03-23-2003
Gorizia, Italy, Art and Company
 
Such a good night. Gorizia is a small city on the border of Italy and Slovenia, with half the city in each country - apparently there are borders running through town in some areas. There's a castle, and a winding street, and fields outside of town, and this gallery/cafe called Art and Company where we played. But this is not all I want to talk about today.

First: I'm writing this from the Hotel International in Zagreb, such an excellent representative of Socialist architecture and interior design: wide open rooms, lots of mirrors and glass and shiny things, everything built to appear as glitzy as possible, to maybe make one feel good and important even though much around you is quite depressing. The restaurant is out of control, red velvet and mirrored walls, an out-of-tune piano on a red dais, large potted plants, etc. Good food, but funny.

Sorry, I'm going about this all wrong. So: we spent the rest of Saturday in Venice. I got entirely lost and walked until late at night in huge elaborate circle-like shapes through the city, finally stopping for a beer the third time I passed the same goddamn bar, and I say goddamn because having seen almost no Americans the whole time in Venice I walked into a bar that was crawling with them, loud and drunk and all that. Not to say that the drunk Italians weren't just as loud, but when you don't speak the language even drunken screams can sound magical. In fact, the next night - in Gorizia now, just like magic - I was out very late, having sardines and beer and grappa in a tiny bar by the castle with the three very attractive bartenders from Art and Co, and listening to them talking passionately in Italian was like ... like being drunk on beer and grappa. But then the one nearest me, the one who actually lived for ten months in Moses Lake, the one whose name is right now escaping me, would translate these inane conversations, the kinds of conversations I'd stay as far away from as I could if they were in English, about hair styles and boyfriends and all the other things young drunk girls talk about late at night in small towns when there's very little to do. It was a good late night.

Earlier still, I met a Parisian girl named Stephanie, she toasted me from across the room and I leaped over my table and knocked over many, many Gorizians to get to her side. I like Stephanie, but of course she left long before we all went to the little bar near the castle, long before the haircut conversations.

The show in Gorizia was great fun. We had an enormous meal, baked pasta which I would be happy to eat every day and night, a massive plate of polenta with beans and suasage - almost cajun, you know? and so good, and so filling.

Vanek, the promoter, had to find an entire backline - bass amp, guitar amp, and drum set - in about three minutes, and somehow he did it, even ending up with good loud amps and even a drum kit which somehow stayed together while I pummeled it. People loved the fucking show! After not so good a reception in Schio, I wasn't sure what to expect; but people loved it, they were excited, we were excited. Vanek was excited, we were excited for him; the owner of the club gave us coffee and grappa, and we stayed too long, drinking and smoking and talking, all the locals and Agostino and Giovanna and the four of us (myself, Tim, Vicky, Andy).

Then the late night with the girls, and a drunken sleep. So much more to say. I'll try again soon.


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