Friday, April 25, 2014

Window watching

My favorite spot is sitting at my kitchen table on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Or even now since I have my lovely little blue tavolino from Maison du Monde my balcony provides another great relaxation/study location and a great observation point.  From my kitchen window there is the infamous view that is splashed across my Instagram of San Michele in Bosco perfectly framed by the soft orange, salmon, and sand yellow colored alley of apartment buildings behind Via Solferino. Everyday is a new framed photo, whether its raining, snowing, morning, night, day, cloudy, or cristal clear, spotted with barren trees covered in snow or alive with green leaves, all the results are perfect.

Aside from the picturesque view, there are other little wonders that catch my attention whether I am sitting at my kitchen window sipping my cappuccino,  catching some rays on my balcony or hanging up the laundry.  From my apartment there are probably twenty or so balconies visible, each with their own actors and peculiarities.  Looking out the window on a finally sunny day I can learn something about my neighbors from their laundry. This morning I quickly spotted a white apron hung to dry with an image I recognized immediately, the infamous red cable car, the logo of one of the best gelateria's in town.  Yes, you guessed it! Must be a Cremeria Funivia employee! Further down the string of balconies I notice some sheets garnered with alternating British and American flags. On other balconies I can determine a working woman lives there (panty hose are flying in the wind), or a businessman (countless shades of blue button down shirts) or someone has little kids (tiny people's clothes out on the line!).

The usual couple on the left pops out and leans over their balcony railing as they share a conversation and a smoke. A Nonna and Nonno pop out in their bathrooms, the woman hands the man a cloth as she returns inside, he begins to wipe down the clothes lines on the balcony, she re emerges from the apartment to critique his cleaning skills, leaves him to it for a little while longer then takes over. They share a friendly wave with someone across from them who I can't see as a building juts out blocking my view.

As for what I hear, the noises are a pleasurably orchestra of Italian cliches. The clicking of someone's gas stove... It just won't light! Someone reeling open their rolling metal blinds that blocks their apartment from light and danger, a lovely metal noise is created. The clinking of pots and pans as the people above me start cooking, then the clash of forks against plates, they eat, then the running water and more clashing of pots and pans, they clean up. Yelling begins in an apartment very near by, from the woman's deep and irrational voice, I can only assume it comes from the apartment whose balcony is covered in plastic covers, christmas lights and other chachki delights.  She starts yelling and it seems like she is in my apartment, her voice echos between the buildings and the courtyard in the back. Sometimes the sound of a vacuum cleaner sneaks into my ears, or the loud flapping of cloth as someone shakes out a dusty rug or a table cloth covered in crumbs, I watch the debris float to the garden below.

Then you have the sounds that are just normal of Bologna, without the actors of my backyard. The church bells of San Michele in Bosco sound off in the distance.  You can hear bus #30 slow to a stop at the bus stop around the corner. Someone exited there home and threw their trash in the dumpster, I hear it slam shut. Motorinis buzz by and the noise from the cars on the Viale never ceases, no matter the hour of the day.

All of this is glorious to me. I could just sit in my apartment and be content forever. It's perfection to me.  There is intrigue, there is predictability, there is unpredictability, there is happiness, there is la vita bella.