David Morgan-Mar’s Travel and Other Diaries

SOURCE FOR THIS PICTURE: David Morgan-Mar’s website

As it is often the case with food, the best literary pleasures can sometimes be light and simple, like David Morgan-Mar’s Travel and Other Diaries.

Excerpt: “Italy Trip Diary – Day 15: …We had a 45 minute wait at Foligno, and while waiting on the platform we witnessed the Miracle of the Mad Nun of Foligno. An old nun started using the public phone near where we were standing and spoke into it in a rapid stream of non-stop Italian for about 20 minutes, feeding new coins into the phone every minute or so. She didn’t appear to stop once to actually listen to anything the person on the other end might be saying and indeed didn’t even have the earpiece anywhere near her ear – it was more like over her eye. As she spoke she continually punched the air with a stabbing hand motion in front of her every so often to make a particularly emphatic point. She must have been delivering a nasty curse of some sort, using her evil eye. Eventually she hung up and walked off to wait for the train.

The Rome-bound train pulled in and we climbed aboard, expecting it might be difficult to find seats and finding this to be the case, since the train had originated at some other station. We managed to find two separate seats, facing backwards, on opposite sides of the carriage, and two rows apart. In the group of seats opposite me was a woman with a dog, who seemed to have a seat of his own since when people asked the woman if the seat next to her was free she would say something that conveyed the impression that it was for the dog. It was a nice-looking golden brown dog of medium size – not sure what breed, but it was well-behaved and sat quietly except for one point when the train passed a town and a dog outside barked. At that point it let out a few good loud barks until the woman shushed it.

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