Thursday, June 19, 2003

Tattoos for Sale

Yesterday Corrie and I went to the beach at Porto Recanati, which is about a 40 minute train ride from Macerata. When I woke up yesterday morning, Corrie was in the kitchen and the window was open, and she pointed outside and said "Look. It's a cloudless day." So we caught a train to the coast.

Porto Recanati is a cute Italian coast town with a boardwalk, sea-foam colored buildings, and pebble beaches dotted with striped umbrellas and bikini-clad Italians. We took our green backpacks all the way to the edge of the water (since we would have had to pay to sit under the umbrellas), and cleared soft spots on the rocks to sit down. Corrie lay down, immediately sat back up, and said something to the effect of "just our luck." the "cloudless sky" had turned black and sunless.

After deciding to ignore the imminent signs of rain, we tried to sun bathe (without sun) for about 10 minutes. There were still immigrants milling around, trying to sell us tattoos and beach towels and other sunny day novelties (Corrie was able to ignore them by playing dead), so we didn't feel so bad about sun bathing (without sun) until we started to FEEL the drops of rain, and noticed that even the people who had paid for umbrellas were leaving.

The rest of the afternoon we spent wandering around Porto Recanati (luckily the rain wasn't heavy, just sprinkling lightly), admiring the bright homes and colorful side streets, and writing in our journals. We were approached 4 times by a tall African immigrant in a long black robe asking for money for food (the fourth time Corrie was like "ancora NO!"--we STILL don't have money to give you!), and we played with a couple of month-old puppies who were having serious trouble climbing a small set of stairs (one--Spike was his name--kept falling on his side). I felt oddly like I was in a Chekov story ("The Lady with the Pet Dog" maybe?) much of the afternoon. The town was strangely familiar, and I still can't place why. I am not sure what it reminded me of. Another town in Italy? Another country? Someone else's stories?

We went home at 4, arrived in Macerata (where it was raining harder), and got pizza on the walk back to our apartment. The pizza guy, when he saw our backpacks and swimsuits, said "Did you go to the sea? No. Not today, right?" We just laughed.



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