Thursday, July 23, 2009

Assorted Outings

The Genova Poetry Festival came to town the third week of June, coinciding with Bloomsday (June 16, the date on which the action in James Joyce’s Ulysses takes place; fans all over the world spend the day revisiting the work in public settings, notably with much fanfare at Symphony Space in New York City). Trofie Wife was excited for what she believed would be a staged dramatic reading in Porto Antico, but it was little more than a bookstore reading (in Italian; Ulysses is difficult enough to understand in one’s native language!).

The week continued to bring us good food and fun. One of Martello’s colleagues invited a group of us for an awesome dinner, which was capped off by a beautiful walk home along the beach under the glistening stars. We joined co-workers (some of the same ones; some different) for a fun outing the following night, and we made some fantastic meals for our own enjoyment.

And that Saturday morning Martello finally made it to the Genova synagogue. He arrived without notifying the powers that be in advance, so he had to answer a few questions, but the regulars were quite happy to see a new face there, especially since they were running low for a minyan (the ten worshipers (in this case, ten men) needed for a prayer quorum). As Trofie Wife had read elsewhere, the synagogue follows a Sephardic style and is strict about the place of women (upstairs, in the gallery, though Martello said there was one kibitzing in the back of the men’s section). Needless to say, Martello confirmed that it wasn’t my type of prayer experience, and I would have been frustrated, so it was best to let him go solo. Martello can write more about it on his own, but it’s essentially a dwindling community, as members move to other parts of Italy, Europe, North America, or Israel. They expect the synagogue to not be regularly functioning within a generation, which is, of course, sad. Martello had a chance to speak with the medical student who organizes gatherings for Jewish students and young adults, and we’ve been added to their e-mail list and Facebook group. Provided that we’re here long enough to take advantage of it, it would be nice to meet some new people. Perhaps if we’re here even longer, Trofie Wife can find her way to one of the WUPJ synagogues in Milano!

Baci e gelato,

Martello e Trofie Wife

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