Brent and I have such vastly different styles of travelling that sometimes we collide hotly. On reaching La Spezia, I wished to busk and do things, while Brent wished to sit in the park and read. So we both did what we wanted to. My busking in general has been limited by an attempt to find a middle way for our journey. Brent likes nature with no people. I like cities. Brent likes to do nothing. I like to do all the things. Brent likes to see historical buildings. I like to see new buildings. Brent likes silence. I like conversation. Brent prefers to consult a map. I prefer to ask someone on the street.
The net result being that we spend most of our time doing that one thing we both do best. Eating.
I wandered around La Spezia a few minutes and happened upon a Kung Fu show, replete with cheesy Wong Fei Hung music on repeat. Seeing as I’d just added Wu Xia music to my repertoire, I took that as a sign and set up for a quick pitch on a street around the corner. In the forty five minutes on 28.8 before meeting our host, I played through most of my easier repertoire. Starting, of course, with the Wu Xia music and progressing without a break into the Silk Road theme and into Erhu classics. It occurred to me while I played to add a Miyazaki set. I still haven’t yet done this. My very first tip came courtesy of a group of four ~9 year old boys on bikes. One of my most memorable tips. As they slowly approached, one told his friends to wait and they didn’t, yet still stopped to fish for a Euro coin to give me. He narrated the giving of his coin as he bent down, and sported a lovely shocked expression when I responded in Italian. One of his friends circled back and upon seeing the exchange also tipped. Both shy, sweet, awkward and generally lovely.
Aside from this the pitch went rather uneventfully, having chosen a largely untraficked side-street (as I am prone to do). Bach went a bit better, and the Gm improvisation off of Vitali went superbly, both to a combined audience of around 6 passersby. A lady tipped during the Chinese amalgamation. People cast very confused looks as I played my Irish and Scottish sets. My only other tips came from a young girl who sprinted to and from me as sent by her family (strollers and the like braked for her return) and a young black man. One family watched me for about 20 minutes from about 50 meters down the alleyway during my vocal set without a tip.
Interesting note: no purse clutches, it seems, when I busk with the violin. As opposed to my last foray into busking years ago. A change in times or a change in instrument reception?
I think I’ll write about the Cinque Terre here, briefly. This was when we decided that Italy was broken and needed to be patched. We wanted to hike between little Italian towns and eat food in each one. We only managed four of the five, thereby making our visit the Quattro Terre, but managed a success nonetheless. Cute brightly coloured towns perched above or surrounded by sheer sea cliffs, hugging the unlikely sites at the feet of steep hills. Lush green trees, dark brown rocks, deep blue water, bright red, cheery orange, aged yellow buildings, cobblestone streets, white sea foam and clouds. It’s rather unfair, really. Italy = overpowered.
Earnings: 6,80€, 45 minutes
P.S. Post so named due to the way I pronounced La Spezia in Grosseto, leading to Francesco laughing at my Spanish accent when I speak Italian, particularly pronounced with words like La Spezia, which I voiced rather happily with a royal lisp.