February 26, 2010

I had the opportunity to visit Trieste (Italy) on Wednesday.  Florinda, one of the geographers in the department, lives in Trieste, so after she finished up at the Fakulteta, I went with her.  I wouldn’t say that Trieste is the most picturesque European city I’ve ever visited, but it is interesting.  It seems to be a city that has been a lot of things over time.  It has Roman ruins, a medieval castello, and a lot of Austrian-era architecture.  It has a gritty industrial district, newly created pedestrian streets, old piazzas, and a  waterfront begging to be redeveloped.  Florinda makes an excellent tour guide, and we actually had pretty decent weather for a change (hopefully I don’t look quite so cold this time!).  It did rain for a bit, but fortunately it was while we were having lunch.  I deferred to her recommendation – a gooey four cheese pizza.  You have no idea how many pizzerias there are around here…

Piazza dell'Unita d'Italia

Teatro Romano

Castello di San Giusto

She had business to take care of late afternoon, so she left me with directions to the bus station, which I found with only one unintended detour.  I had to kill about an hour there, sitting on a bench in front of a kiosk selling all kinds of underwear.  Who buys underwear at the bus station?  There was a boxed bra and panty set that was rather unfortunately labeled “Blu Velvet.”  Great, so we can add cheap underwear to the list of things people think of when they hear my name.

I had my first class on Thursday.  Anton gave me a nice introduction.  And explained that the class would be conducted in English!  I talked to one Erasmus student after class who happily informed me that English was her second language, while Slovene was only her fifth language.  At least I made one student happy.  That was the lecture section.  I’ll have the first lab section on Monday.  For those of you who have been curious about the kabinet…

Kabinet 30 Fakulteta

My classroom at the Fakulteta

I thought I broke my dryer.  It just stopped working, which could be very unfortunate seeing as how I don’t exactly have a lot of clothes here with me.  Turns out the water tank was full.  Which makes perfect sense now (especially since the dryer is in the dining room), but it didn’t occur to me that it would be storing the water.  Is that an old fashioned thing or a European thing?

I was back in Portorož tonight for an EMUNI reception and lecture by the French ambassador.  It was in French.  The translation was in Slovene.  I think I understood about every 12th word of the French lecture.  But I feel obliged to point out that the words “countries”, “Mediterranean” and “world” came up quite frequently.


6 Responses to “”

  1. amber said

    you look skinny. how do you look skinny while you are eating “gooey cheese pizza” and cooking up all kinds of things in your “party pan?”

  2. aunt millie kieselbach said

    I am enjoying yout blogs, Velvet. Keep them coming.
    p.s. I did not think you “looked skinny”..but just plain GREAT !

  3. Patricia Burnette said

    Your office looks really nice! Your classroom looks so long and narrow … do the students in the back seem a long way away from you? Or is that the way most college classrooms are set up? How many students do you teach at one time and how many classes do you have?

    • I have about 50 students on roll for my class. By way of comparison, I had 2 sections of 30 and 1 of 60 last semester. So the size of the classroom isn’t much different.

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