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Published: October 7th 2010
So much to say today. I went to Alberobello, where the locals figured out what to do with all the rocks that make up this land. They built Trulli, houses with cone shaped roofs all made of slabs of rock. I'd seenthe city, pictures of them and was sort of bored with the idea of a bunch of houses with cone shaped roofs. I figured I take a quick look and be on my way, instead I wandered from street to street in awe of these strange structures that were each completely different one from another. I know something about working with rocks since I always make walkways where ever I live using the local rocks. Rocks demand that you look at them and figure out which one will fit properly. Thus every house is different since the rocks are different. Besides the ones in the town, I saw others out in the middle of a field and not all prettied up—gave me a better sense of people divising a way to live in this rock-forsaken country. Rocks are everywhere!!! All the walls, low and wandering in the fields, and, in the cities, high and perfectly cut and fit together, reminded
me of Frost’s “Good Fences….” Here's the site to check out the trulli: http://www.lifeinitaly.com/tourism/puglia/trulli-1.asp . Note the weeds growing out of one of the roofs. Not all the Trulli are bering cared for. I noted several were for sale. I'll bet there are a million laws about what you can and can't do with one of these historical buildings.
Where ever I go, in the midst of masses of tourists who invade the personal space of the residents, I look for signs of real people living there—garbage bins, stray animals, wash hung out to dry, people repairing their houses or tending the garden, people actually making the what they sell (the lady with the loom that’s been in her family for 350 years) instead of selling “made in china” trinkets.
I said I hadn’t seen a Starbucks. Well, I also haven’t see any skateboards. I have a theory about both. Italy already has the best coffee, and the kids don’t want to shake all their teeth loose on the cobble stones.
I came across more Japanese ladies doing art work—this time, they were doing smaller pen and ink drawings. Since they spoke no Italian or English, I gave them a
thumbs up signal while pointing at their drawings and a thumbs down pointing at my camera, trying to convey the idea that a fast photo to look at later doesn’t match up to the detailed observation needed to produce a drawing. They smiled their appreciation and went back to drawing.
Another thing I keep noticing is various clashes--clashes of time and culture, new buildings right up against the old, and factories built within a stone's toss from the orchards--pun intended.
I'm can't say who was more shocked, the guy who walked into the public WC where I was washing my hands, or me. I thought it was cute that they had a fish bowl with a goldfish in it.
Before going to Alberbello in the morning, I walked through the huge one block square building that houses the University here. Getting to park your car in the courtyard of the building may be one of the perks of being a professor—at least I’m guessing that’s who owns the cars. I walked through again around 8 PM and the courtyard was almost deserted.
The picture of the chainsaws with small pieces of wood is there to show you the variety of
things for sale and to prove I was there--I'm in the photo taking the picture.
Oh, yes, it rained again today. You know how we say it rained cats and dogs, I'm trying to think of an appropriate image for the rain they get here. "It rained canary feathers and baby eyelashes?" That doesn't really work, but all it means is that I didn't get wet and no one rushed to pull thweir laundry in from the lines.
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