Date:         Wed, 13 Nov 1996 19:43:06 -0800
From: Ann Borkin 
Subject:      Venice
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L 

Maureen's question about Venice in December made me bring back Venice
memories.  I really don't remember much about a very short (2-day, I
think) stay in December; I was a tag-along of my then husband's, and
remember mostly bitterness that he would not stay longer than his reason
for being there lasted.

The first time I was in Venice it was the end of my junior-year-abroad,
in the summer, and I went by rail from Rome to Venice, and didn't have a
place to stay in advance (one never did at that age in those days).

I shared a compartment with an Italian man, maybe about 40 or 50, who
said he had a daughter about my age.  He told me about his family and
showed me his daughter's picture.  He asked me where I was going to stay,
and I told him I didn't know, and he said he'd take me to a convent.

And he did.  I stayed for a week or so, very cheap, in a convent,
somewhere northish.

I still feel bad that we had made an appointment to meet in the cathedral
the next day at 11:00, and I didn't show up.  Part of it was a distrust
of Italian men, and part of it was just shyness, and most of it was
wanting not to be taken under anybody's wing.  So I just didn't show.

The convent was fine.  The meals were good, at round tables.  I shared a
table with two unmarried women of about 30 years old.  They were kind to
me but did not take me under their wing, except at the table.  They
treated me kind of like a pet; they would say a lot to each other, very
fast, and I couldn't understand it, then they would slow down and talk
foreigner talk to me when they chose.  We had a lot of jokes that I
simply can't remember now -- I suppose they were phatic.

My room had a lot of sturdy old polished furniture in it, and bad light.
I had to be in at 8:00 or maybe even earlier, I can't remember; that was
no problem; but what creeped me was that I was locked *in* at night.

I must be misremembering.  Certainly they wouldn't have locked me in my
room?  I am sure they locked the convent doors so nobody could get out or
in, but somehow I have the recollection that they locked the door to my
room, and that there was a commode in case I had to pee or something.

I must be misremembering.

Jeez I wish I could remember.


Date:         Wed, 13 Nov 1996 20:01:34 -0800
From: Ann Borkin 
Subject:      Venice
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L 

The next time I went to Venice a pigeon (or some other bigger bird)
unloaded a huge dump of shit or vomit or something wierd RIGHT ON MY HEAD.

It hit my friend Caroline, too.  We were looking at leather items in an
outside stall.  Then WHOMP SPLAT something cold hit my head.  At about
the same time, Caroline screamed and yelled and jumped up and down and
attracted a lot of attention.

My own panic reaction is zombiedom.  I always freeze, or go on
idiodically (speling!) trying to carry on the show.  So I continued the
motions of investigating cheap purses and billfolds, green stuff lowering
clammily down my scalp, while Caroline brought a crowd around her.

I remember repeating "I got it too.  I got it in the head."  This is now
one of Caroline's sure-to-bring-laughs catchlines.

The next thing I remember is, having cleaned up, getting nicely drunk at
an outside table of a caffe.  Caroline and I had made up a schedule
(quite structured and methodic) of churches to visit, but we gave up the
plan and got drunk on plain red.