Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Day 6 - Motovun

The last full day if my stay was a rainy day. We were confined to the house in the morning and went to the Pizzeria for a salad at lunchtime. Having checked out my phrase nook, I was able to greet Mishko with "Užasno vrijme, zar ne?", to which he responded, "ne". (The weather's bad, isn't it? No!) Mishko, who prepared the food, joined us for a chat while we ate. It was interesting observing that the banter between tables and betwern staff and customers alike probably wouldn't happen in England.

After lunch we returned to the house, drank a bit, emailed a bit, chatted a bit and nibbled some seriously good cheese. The weather cleared up, so we had a stroll around the city walls and chatted to everyone we met. Then to Benjamin's for dinner, risotto with truffles. After dinner we were fortunate enough to be invited to sit at the back of the Italian Community Hall while the local group of a capella singers (Klapa Motovun) rehearsed. Eight of them, sounding like 20, with beautiful voices singing four-part harmony. It was a mixture of traditional and modern pieces sung with tremendous skill, conducted by a young musician who was clearly very talented and lead by Tomitsa, a very powerful and passionate tenor. The sound was extremely good. They were clearly proficient, experienced and very well-matched to each other, socially as well as musically. It was a rare thrill to observe their skills and the good-natured banter between them. Their pleasure in singing was very uplifting.

This traditional style of singing is not from this region, but Dalmatia and they sang local songs, some Russian, merging with a more modern "pop" idiom. The tradition in this region is quite different, and probably nowhere near as popular or of such instant appeal as this.

Afterwards we went for more drinks in the Pizzeria bar and regaled each other with various tales about languages and travelling. I'd been able to say farewell to Lubici, Yvonna, Eike and Mishko. Once more, and more than before, I was going to miss these people. Then Rank and I returned to the house and chatted about writers like Pamuk, Eco, Dostoevsky, Borges and so on, as well as great movies like Once Upon a Time in the West, Apocalypse Now, Sin City and a load of others. This kept is going until way too late. But I shall not be in a tearing hurry tomorrow...

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