Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The call is coming from inside the museum

Every day should start with cake and cappuccino. I was ready for anything the day had to throw at me after a start like that. A fact which would soon be put to the test. I was also hugely encouraged by my ability to speak Italian early in the morning. As I poked my head out from my bedroom door this morning and hear the cackling upstairs at the breakfast table, I had a flashback to days in Bologna where I was terrified to set foot in the canteen for the first month I lived there for fear of having to converse in another language when my brain wasn't powered up yet! Of course in Bologna, this proved to be no problem, because the other students were completely incapable of conversation themselves until they had had their third espresso. This morning, however, I was the last to surface, the last to gain functionality and so was very pleasantly surprised by my ability to introduce myself to three energetic Italian girls on their way out for the day!

Nuoro can only be described as a labyrinth. I have quickly shed any fear of asking directions because without them, I wouldn't have the first clue where I was going. In fact, I still don't know even when I ask, because every response includes a long list of instructions, half of which I have forgotten by the time they have finished. Somehow I managed to make my way to the Museo Deleddiano, a museum dedicated entirely to my author. The museum is built around the house where Deledda was born and grew up, and believe me when I say it hasn't changed a bit. I couldn't even distinguish the building from the houses which surround it, and walked right passed it twice!

I had the place to myself and was happily wandering around when a security guard approached me and asked if I was perchance called 'Rhianedd'. Taken aback, naturally I confirmed this and was then told that I had a phonecall. Imagine my confusion. No one had any idea that I was at this museum, in the middle of nowhere, in Nuoro... It turns out that the head of the library which holds my author's manuscripts had been expecting me this morning (we had exchanged a few emails though had confirmed nothing of the sort) and so had guessed that I might be at the museum! Strangest phone experience of my life to date!

So, after a lunch of sardine pasta (yes, I had sardines in Sardinia!) I spent the afternoon getting lost some more and leafing through manuscripts in the library. Let me tell you, turning through the 350 pages of a novel with latex gloves for an hour, only to find nothing is useful is one of the most boring and frustrating afternoons you can spend. At least the other one was useful!

I finished the day off with my very first steak bleu and a glass of red wine, sitting on a piazza reading some more of my book and chatting to the comical waiter about why on earth I'd chosen to go to Nuoro by myself for 10 days. Personally, I think an evening like this provides a perfectly good reason!

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