Thursday, November 22, 2007


I am in Trieste (pronounced Tree-est-a) in Italy. Amidst recovering from jetlag I am doing the tourist bit - I spent 30 hours in planes and sitting in airports getting here. My local (Italian) petrol supplier (Eva) in Australia tells me that the residents up here are not ‘real Italians’ – they are ‘snobbish northerners’. But they seem alright to me - glamorous looking, big-busted women with toothsome smiles and men without hairy chests or gold chains. People, generally well-dressed and, from the vantage point of my humble Aussi working class roots, sophisticated. Lots of smiles and animated conversations – the place has a good feel to it.

Trieste is a coastal city of northern Italy near Slovenia. It has beautifully picturesque agricultural surrounds and the city itself is rimmed by steep hills on one side and the ocean on the other. Architecturally it is a bit run-down (I wouldn’t go so far as to say ‘early demolition’) and there is some industrial ugliness but there are elegant (‘European’) buildings and wonderful oldish churches. Travel writers such as Jan Morris write of its ‘faded glories’ even though it was one of their favourite cities. Today I wandered through some museums and a former Jewish ghetto.

Trieste is nothing remarkable – just a good place to be - James Joyce lived here for years and there is a hotel named after him. I can imagine him getting drunk in one of the many little bars. In fact I could have easily replicated his antics last night – a bottle of excellent vino and jetlag did me in completely.

I have to work tomorrow. Pity.


Francis Xavier Holden said...

How do the Trieste (pronounced Tree-est-a) people say "junket"?

hc said...

Hi fxh, Not exactly sure of the implication here. I am attending a Ecology Conference which I will post on.

The pre-conference portion of my time here is paid for entirely by me. So no 'junket' in that sense.

It is nice to know you care.

Francis Xavier Holden said...

I'm a caring person. Just keeping an eye on the well known LaTrobe Travel Bug.

Does this mean you won't be at Kirribilli for the post election piss-up?

hc said...

No I don't like travelling much - I am not adaptable.

Why go back to Aus for a piss-up? The wines here very good and cheap. I'll drown my sorrows Saturday.

How come these types of refined Italian wines don't often get to Australia?

Sinclair Davidson said...

Damn coward - leaving the country just as responsible government ends. Alex and I will dining in hell - you'll be dining in Trieste. Enjot, I'm jealous. :)

hc said...

I haven't given up hope yet Sinclair but close to doing so. I've secured my vino supplies.

Anonymous said...

But they seem alright to me - glamorous looking, big-busted women with toothsome smiles and men without hairy chests or gold chains.

Shorter Harry.

There seems to be a better sort of wog than what we get back home.

hc said...

Anonymous, Absolutely no comment or the politically-correct brigade won't let me back into Australia. Rudd still has a ghost of a chance and I know he is targeting me.

Do they have the internet on Christmas Island?

rog said...

Place your order now Harry; all the dailies have published their obits.

Northern Italians are a race apart, to them even Rome is too far south.