Total Pageviews

Friday, 24 April 2009

Sunday 12 April 2009

The flight from East Midlands to Rome, Ciampino was mundane, after travelling many times the same route with same carrier you become conditioned to it. My iPod spewed out an assortment of songs throughout the two hours twenty-five minutes: To name a handful, ‘Universal’ by OMD. ‘Bootie Call’, All Saints and ‘Coma White’ by Marilyn Manson. There's an Indian gentleman sat next to me and I glance over as he scrolls through the menu on his iPod, he selects '19', the debut album from Adele (not one I have), mine begins to play 'Lullaby For Evan' by Hotel Persona. I watch as his daughter hands him her nano, she has the new Girls Aloud album playing on hers. Three different people in such close proximity with three different genres of music playing. We collect the last car available at the car hire desk this Easter, a two-seater ‘Smart’ car that we instantly nickname Pamela Pram. The drive out of Rome is hectic, as always, with cars constantly changing position and vying for space amongst the four lanes that take the traffic both north and south. Maybe all roads do lead to Rome?

'Pamela Pram'

As we cross the border that separates Lazio with Abruzzo, the roads become eerily quiet, occasionally an overhead sign will inform us that due to the recent earthquake in L’Aquila (06.04.09) there are restrictions in place on the A24. We are however heading down the A25 towards Pescara, by-passing the eagle, (L’Aquila). We arrive at our first destination, Hotel Duca Degli Abruzzi, a modern building on many floors. The first thing to hit us is the wall of sound as we enter the foyer; children are playing happily if not rather noisily. The lobby has figures wandering around it almost at random; people move from the restaurant, cross the reception area and enter the bar without any sense of purpose. We check in and the man behind the desk informs us that the hotel is providing temporary accommodation to people affected by the earthquake, and that the hotels remaining rooms have been taken over by the homeless L’Aquilani, hence the vast amount of people wandering around. Our room is basic but comfortable with a small balcony that overlooks the car park, which at present is being resurfaced, the electronic safe refuses to work and despite an earlier request for four pillows; there is only two on the bed. A large piece of abstract art dominates one wall, shouting at the top of its voice, an odd choice for a bedroom. Montesilvano, like many beach resorts out of season looks shabby and rather lacklustre, the readiness for the season is still a few weeks away. I grab my iPod and go for a walk along the sea front, it’s early evening and both the locals and visiting L’Aquilani are beginning their Passeggiata. An Italian ritual no act of nature can prevent. ‘Cars’ by Gary Numan enters my head, it’s synthesised choruses and electronic drum beats out of place with the strolling Italian gait. As it’s Easter, posters pronouncing Buona Pasqua are everywhere and children are carrying chocolate eggs wrapped in multi-coloured foil and tied with giant bows. Music blares out from a car park opposite our hotel, Michael Bublé croons into the temperate air as children dance with grandparents, teenagers do their best to hide their enjoyment, by adopting surly posture and mock defiance; pointless as everyone knows before the night is over they’ll all be dancing along to the music. I re-enter the hotel and switch off my iPod just as Fall Out Boy begin to sing ‘I'm Like a Lawyer with the Way I'm Always Trying to Get You Off (Me & You)’. I walk along the corridor to my room and notice an open door, I glance inside and sat upon the beds are a family huddled around the small television set, a young mother wrestles with two small children, her husband looks at the flickering screen, dark circles beneath his brooding eyes, Nonna sits in the corner neither part of this scene of domesticity or watching the television, a look of bewilderment across her face. It’s obvious they come from L’Aquila, I smile and wish them good night. At 9.30 I pad the bathroom towels beneath my pillow for added height before I fall onto the bed exhausted, as in the distance Michael Bublé does a ‘Moondance’.

No comments:

Post a Comment