Archive for March, 2009

My knitting and I made it back in one piece, although it was touch and go there for the knitting. I very nearly had a Textile Emergency in the airport on the way out of town. Apparently Ronchi airport security doesn’t like metal knitting needles. Or crochet hooks, blunt toy scissors or safety pins. They were quite helpful in trying to get them securely into a checked bag, but there was no way I was getting on the airplane with my dangerous safety pin and whatnot. This is what I get for failing to replace my remaining long 3mm circular needle with a wood one.

Fortunately for me, and I did not before this weekend think I would ever have cause to say that, a different security detail was at the same time questioning DH and giving one of our checked bags the rubber glove treatment. For a can of dolmas. It was quite confusing for a moment as while I was attempting to explain to the nice inspection signorina in half English and half Italian that my husband had a bag that could be pressed into service as checked, said husband and bag vanished into a remote hallway. But convenient since they had already pulled the checked bag for inspection, it was available to stash the offending textile implements.

If we hadn’t been staying overnight in Munich on the way back, I would have been really irritated to go without knitting across a continent and a half and a rather good-sized ocean. (It’s about 24 hours on a normal trip, without the long layover.)

I did make an attempt to find a new, non-metal needle in Munich but the giant Nordstrom-clone store’s knitting department did not carry the hugely popular and made in Germany Addi needles. I picked up a suitable Inox on the theory that at least it looked like it could be plastic but quickly found out that I can’t stand the bent cord ends they have.

And of course, the Munich airport security didn’t bat an eyelash. (They did inspect my bag of knitting stuff on the first half of the trip and had no problems.)

I’ve spent a good bit of time wandering around downtown Trieste looking for various items. In the process I’ve had the opportunity to observe how Italians shop for clothing. For reasons unknown to me, every type of clothing has a specialty shop, with several of them nearby. For example, one particular pedestrian mall appears to be the Trieste underwear district:

ladies' underwear shop window

family underwear shop window

men's underwear shop window

All three of these shops are within meters of each other, the first two across the street. I am accustomed to stores selling only shoes, or children’s clothing or women’s clothing. But underwear? I saw another shop that appeared to contain mainly hats and scarves.

All the stores are small by American standards, although not so different than many in San Francisco. But the shopping experience is often not so leisurely. I visited several knitting and fabric shops that are basically counters behind which there are shelves of products retrieved by the staff. We visited an ancient hardware store where all the merchandise is on high shelves on the walls just as it would be a hundred years ago. There is no browsing to do and not even remotely a place to sit and compare purchases. (And I still was not able to locate the 120 cm circular needle I was looking for.)

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© 2004-2007 Andrea Longo
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