trains, we grabbed a drinki-poo at Sirius Bar. I had a Lasko lager. Not my thing, but it was better than most lagers I’ve had. We then spent a good amount of time in the train station where I drank a small bottle of Slivovic.
A long day of traveling and I should be asleep, as Nat and Ana’s snoring indicates they are. It’s funny how synchronized their snoring has become in the last fifteen minutes or so. I can’t seem to settle down, but I think that may change in a minute. I hear rain. Soft and steady, tip-tip-tip-ing on the red tile roof of the church across the alley and down onto the cobblestones below; a perfect end to a lovely day in beautiful, picturesque Trieste. I think Nat’s right in saying that Trieste is too beautiful to be real. Colorfully-tiled buildings ornamented with delicately-carved statues and gold-leaved mosaics stand statuesque, looking out over endless blue sea dotted with sails and net buoys. In more practical news, I’m apparently not used to wearing flip-flops, as I have developed massive blisters on the balls of my feet. Tomorrow is presentation day, which means that I will be dressed in the manner to which I am most accustomed: in a skirt and pumps.
Apparently a former postdoc in my lab was on the maintenance team in Charlotte this morning, but a couple of false starts later, I’m sitting at my gate in Philly, waiting for my flight to Venice…and surrounded by a massive Yankee family who insist on loudly commenting in…distinctive…Mid-Atlantic accents on how “that guy must be Italian; his pants are too tight and he’s wearing socks with sandals” or that they “hope there will be good movies on the plane. I’m in the mood for a good movie.” I do hope that this doesn’t continue…or if it does, that they are far away from me on the plane. I keep picturing Italy and Italian food…my happy place….
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of La Divina and I know that that Norma is her signature role, but for me, Norma IS Montserrat Caballe.
I love Callas as Amina, as Tosca, in anything Donizetti or Verdi, in other Bellini roles…but Norma is all Caballe. Caballe’s voice for me is full of warmth, tenderness, and a feminine, nurturing, motherly beauty. Its effortless purity effuses the unconditional maternal love that plays such an important role in the opera. So here’s to Caballe’s Norma.