City of Erice
My next destination was Erice to attend the School of Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy - "New Developments in Optics and Related Fields: Modern Techniques, Materials and Applications". I met Regine in the Rome airport to make our flight to Palermo, after which we would go to Erice. I suppose Regine might have known all along I met someone in Rome, and as soon as I met up with her the inquisition began. She quizzed me on all sorts of things, sometimes in friendly ways, and sometimes in not so friendly ways. Regine seemed to have other ideas and brought some extra baggage along on the trip I thought and planned to unpack it all during this trip.
View of coast & Monte Cofano from Erice
I was not enamored of her demeamor from the start and I just wanted to have a good time. She was insistent and started implying things, the same old games she always played. We boarded our flight and were seated apart, but reunited in Palermo. I was a bit confused on where to go - geez, only been here a half dozen times before. I figured it out eventually and found our ride to Erice. Regine was tired I could tell from her overseas flight so I tried to be a good guy and man in charge for her. I think I did pretty well and she felt comfortable in my charge (which was not always the norm). I was sympathetic and know the feeling after a long flight, connection, and transport from an airport to get to a resting place. Once in Erice, we made quick work to the Majorana Center as I knew the way, and I was recognized on entering to register with a a friendly 'Ciao, Bruno!' After settling business, we went straight to our hotel.
View of Trapani & Egadi Islands from Erice
Nice place called Ulisse, which I haven't reviewed yet. Regine was tired, so I told her to sleep and not to worry. Everything was a-ok and I was taking care of her. There was a group dinner gathering that same evening and I wanted Regine to have some rest so I left her in the hotel room and went to the Majorana Center to take care of any some payment and see about the place and time to meet for the group dinner. I socialized a bit for a while and walked the streets of Erice the long way back. When I returned a few hours later Regine was still sleeping so I nudged her a bit and she responded some. I told her we had a group dinner in a couple hours, no hurry, but to be aware if she wanted to get ready. We talked a bit while she was still in sleepy land, and eventually she got more aware to the situation.
Directors table (Prof. Di Bartolo)
In the interim I had already cleaned up and dressed for evening, so I stepped outside in the courtyard and let her get ready. Once she was ready we made our way to the restaurant to enjoy the group dinner. I tried to introduce Regine to as many people as I knew. We were seated at the directors table, something of an honor I think, and I had not had the pleasure in all my previous visits. Regine was remarkable that evening, and was talking Italian in no time (though she was German, spoke English, and knew some French too). I was happy she could make some conversational Italian and included me too. I know something of Italian, but hardly in conversational ways. It was a very nice evening and a good start to our time in Erice, but it wasn't long after that Regine wanted to talk about out relationship.
Meeting Participants - Group Photo
I didn't really want to talk about it and just have a good vacation together, but she insisted, so I told her I was unsure about where we were headed and maybe we could just enjoy the time and see where it went from here. She seemed ok with that, but as I would discover she was on a mission to define it, and categorize it in the days to come... I can't possibly cover this Erice visit in a single journal entry, and will not try, as it coud be a stand alone blog all by itself (and maybe I will do that). There was scientific work to do in the course, discussions, professional ways, and preparing a major talk I was scheduled for, but aside from that we had many group dinners, evenings in the marsala room (a sort of gathering place for participants to wind down in the evening), excursions to Selininte, Segesta, Mozia, Marsala and Trapani.
Me & Regine - Erice Time
These excursions were all day events out and about encompassing the places mentioned as follows: Excursion 1 (Selinunte & Segesta), Excursion 2 (Mozia & Marsala), Excursion 3 (Trapani). The first two were full day (12 hour) adventures, and the third a half day (6 hour) adventure. Aside from these excursions, I skipped lectures when I could a few times and spent them roaming around Erice and Trapani with Rigine. We even had some fun at an Erice Disco one night as well. Nevertheless, through it all, Regine hounded me about the status of our relationship. We didn't have a status before, and why was it so important now? I just wanted to be on vacation, enjoy Regine's company without arguing and give a good presentation during my talk. I try not to judge others as I don't always know the curcumstances of their life history.
Regine looking happy & thankful
I have talked badly about Regine in my blogs from time to time, but praised her also here and there. She could make me feel ten feet tall and also make me feel an inch small. Not that she had a dual personality, but her emotions ranged from the complimentary to the critical and on balance I just didn't enjoy the roller coaster ride. She might say of me that I didn't 'get her', but honestly I'm not sure she ever paused to think if she 'got me' either. Maybe I didn't get it, but I'm fairly sure she didn't get it either. This trip probably should have shown that to us, yet we persisted in a relationship on and off for the next few years. I visited with Regine and her family in Germany 2007 and our last trip together was India 2009.
I am pondering in thought
The last time I saw Regine in person was April 28, 2010 (Evening at the American Theatre
). I don't want to paint her in a wrong way and she is a fine person in many ways, wonderful to laugh with, willing to be adventurous and explore, tender, loving and sometimes very sweet. With that said, she can be annoying to be around in too, uncooperative, unwilling to budge, mean, hateful and sometimes very cruel. I loved her for sure, but couldn't take the inconsistency she brought in attitude. Erice 2005 stands out for me in spending time together that made me think what if... Before the trip we had not spent much time together really, so the trip made me think, maybe if I did this or that or worked on it, who knows.
Later that year around the holidays we broke up again for a long time and into 2006. That's when I took my Switzerland 2006
trip. We got back together eventually and visiting her family in 2007 drew me closer, but all the time she was moving farther away. By 2009 she was so distant it hardly mattered anymore. For someone who wanted relationship she didn't work very hard at it. The astute reader might wonder: Where was Julieta all this time? Well, she was not really consistent and would dissapear for long periods of time only to resurface when Regine and I were not speaking. It was uncanny, really. Julieta maybe lives in a fantasy land where we are together, but only for brief periods of time. I am guilty for falling for her a few times, but that just wasn't meant to be.
Regine is no angel either and had her share of boyfriends in the time we knew each other also. We always seemed to wind up back together, Regine and I, what a soap opera, eh? In the finalality of it all it was just a toxic relationship for both of us and it ended. I don't really have any lasting animosity towards her, but feel she has some towards me. Well, what can you do? Fast forward to today and Regine and I don't speak anymore and haven't for some years now, in voice, Facebook or email, but I am still friends with Julieta, though I have not seen or spoken to her by voice in years also, and we only exchange on Facebook. This journal covers my trip to Erice, Sicily from June 6 - 20, 2005. This was my 7th trip to this place since 1995. I did attend the School of Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy here, but it is the kind of event that is both scientific and cultural in social ways.
Recounting my travels there (1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005) more or less, it remains a special place for me. I have a video slideshows of the The Erice Experience I
to capture the flavor of the trip for you. Click on the link above or play the video at right. There is another one The Erice Experience II
that appears at the end of the photo selections. As before, just click on the link above or play the video at the bottom of the photo selections.