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#1 : The Fall from Heaven

Day 1. Part 1

sunny 26 °C
View Departure for Bologna on KrimFiction's travel map.

Lost in Time

Something truly fascinating about the human mind is its aptitude for self-deceit. Incomprehensible actions are sometimes committed by the body for motives utterly beyond the psyche's immediate grasp. To brand such a supernatural process, words such as intuition, foresight or some inexplicable prescience of things come to mind, assuming in the first place that the unconscious part of our cognition is considered apt to adequately guide us through the vicissitudes of the unknown future. In the converse situation, where for obvious reasons the unconscious reasoning of our already dubious enough selves cannot be deemed a worthy torch-bearer of our destiny, the use of baser expressions such as following a blind hunch, absentmindedly throwing the dices of Fortune, or letting Providence do it's things can accurately describe its senseless proceeding. Whichever of these two options eventually guided my earnest self to the completion of an application form for an international research grant is unfortunately beyond the reach of my most strenuous speculations, enshrouded in the hereafter by the veils of Time.

As pertains the reasons that lead me to aimlessly wander the hills and steeps of Italy this summer - which is a subject that still eludes me to this day - it is in my complete authority and grace to try to complete here and now its just and final excogitation; for I seem to have only grazed before this most cantankerous subject. The Krim's of times past left savory crumbles of a 3$ french baguette in their trail, which now permits the present Krim to follow accurately enough their meaningless peregrinations by eating said crumbles on the way to the truth. I have thus observed that they have erred in their endeavors as to follow the known pattern describing almost all human catastrophes in history, which is trying to accomplish something for the sole reason of having in one's possession the means necessary to its realization. And so it was that the snake bit its own tail : the Krims of times past were fueled by an unprecedented ennui and disdain for everything that surrounded them, which made them sought excitement in a sufficiently distant future to quench their immediate thirst for novelty without having to actually modify their erstwhile situation.

This precedent unruly prating of thoughts taking place inside my anxious brain was suddenly tamed by an otherworldly and feminine lull seemingly coming from the outer reach of the known universe. It seemed like a pleasant whispering of sort with an unintelligible meaning, placed in the form of an interrogation. It was indeed a question, left to fend for itself alone in the wild without any associated answer; two soulmates bound to different deserts of solitude, seeking forevermore the last piece of their innermost puzzle. The lack of a definite finality to this situation resonated in me : such reverberations thawed my previously frozen thoughts and offered me new views on the world, an essence of spiritual freedom that put my thoughts afloat in an ocean of peace and tranquility, all the while neglecting my erstwhile anxiety. My mind was positively fluttering along that vast body of water, aboard a sturdy wooden three-masts ship driven onward solely by the sporadic zephyrs of this most peaceable location, experiencing in the process a taste of paradise.

This respite was however quickly turned to ashes as the ship's second mate hallooed an Avast to the boatswain and seamen, who promptly halted the ship's progression by turning the ship leeward, hauling its mainsail, and dropping the anchor astern. At that moment, a sudden jerk of my left shoulder made me fall from heaven straight to the sharp jaws of reality, following in a similar manner the jagged events of the life of pitiable Lucifer. Opening at that moment my crusty eyes and putting away my bulky set of headphones, I felt, on my left, the insistent look of an airline hostess, maintaining a practiced, unequivocal smile, doubled with a most exacerbated look of disdain and contempt for men of my kind, who so happen to be dozing off during the assignment of lunch. In the end, I held her no grudge, as I was aware of the horrors of customer service. She probably had to repeat this vain procedure a dozen times per meals, repeating all the while the same riddle : "Mister, what do you wanna eat?".

Following my earlier rousing, I was distraught for a time, considering the proposed spicy falafel and chicken-pasta as two equally acceptable choices to sink myself again in a state of deep languor necessary to resume my previous train of thoughts. My final choice ended on the falafel, as the broad-shouldered Nigerian businessman on my left, and the baroque middle-aged French woman on my right had already chosen the chicken; striving to be unique being an important part of my nature. I had also reasoned that the gulping of a 25cl of the available red wine would drown significantly faster my troubled senses than any quantity of chicken or falafel could ever do, long-haul flights providing one of the only socially acceptable instances for day-drinking. Evidently, alcohol having never directly resolved any predicaments in the history of mankind, Its rapid consumption only left a gaping void in me, all the while destituting me of my reasoning and senses. I was truly a pathetic sight to behold.

It really did seem to me that going to Italy was a most terrible mistake. I was anxious, agitated, underprepared, my Italian was bearable but impractical and clunky, and I had realized by talking to an American at the customs that my English could also not be considered top-shelf quality. I deeply resented the actions of my bored past selves, for they had bequeathed me the crushing debts of their frivolous disposition, which I now had to defray up-front to a gritty loan shark armed with two wooden nunchakus. Being still once more in a shortage of worldly possessions, I could not bribe myself away from the nunchakus' direct hook to the jaw known as regret, followed by the smashing uppercut to the chin named discomfort, that left me K-O on the airplane for several hours, without so much as a singular neurochemical of happiness making its way to my tipsy brain.

Following my disembarkation of the plane, still groggy and disoriented per fault of my previously described morally reprehensible decisions, I took my first few steps outside of the airplane, to fully realize that the hourglass of my sheltered life in the suburbs of Sainte-Foy in Quebec had now officially trickled its last sand remnant. Eyes brimming with tears, I took my luggage in one hand and my courage in the other, and promptly looked for a taxi that could bring my scattered self to my Airbnb lodgings - to look for a bus in my condition seemed then tantamount to the fifth labour of Hercules.

Aboard the taxi, I casually initiated a conversation - that I had practiced dozens of times in my head before - with the driver, an elderly Italian man with a grey mustache and a greyer woolen cap that covered his balding head, to practice the few sentences and courtesies I had previously learned in the classes "Italiano Elementare I-II' at my university. It came to a great shock to me that to truly understand a native-speaking coffee-guzzling Italian grandfather requires consuming in a voracious fire vast quantities of the wooden logs of concentration I so thoroughly lacked at the time. He would elegantly string colloquialism, regionalism and contractions I had never learned, without so much as taking a breather in-between. My naive instigation had endowed the old geezer with an endless supply of tales and stories to impart me.

After 10 minutes of awkwardly listening to the narration of the whereabouts of his fourteen years old grand-child Emma studying in Perugia - where I would at times boast this warm-hearted old-man's morale replying "Sicuramente!", "Perfetto!" and "Si, Si!" at every observable conversational checkpoint he would leave in his recountal, to his utmost joy and pleasure - the taxi finally pulled to the side of the road, just in front of my Airbnb quarters, in the historical center of Bologna. I handed him a 20€ bill to defray the cost of the travel - which was of an absurd 17.40€ - but since he had so thoroughly enjoyed my company during our short trip together, he handed me a 5€ bill, and would not accept any more money in return. I had learned something very useful that day.

With my luggage in hands, I found myself in front of an old three floor apartment guarded at its stairs by a rather small and churlish man that looked no older than 26. This remarkable gargoyle was discrepantly donned with a black double-breasted jacket overlaying a plain white shirt, neat pointed-toe Italian leather shoes, and rugged blue jeans; and was wrathfully texting on his brand-new Iphone Xr. His fierce display of resentment directed at his cellphone was incredibly intimidating to a tabula rasa soul devoid of any practical experience such as mine. My intuition - acquired in its entirety from movies, video-games, and Japanese animations - was screaming at the top of its imaginary lungs to keep afar from this disgruntled fellow, who shared an important similarity to the son of a Mafia boss from the B movie Mafia vs Ninja I had watched a month prior in order to immerse myself in the true, unadulterated Italian culture.

As I was walking in his direction, clumsily avoiding eye-contact by feigning admiring the beauty of the scenery, he began scrutinizing me for a second and suddenly erupted from his seat, clearing in a moment the thunder-storms of resentment that had inhabited his brows, to warmly greet me in a slow-paced English : "Ahhh! Ke-erim! It's ple-easure to meet yo-u... Ye-es! Fo-ollow me inside... Yo-ur room at the top floor. Ye-es! Fo-ollow me now." I managed to squirm some sheepish salutations in Italian before following the lion into the midst of his den. He introduced me to my 2.2m X 2m chamber, which was situated just outside of his apartment on the third floor. I was then bestowed three sets of keys to allow myself access to the apartment's main gate, my quarters, and the host's dwelling, which contained the amenities necessary to my survival. He then unceremoniously left me, having far more pressing matters to tend to.

After throwing my bags on the only available spot on the floor, I proceeded to accustom myself to my new environment. My room was small. Really small. It contained a small creaky bed, a small table, a small light, and for no valid reason an extraordinarily bulky cabinet that took half of the already limited space. On the rightmost wall could be found disparate photographs describing indiscriminate historic moment. There was a photography of Alcide De Gasperi, drinking wine in the company of an unknown figure; the popular photo of Che Guevara in all his revolutionary splendor; Marthin Luther King, at the climax of his speech "I Have a dream", A young revolutionist swinging a flower bouquet during a protestation, instead of the expected Molotov cocktail; The Italian Football team celebrating the victory at the 2006's World-Cup; Leonardo da Vinci's self-portrait alongside his renowned Vitruvian Man; The Pope Saint John Paul II absolving a kneeling nun; and 4 identical sketches, arranged in a vertical line, of a mysterious obese man, intently looking at me, the drawing's beholder. More on these suspicious quadruplets will be unraveled subsequently.

Opening the small windowpane permitted few beams of light and a nice summer breath to find their way inside my dark grotto but would at the same time invite as unwelcomed guests the turbulent noises of the passing and going of Fiats and Vespas taking place at the roundabout just below my room. The small bed being just before the small window, I had had to step on its small snugly mattress to realize the precedent feat. Having slept only an hour the preceding night, I could no longer resist the temptation of a minute of respite and laid down on its entirety, my long right leg dangling freely at its side. I had inadvertently left the window half-open, as to profit from neither of the advantages precedently described, but my body did not concern itself with these banalities nor for the fact that we were in the middle of the afternoon, and fell asleep a second after I had put my head on the small pillow. I peacefully dreamed of observing the stars during a tranquil summer night in my hometown of Rouyn-Noranda, blissfully unaware that my tragedy had in fact just begun.

Praiseworthy readers, thank you for being a part of my adventure!


Posted by KrimFiction 08:47 Archived in Italy Tagged taxi bologna plane italian literature story airbnb

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What a spendid tale, Krim. I've never seen such powerful display of writing skills. I look forward to plunge again into your next adventures.

by Mr. S

I loved this, much better than the one before. Maybe it's because it's more on thought about what happend to you. You really have writing skills!

by fedbert

You are Charles Dickens of our times, I must say!

by Vic_IV

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