Monday, October 01, 2007

The best part about having a blog...

A woman named Barbara emailed me a few weeks ago saying she had found my blog when she googled laundromat and Trieste. Why would someone google those two words? Good question. Her husband had been invited to a conference at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics here in Trieste, and she was coming along to see the sights (of Italy, not the Physics Centre). She wanted to know where she could get her laundry done. More specifically, she wondered if she would have access to a clothes dryer. Ah, Barbara.

So I said I'd check into the landromat situation for her, and if she'd like to meet for coffee, I'd be happy to treat her. When she arrived, she said that she'd passed the link to my blog along to some of the other wives, and wondered if they could come for coffee, too. Certo! I said, and that's just what we did.

Here's a photo of the group, from left to right: Pat, Bea, Barbara, Phyllis, and me*.

* Hair disclaimer: It rained off and on that day, so in this photo, my hair appears to be straight on one side, and then there's some sort of frizz action going on with the other side. My hair does not normally do this...only for photos that I want to post on the world wide web. Sigh.

Anyway, all four women are wives of physicists who were attending the conference on Accelerators Operations (thankfully, none of them really knew what this entailed, so I didn't feel left out). After leading them astray a few times, I finally found the historic Caffè Tommaseo, and we had one of the best cups of coffee I've had in Italy. Ever. Granted, coffee at the Caffè Tommaseo costs three times the normal price, but it was worth it.

We chatted about traveling and Trieste and their families and mine, and they were all lovely, warm people. I wished I could have spent the whole morning with them and show them around the city, but my babysitting fairy godmother (a.k.a. husband) had to go back to work, leaving me with our 21-month-old son and an illegally-parked car.

In the end, the ladies ended up treating me (Grazie!), and I realized I never did give Barbara the address of a laundromat, so I hope she made it to Venice in a freshly-laundered state.

The next time there's a conference on particle accelerators, Barbara, I'll have the laundromat address ready. And the coffee's on me!


Africakid said...

Don't you just love those random meetings! Especially when they involve coffee and conversation.

ps. I didn't notice your hair until you pointed it out...still, looks fine.

Barbara Y said...

We all enjoyed meeting you (and your husband and son) tremendously. My husband was very jealous he didn't get to meet you as he's a fan of your blog, too. As it turns out, there was a laundromat just around the corner from our hotel, and I got a dark load washed and dried in about an hour while listening to Italian MTV. I even took a picture of the map on the wall showing all the laundromats of that company in Trieste, which is floating somewhere in my Flickr photostream, uncommented and untagged at the moment. In case any other visitors to your city are looking for a laundromat. (

Natalie said...

Thanks, africakid...just for that, I'll treat you to a coffee AND a gelato. :-)

Thanks, Barbara!
I loved your photos, and had to laugh at the ones of illegally parked cars. :-) I'm glad you ended up finding a laudromat...I'll have to keep that in mind for rainy days!

Rilla said...

Hey Natalie,
So great to finally see a pic of you, bad hair or no. I'm like africakid, I'm afraid I noticed nothing wrong with your do.

Thanks for your last comment on my blog and wishes for a safe journey in India. Have finally gotten around to putting up some pics ;)

...DON'T ask me where the laundromat in Hyderabad is... I don't even know if such a thing exists! But I can find you a good cup of coffee if you've a mind to fly down... ;)