I am still here in my room in Paris. My first night in the city of lights and my room indeed has one bare warm white power saver compact flourescent. My first night here was almost a disaster. I was supposed to arrive yesterday but because of the strike of the rail workers in France and the traffic in Amsterdam, I missed my train. I left Amsterdam this lunch and and after two train transfers (Antwerpen, Belgium and Lille, France) I finally reached Paris. Only to find out that my hotel cancelled my reservations because I was a no show yesterday. I tried to call them.
Pretty much unlike in Italy. The visit to Bologna was unplanned yet came out to be one of the most endearing. Rica was a friend way back in the musical Elias at Salome way back in 1996. A few year after that I never got a word from her only to find out that she was already in Italy in my friendster eleven years later. unlike most Filipinos in Italy, she is a student. To make it more unlikely, a student of music. And yes, she can pass for a tourist guide.
Bologna means nothing for me except for Bolognese. That spaghettini with a lot of tomato sauce and meat. Basically the one most popularly bastardized by a lot of us. It was that morning when we walked around the city that I found out that Bologna is one of the centers of education in Italy (if not the world). They have the first university that started in the year 300, a library with an extensive collection of manuscripts and records from the medieval era, fully modernized archival system and a lobby with glass flooring underneath of which is a museum of the pre-roman city ruins, and yes, Einstein launched his theories here and Guilelmo Marconi is from this city too. Bologna is also the city of Porticos, they invented this structure.
They say, this is one of the old Italian cities. I can’t help but agree with them. Especially after tasting the Ragu Bolognese prepared for me for my last dinner there.