Julia (12) 1.4.13

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Now I pass in your footsteps and we, the family, laugh at the shared memories.

The wind that blew through your life is blasting through the streets of this city and whipping up a storm to remind us of you.

The sun is shining and forcing its way between the cold blasts that we shelter from.

As we sit in a cafe, drinking your favourite coffee drink Asiatico, the street is an every moving sea of costumed people, elderly ladies deep in familiar discussions.

Asiatico, pronounced A-SEEATICO, is made of condensed milk, fresh coffee, Quaranta y Tres otherwise known as “Liquor 43″ or any another type of Brandy, lemon peel, cinnamon plus coffee beans.

Put  ”two finders” or an inch of condensed milk in first, followed by the cognac and “43″, then a little piece of lemon, little piece of cinnamon, two coffee beans, then the strong coffee.

Sit back, close your eyes, and picture this scene: you are sitting on a simple white metal chair, your back to the cafe wall, the street has the wafting aromas of spicy foods, the day light has gone, the street lighting has a soft yellowy glow and there are reflections of ancient churches in the modern reflective glass of shop windows.

The glass of Asiatico is warming your hand, raise it and let the liquid awaken your taste buds and your mind…


Hawkers from Croatia push their trolleys of cheap and colourful plastic toys through the streets. There is no jostling and hassling to sell, but a comfortable code of inter relationship that is seducing.

I have learnt that your grandfather was a concierge of a casino and he would say with pride to his family, “I am a gentleman, I work with gentlemen who play” and that your uncle would come to this cafe, drink coffee and have his shoes shone.

We laugh at the memory given to us of your last trip: you compared the coffees that you loved, saying which was better and revisiting it for yet another tasting.

Your cousin’s 20 year old son Raul passed us in the streets, wished to hear our music and so with us, strolled back to his Aunt, and your beloved friend’s, flat.

He was entranced and mesmerised in a manner rarely experienced in such close quarters.

It was almost too much to bear.




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