Friday, October 11, 2013

The Sounds of Bologna

Arriving at Guglielmo Marconi Airport this time was not the same for some reason.  I didn't feel the rush I normally do when I step off a plan and smell the fresh Italian air or the wonderful essence of Italian BO. Hah! The feeling surprised me, made me nervous. It made me think that maybe this really was my last year of la vita italiana. But I hated thinking that, Italy is the place that always makes me smile, that smells so good I never want to leave, that is the perfect mixture of city and countryside, that makes the perfect cappuccino, that doesn't take work TOO seriously, that keeps you entertained, that keeps you exploring, that keeps you wanting more...

So where was that feeling I was expecting? Why didn't I have it this time? Maybe I finally realized that I need my family and friends in the same place with me, its just so hard being far away... but when will they realize that Italy is where they should live too? ha, scherzo.... forse scherzo...

Anyway, I quickly picked up my bags and got into a cab to speak my first Italian words of the year, and to sit in silence watching the Bolognese world fly by from inside a silent cab.  This is when I started to smile, knowing 'yes, Italy was the place for me,' at least for this last year of studies and then maybe as the use of my vacation days for the rest of my life, but for this year, I was here and I was going to live, smile, make the most of my time and not dwell on the fact that all the people I love were a couple thousand miles away. Luckily for me my nonni and Toni were still in Fontechiari and Alex and Amie would be coming for a vacation soon as well.

So what made the click from the airplane to the silent cab ride? The sounds. The bustling. The noises.

Inside the cab the familiar sound of motorini put-putting about around came alive.  This was a sound I had missed greatly.  I could hear the faint noise of the Italian DJ speaking italian at a rapid pace on the radio.  I could hear the smooth stick shift every time the cab drive changed gears.  Stopped at a red light, two women joked and laughed at each other in loud, over dramatic Italian expressions. Horns beeped. Buses groaned by.  Old, ancient FIATs and other typically old cars squeaked, moaned and putted along, never once giving the impression that the car could ever stop driving. Cobblestones bumped under the wheels of the cab.  And then you could here the infamous 'Eh!' It was glorious! I was back in Bologna and the familiar sounds that the US lacked were here to comfort my return.

Upon arriving at my apartment, my ears were again overloaded with sounds.  The familiar click of the elevator being called. The "BUZZZ" of the tiro as someone hits the button to unlock the main door. I unloaded my things, then went for a quick walk again hearing music in my ears.  The clinking of an espresso being set on the table to give someone a pick me up.  The barista taking away the cappuccino cups and tiny spoons as they clink against each other and then clatter into the sink. The constant hum of Italian chit chat illuminating from the piazzas.  A church bell ringing. The squeaking of old bike chains. The click of a lighter as a cigarette is lit. More glasses clinking because every bar on every corner and in between never rests (my favorite sound). The sound of the metal protection door of a shop being thrown up to reopen business after pausa.

Then there is me. Smiling like a dummy. Loving every second of it.  So happy to be back.

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