The 12:15 to Venice
The 14: 32 to Milan
The 17:28 to Zurich
One week after arriving, I was availing myself of Trieste’s public transportation one last time, heading for the centrale train station and on my way to Venice and ultimately Zurich. It had been the most ordinary of weeks, getting on and off public busses like any other Triestini on their way to work or school. In the evenings I cooked my dinner and relaxed on my couch with a book and a gelao cone. It was the most akin to simply living in Europe I was to experience during my six week sojourn, especially given Trieste had turned out to be as unadorned and unassuming a sleepy burg as any place I’d lived stateside.
There seemed to be two age groups in Trieste. One was seventeen and the other seventy-nine. Both equally stampeded the busses when they arrived, forcing you into an off-tackle jam to get off before they got on. Like my experiences throughout most European cities, nobody budged if they were walking opposite and in the same path as you. On the other hand, they would contort themselves like acrobats to avoid photobombing a pitcure you were trying to take.
The apartment I had was a spacious studio that I could have comfortably rented for a summer. And at $50 per night, utilities included, it was a bargain. I was able to do two loads of wash while there, and by the seond load, I had figured out that instead of futiley hanging my wash out in the relentless overcast and rain for two days, I could simply drape it over one of three radiators in the apartment and dry everything in about thirty minutes. There was a grocery store two blocks away, a wine store across the street, a gelato shop down that same street and a pizza restaurant that knew how to burn and blister the crust just so a one minute walk away. In short, I had everything I needed to settle in and write the great American novel, except the talent and the desire.
Trieste, in short, was the best and most relaxing week of my six weeks in Europe, and I will never be going back again. Every other stop on my travels was one where I immediately, in the moment I’d arrived, was already looking to move on. I remember, as I was arriving in Bilbao, Spain a month or so erlier that I’d been so stoked to “keep going...just go!” In Trieste I wanted simply to live: get up, have a cup, ride into to town for coffee and croissant, ride a few busses, come home, have lunch, nap and then work some until dinner. I did that for a week, and could have done it indefinitely.
Part of my purpose behind this trip was to discover if I could find someplace where I could get a residence visa and maybe at least live out the Trump administration. Trieste would be the place for me to do that, I believe. All that I would have to learn is to hit that tackle hole hard, shoulders squared, knock over one or more of those septuagenerains, and make my way off the #29 bus every afternoon.