Monday, July 6, 2015

Of Heat & Humidity

Mike asking this friendly statue if he needs a new hat.

"If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back?" —Steve Wright

The weather here has been miserable for the last week or so, and I'm blaming Mike.  Since he arrived, both the temperature and the humidity have steadily risen.  My friends here tell me that this much heat so early in summer is a bit unusual, so we think Mike brought some of that Las Vegas heat with him. We won't blame him for the humidity too much, though. That's how it is here.

I had not realized, by the way, just how humidity can affect people (and animals, for that matter). Lately, I notice that everyone shuffles along, not that they walk fast here anyway. Yours truly is one of them, by the way.  

"You look like a zombie today,"  Cesar said to me the day after Mike and I went to Modena. "Your eyes are ooo-ooo, and your hair is all..." He made some gesture with his hands.

"I feel like a zombie today," I shot back. "This heat is killing me."  Discomfort makes me really cranky at times.

Saturday after we returned from Piacenza, we went to the grocery to buy water, and we walked up the stairs to our flat slowly.

"You must be really tired," Mike observed.

"I am," I replied, "but what makes you say that now?"

"You've tripped twice on the steps," he said.

" True.  My legs are too tired to pick up that far," I moaned.  Discomfort also makes me a little whiny at times.

An open door we didn't enter on today's walk.
Mike and I were going to go to Mantova today, but Mantova, which is farther north, is hotter and more humid, so we stayed put. It was hot enough here.  I hate to admit that I don't have energy to do much. I worked on the magazine today, wrote notes for my own writing, and tried to fall asleep in the afternoon. Big fail on the third one, but I did get some work done. Yay for me. ;-)

 Around 4:30 we went for a walk in an area I had not traversed before.  When Alessandro took both of my groups on tours of the city, he told us to duck into open porticoes if we saw them because it was amazing what we could find.  Mike and I found an open door during our walk today.

"Let's go in here," he said.  Usually, I'd be a bit apprehensive, but since Alessandro had told us to do so and since the interior seemed not to be residential, I agreed.  What we found was the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Bologna and its library.   We walked upstairs part of the way to look at the statues that adorn the place and noticed the frescoes on the walls and ceilings.  Like almost every other older building around, this one had paintings of God and angels looking down on everyone.  That is, of course, due to the fact that the Catholic Church ran everything in Italy for hundreds of years. (More on that to come at some point.)

The fresco on the ceiling of the political science building.

We walked about 90 minutes employing a tactic we once used in NYC about eight years ago. We happened to be there while it was FREEZING, and to keep warm while we walked all over, we went from Starbucks to Starbucks to Barnes & Noble to Starbucks to any store that was open and had heat.  Since Bologna doesn't have Starbucks or BN, we went from Coop (grocery) to Coop to Insolito (dress shop) to Coop to Feltrinelli (bookstore) to Verdura (veggie market).  The furnace-like air was so oppressive that it got the best of us, and we headed back to Bar Santo Stefano and had frullati (Photo below).

Cesar and Lili make Mike's frullato. Mine's next.

A frullato is a blended fruit drink, and the only additive other than fruit is ice.  Mike had strawberry, orange, cherry, and peach.  I had cherry, orange, apricot, and lime.  i would have taken a photo of the drinks themselves, but I like them so much I forgot to do so.

It's almost 9:30 as I write this, and we're trying to figure out whether we want to go somewhere— Parma or Mantova—tomorrow. 

If I'm cranky tomorrow night, you'll know we headed out.

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