Monday, November 20, 2006

Paris / Bergamo

Paris / Bergamo

nov. 15, 2006

I left the australian pub at around 2am in Paris and went to the apartment. Tess stayed behind with the 2 Claires and their friend.
When I got to the apartment I picked up all my stuff and packed. Went to check my email and found a beautiful note Steffi and Kati had left in my laptop when I opened it. They wrote very kind words. That was really nice of them.
I got really drowsy checking my email, so I wrote a quick one to Michele and a couple of people. When I'm about to fly I like to talk or send messages to the people I really care about and let them know that.
I put my cel for 4:45 am which I calculated would give me enough time to get to Porte Maillot to catch the 5:30am bus to Beauvais airport which is 75 kms outside of Paris.
I fell asleep. At around 3:30am the doorbell rang. It was Tess coming back, and he was ringing cause I had taken the keys. He came back with the Claires, one who was very drunk, and their friend. ( They are meddical students who were allowing themselves a night of craziness and fun) So I didn't go back to sleep. I sat down on Tess laptop for a while and Claire almost knocked off the table when she tripped on the power cable and the speaker's power cable.
I decided to leave early that way I could walk. So I said goodbye to everyone and thanked Tess for his hospitality. He told me to come back to Paris any time I want for as long as I want. I thanked him. I put on my jacket, took my suitcase and laptop and the vynils I had gotten for Giorgio, said goodbye to the Claires and their friend and left.

I started to walk down the Rue de Rivoli towards Porte Maillot whichis way past the arc de triomphe. I figured it would take me about 30 mins to an hour maybe to get there. About 4 blocks down I decided to walk towards the Seine. I took the Quai de Louvre and walked beside the museum and then I crossed the street towards the river. Paris lights were out, the Eiffle tower was out, and the water was relatively still. I loved the glimmer on the water of the regular street lights and the shapes of the almost leaveless trees. The oscillated between gray and yellow. Clouds and sky but no moon.
I had to stop to take a leak a couple of times. Before I had crossed the street a man had come up from one of the many stairs that leads up to the Quai from the path on the shore of the Seine with a Siberian Husky puppy. He was walking in the opposite direction. A minute later I felt something nipping at my heels and suitcase. It was the puppy that had crossed the street and was shadowing me. I grabbed it and helped it cross back the street to its owner.

I continued my walk by the Seine and then and Place de la Concorde switched to Champ D'Elysees. Good thing I did, too, for there's an exhibition of transporation acrros the ages right on the boulevard and there were many types of vehicles there. My camera was in my suitcase and I didn't feel like taking it out to take pictures. I wanted to make it to Porte Maillot before 5:30am and the pace I had was kinda slow. There were examples of old trucks, boats, cars, motorhomes, a replica of a rocket, a train. It was very nice ( as Borat would say ).
It was 4:45 by the time I hit the main part of the Champs d'Elysees, the one of all the stores and offices before the arc de Triomphe. I even saw one of Tess' friends from friday night having something to eat in one of the cafe's, probably had been at the VIP room or one of the many popular Paris clubs that are around there.
Finally made it to the Arc d Triomphe. My feet were tired, it was 5am and my hand was trembling from holding the suitcase and the vibrations of the sometimes uneven surfaces. So I took a taxi which was "libre" and happened to be parked to one side of the Arc. Good thing I did. I still had a long way to go apparently, and I didn't really know where I was going. He asked me if I wanted to take the bus to beauvais airport. I said yes. Turns out Porte Maillot is a parking lot/ bus stop where buses wait or arrive and it's in fron of Paris Sport Palais or something like that.
The taxi was 5.50 because of the hour. There were many other people waiting for the bus and more arrived. When the bus finally arrived I got in, sat down near the back, watched the clock and the minutes tick away hoping the driver or assistant would come charge me the fare and the bus would take off so that I could fall asleep. I was listening to music. Curiosly, all the time in Paris since the day I arrived I hadn't taken out my ipod shuffle since I took it off after the train arrived in Paris from Amsterdam. I put it on precisely when I got to Porte Maillot.
I think for the first time in a while all my walks somewhere had been to the tune of my thoughts, fears and freak outs.
Finally the driver gets around to me, I pay my 13euros and promptly fall asleep. Woke up when we were arriving at Beauvais. I checked in my bag and got my ticket at around 7am, then went to the info dsesk to find out about the lost and found. My friend Arantza had lost her wallet on the flight from Bergamo to Zaragoza when we went there on sept 30th for Giorgio's birthday. It wound up at Paris Beauvais airport because the plane went there after Zaragoza/Bergamo/ Budapest. The lady at the counter told me that at 8am the lost and found would open, to come back to the desk then.
At 5 to 8 I went there and she called the guys at lost and found. At first there was some confusion because they thought they were looking for a wallet belonging to Juan Susana ( me) but after a few back and forths, I told them it was Aranzazu's wallet and since they had sent the emails and she had written back that I would be picking it up, thye found it. I was cutting it close, cause my flight was scheduled to leave at 8:30 am. The man from Lost and Found looked at my ticket and then started running looking. Told me to wait for him, that he would get me through security. He got the wallet, I signed some papers and then he took me in to the securiy checkpoint through the lines of people who were getting ready to go into the gate for another flight. I went through securiity, got to the tarmac.
I was just about the last person to get on the plane.
I don't really remember the plane taking off. I fell asleep almost until it landed, which by the way was a very hard and fast landing.
Once in the airport, I got my suitcase. Alessandro was waiting for me outside. I was surprised because Giorgio had sent a SMS to Tess' message saying he couldn't come get cause he was working.
Alessandro told me he was supposed to be in Milan, but had awakened late and there was a strike in the university anyway, so he came to get me. We went straight to Citta Alta to get some coffee. We visited La Marianna. Citta Alta was covered in mist. It was really foggy and chilly in a nice way.
We had coffee and a pastry. ( for the past few days I've been indulging myself with chocolate filled pastries.)
We walked around for a couple of ours and visited one of the churches in the Piazza Vecchia. Incredible, not one empty space. Amazing artwork in the form of paintings, statues, on fabric, on wood, frescoes.
After walking thought Citta Alta for a while we headed to Giorgio's house so I could leave my stuff. After that we went to their parents house where we had lunch.
Giorgio arrived first and then their parents, Dino and Jenny. We caught up a little and Jenny cooked us tender steaks. She prepared it with leaves, I don't remember what they are called. It's incredible how great Jenny cooks and she's a vegetarian. The other time I was here for Giorgio's birthday she cooked Brassato, red meat in wine, it was very very good.
Dino and Giorgio went back to work. Ale and I had coffee with Jenny and then we went to his room to play guitar and listen to music and check some things out really quick on the internet. Ale has a nice Jackson guitar like the one Randy Rhoads used. we listened to some Metallica and Flotsam and Jetsam. Went back downstairs for some more coffee. Then Criss, Giorgio's girlfriend arrived, so we said goodbye to Jenny and went to Citta Bassa. First stop was a comic book store. I hadn't seen this part of Bergamo in my other 2 visits. Citta Bassa is actually very nice. Historic buildings, wonderful little shops, pastel colors.
After walking around for a couple of hours we dropped Ale off at his house. Criss headed for Giorgio's house.
We hung out for a while.
I took a very long shower which I needed badly. I was all stinky from the long walks in Paris and the trip. It was great.
Then we went to Alessandro's store where Giorgio's friend had posters for my show at Keller. I took some pictures of the store for Alessandro to put up on his website. It's a mobile phone services business.
Afterwards, Aperitivo. Had a couple of Prosecs and a Campari with white wine. Giorgio told me that at first it's not very good but you get used to the flavor. I like it actually, although it's a biit dry. The snacks were great. I enjoyed vegetables with a thin layer of farine passed in Olive Oil, giving it a light breaded feel but keeping the veggies ( Zucchini, peppers, onions) crunchy and juicy.
After the apperitivo we headed for Sorisso for the best pizza. Jenny and Ale joined us. As well as a couple more of Giorgio's friends. It was a fun dinner. We stayed there for about 2 hours.
At 10:45 we headed for Keller's to catch the band of Ale's friend. They did some pretty good covers. I specially enjoyed the drummer and singer.
We hung out at Keller's until 2am. Giorgio and Cris put up the poster for my show.
We had a few beers. Ale wasn't drinking cause he had a blood test scheduled for the next day to see how the liver is doing. Giorgio is drinking less cause the doctor told him his liver is a bit abused. I had just 2 pints, a british red named Must and a Rosso by ( forgot brand).
In the car we had been listening to Cathedral, so when Giorgio, Criss and I left, I told him to put the song "Hopkins, Witchfinder" again.
At the house he put on the video. As we were watching the Cathedral DVD I told him about a video I remembered from the early 90's, so he started to go through all of them asking me "this one" and I'd say "no". Until he asked me and kept asking, hearing no reply. I had fallen asleep with a beer in my hand.
I was really tired. I woke up and went to the visitor's bedroom, got under the sheets and promptly fell asleep.

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