Early this morning I went to get my ID at the City Hall of San Giuliano Terme. A cold and humid day, which it meant I was wearing all the usual items such as a hat, gloves, and a scarf. We got there, got our number, and waited for a short time. We were help by a very nice lady. She explained to us where to get everything I need it in order to go to the doctor, etc. Once done with my ID, we leave, get in the car, drive off, and then I realized I forgot my gloves! Marco says to me, tomorrow when you go to get your health ID number, stop there, and ask about your gloves. We get to Pisa; I go to run the errands for the day. My first stop is at the pharmacy. Today I am searching for a homeopathic spray to clear my sinuses. I have not slept the whole night because of a banging headache that felt as if I had the "Cossack dancers" performing inside my head. Then I go to the toy store where I let my childish side of me go wild. I see the twister game; I think what a good game to play with Marco! I see the Lego White House, I think inside myself, I want it, I want it. In between the two stops, I go to a coffee bar to have two cappuccinos with two croissants. While there, I go to the bathroom to do my first inhalation of my medicine. I have my treat, and sketch some ideas for my new paintings. Marco calls me to ask me how is my morning going. I say I am breathing and the Russians are gone! He has no idea as to what I am referring to. I am done with my errands. It is almost one in the afternoon. I return to the University to meet Marco for lunch. He asks me what did I get for my sinusitis. I know that what I am about to tell him, he is not going to agree with me as his background screams chemistry in pharmacology. He says, when this stuff does not work, can you give a try to one of my suggestions. We go for lunch close by the university. It is a simple place of homemade dishes. I order onion soup Tuscan style, a perfect choice for a day like this. Marco's choices are Italian cold cuts and cheese. While waiting for my soup, I notice the stand of Whittington teas. Wow, look at that goody, I say to Marco! I go directly to the stand, and dwell over the many flavors, and kinds of teas. I am not sure if I want a pepperoncino tea or winter tea. I get number 61! Then I ask the lady how much does it cost by bag. She says 2.50, I think, wow expensive. I ask her if she sells the box. She says yes. I ask her the price for the box. She tells me, I have to see how many there are in the box to do the math. I know that usually in a box there are from 20 to 28 tea bags. Hello, like I am going to pay over 40. Euros for a box of tea? Does she think I am the queen of Colombland, or a foreigner with mad money, to go down the drain? Right away inside me the green, yellow, and red light starts blinking at once. She is pulling a fast one on you says the other me. I say to the lady I am not interested to purchase the box. Then I say to Marco, wow she was tricky with the price of the tea. I do not want to have coffee here, lets go to this place that I always pass by to have coffee. We go there, and they also sell the same brand name of teas. I ask the lady for the price of each tea bag. She says 1 Euro or 1.50 if you have the tea here. My eyes are talking to Marco telling him, wow you see, the other place was tricky, and you were finding ways to excuse them. Not only here is cheaper but also she told me how to get it directly. While I am having my coffee with my huge marzipan apple, my phone, with its robotic tone says to me, una chiamata da Roberto Scarselli. I tried to answer but not fast enough. I call him back but his line is busy. At that moment Marco's phone rings. It is Roberto. He has called me to tell me, that the lady that helped me this morning at the Comune or City Hall has called him to let him know that I forgot my gloves. After I left, She saw that I have left my gloves in her counter. She looked for the name of my husband, and realizing that probably he was the brother of Roberto called him to let me know that she had my gloves. I was amazed that she took her time to find out whom I was to return them. I say to Marco, what a day of contrasts it has been today. Wow, beautiful! Tomorrow I will stop by the Comune with one of my cakes!
It’s beginning to look like Christmas, and with that, I think I say it all. December is here. Shops in Pisa are offering great bargains, discounts, prizes, etc. Madness is everywhere. The famous strip that is divided by the middle Bridge, from one side is named Corso Italia the other is Borgo Stretto, and both are the "in" places to do the famous passeggiata or "catwalk" (as I decided to name it) during the weekend. Here the famous shops of Italian designers or of foreign brand names parade from one door to the next. They all offer the rush of vanity for the next event we might attend wearing the one " in " thing. The long street is crowded. Everyone checks you out. I am used to that thou, as Marco checks me in and out of bed. He is after all a researcher, so I think this is why I am under inspection at all times. One time, while visiting family in the Veneto, we went to a coffee house in which everyone was not observing you but studying you. I looked at my self from all angles, thinking something might be out of place. I was fine. So I say to my niece. Why are they looking at us like that? What is going on? So she says, here people look at you for two reasons, because you are ugly or pretty. Well, ugly, we are not!
The famous parade is to be seen, I think. I am still not sure the reason why to walk up and down these two streets that takes me about 20 minutes to walk it all. We usually go there, when we need to buy something. The shop for this day is Coin, a tiny version of Nordstrom. Marco needs a winter coat, and I need warm sleepers in order to survive the cold house we live in.
The shop is packed! Marco says, it is good to see people shopping. Good for the economy. He checks everyday the Italian index. I say nothing. We had a busy morning of taking advantage that the sun was out. Which for me, it meant doing laundry, and to hang it outside before it rains again. Marco worked in the garden collecting branches and leaves that covered our patio. I continue to browse stuff while singing in low voice, one of the Christmas' song from the soundtrack Love actually that is being played in the shop. Finally, we get our stuff. We go on line waiting for our turn. There is only one cashier stand on the second floor with two cashiers girls, which adds to a wait of many minutes while listening, not by choice, people's conversations on their phone. While Marco is waiting for his turn, I go to the cosmetics section to try any samples in my face. I try different types of eye creams, de-puffer, brightener, lifter, etc. …Then I move to the face ones, fillers, correctors, smothers, etc. Marco passes me by and says let’s go. I run out while I notice that the security person was looking at me the whole time, probably wondering what was I doing.
We come out of the shop. There is a gypsy man, almost in a fetal position begging for money, in the wall behind him, atop his head, someone has written “fascista”. I am not sure if is funny or sad that he has chosen to sit right there. He is there begging, while the Africans are selling you beads and threads bracelets, or other small items such as kleenex, etc. They work hard under any weather condition to make a buck. I wear in my left wrist a collection of threads and beads bracelets.
The trunk of our car is filled with Kleenex and umbrellas. We got to know some of them already. They are filled with hope, and they always offer you a huge smile. I love it! They do not look at you. They are busy trying to survive. We reach the end of Corso Italia heading for my favorite tiny immigrant Indian shop. In there I find manioc flour, Indian spices, Asian food and a few Latin products. In that street, the parade is different. They are there waiting for a job, an opportunity, a dream to come into reality. It is a street close to the train station. The street is graffiti in its own right. It is almost seven in the evening. We are ready to go home. We decide to take another street to return to our car. We do not want to pass by the packed narrow fashionable street. It starts to rain. Oh no, my laundry! I say to Marco. We finally get to the car, and drive home. We are tired. I run to get my laundry. It is damp, Thanks God, I say!
Living in Pisa for the past year, have given me the opportunity to know it better than any Pisani including my husband. He, of course, gets insulted by my suggestion. But the fact that he grew up 5 minutes from the center of Pisa, and never climbed the leaning tower, particularly as a kid, it just amazes me. My family always said to me, before you explore the old continent, you must start by knowing your land. Which I did. My dad loved adventure, and the fact that my parents were from different parts of Colombia, also gave us an advantage to visit our extended family that only we Colombians have. Then my dream as an artist was to conquer NY. I conquered it by knowing it well, and still hoping to see my artwork in a famous museum before I die. Hello, I want to enjoy the fruit of my labor. Then with my husband, we moved to Lausanne for four years, living the perfect picturesque life of Heidi with no grandpa around. Now we are here. And I love it! I also want you to love it. Pisa is my favorite opera of all kinds.
All artwork, material, Pisa is all, logo, and phrases are all copyright by Ethel Bustamante December 2012
E’ vietata, con qualsiasi mezzo, la riproduzione senza il consenso scritto
E’ consentita la citazione a titolo di cronaca, studio, critica o recensione, purché sia accompagnata dal nome dell’autore e dall’indicazione della fonte compreso l’indirizzo del sito.
Tutto materiale artistico, fotografico, logo di Pisaisall copyright Ethel Bustamante December 2012
E' triste vedere che le personne non hanno integrità e immaginazione per creare qualcosa che è unica. Aver copiato la mia idea del mio sito Pisa is All mi da grade soddisfazione. E voi sapete chi SEI!