I might as well just put a shotgun to my knees. Almost 50 km of continuous hard surface running, the majority of which was downhill, was probably not the best thing for my already tired legs. I had found a place to stay in Ludiano, a small village near Biasca (the place I had intended on stopping) via couchsurfing, and on a map it appeared to be a bit closer to Airolo (where I was coming from). Closer doesn't mean much when there is a huge mountain ridge between you and your destination, so I had to run downhill to Biasca in one valley, and then back up another valley to Ludiano. Ludiano is beautiful--basically if you imagine a beautiful small Italian town and then cross that with the imagery of a mountain village in the Alps, then you have a good idea of what it is like. Alice (my host) made me some pasta for lunch, and we spent the afternoon talking (in Italian) until it was dinner time and Alice made a pizza from scratch (I like this Italian part of the world). I also threw my laundry in a machine...I hadn't washed my clothes in a couple days, and my stuff was starting to smell pretty rank. In the evening, we headed to a local middle/high school and watched a series of short plays in Italian that all had something do with apples ("Meladramma"). The school was pretty small, but the plays were entertaining and simple enough for me to understand. There was even a section which shared a theme with one of my favorite philosophies, the Plato/Aristophanes/Symposium concept of the derivation of love and the search for the other half. In the play, a bunch of apples were cut in half and shaken about in a tub. Everyone grabbed an apple, which represented themselves and after holding the apples in front of them, they danced about putting their half-apples against other half-apples, trying to find the perfect match. Basically, if love is a jigsaw puzzle, this is the strategy where you randomly plug pieces together trying to find one that fits. This all goes well until one of the pieces has a roughed up corner and then all the corners get roughed up and there isn't a good cure for jigsaw STDs. The better strategy, which I could easily see from the audience, would be to look at your own apple/jigsaw piece and then scan the room to find one that looks pretty close to it. The more you know your own apple, the easier it is to find a match. For me, all the things we do in life are about finding out your own apple/jigsaw shape, the more you know, the easier it is to solve the puzzle...you just have to hope that there isn't an odd number of apples-halves (In which case, you just eat your own...which actually ended up happening later in the play). A very philosophical middle school play, I must say.
After the play, we headed into Bellinzona and watched some of the Blues Festival that was going on there, and then headed to an underground Reggae bar, where Alice asked me if I could translate what was being said in the music. I answered, "No, I don't understand Italian that well I guess." She responded "Umm, this music is in English." After listening and maybe understanding one or two words, I realized that it was some sort of English based language. Either I've been away from English way too long (doubtful)...or that is one seriously messed up dialect.
Around 2 am, when I couldn't force my eyes open anymore, we drove back to Ludiano and I passed out on the sofabed. A 50 km start to any day will surely put me out quick.
21 July 2009