Sunday, August 31, 2003
Saturday, August 30, 2003
Friday, August 29, 2003
Thursday, August 28, 2003
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Monday, August 25, 2003
Sunday, August 24, 2003
Unfortunately I am feeling like utter shit. During my 5 hour layover from Hell in Frankfurt, ironically while I was emailing the person whose wine it is, some wine I was bringing into the country for one of the other students who I am friends and isn’t 21 yet the wine was stolen. I feel so damn horrible! Utterly hideous, I will go back while I am living in Italy and get some for her as I know what wineries it was and what she got but I just feel horrid, not enough adjectives for how bad I feel.
I did while checking email manage to find out that my roommates are in the apartment so I do have a place to stay, now I just have to figure out if I want to go there tonight after all the travel from hell with no bed or bedding to sleep on, or if I want to go with my friend who is giving me a ride and stay at her place till Sunday afternoon?? Gah I do not know. Just going to get on the next plane and try not to think about how bad I feel.
I am going to be one tired cheeky after today though, as I didn’t really get any sleep on the morning flight. Oh and I forgot that there is jack shit to eat at Frankfurt airport and I didn’t get breakfast. Yes trust in airline food- I am going to starve today. It seems I always starve on international flights. I really do hope they have decent movies on the way back. In addition to that you have to go through so many control stops in this airport and they do like to get up close and personal. I got felt up twice today- quite the day for me. One of the guys was cute though so….
The other odd thing is that I am not speaking Italian anymore. I mean I am in my head but I don’t hear it everywhere (yes I know I am in Germany now, and the states later). After having lived in Italy, it is still ringing in my ear. Instead after I helped people this morning (who I shared a taxi with) in Italian as I bought my roll (yes my meal for the day a decent but spendy (1€) roll) an American from behind helped me out in German as the lady was about to pour me a beer and I was too tired to notice that bit of it.
So while on the flight I was subjected to random screaming child, then upon landing in Philadelphia I had a long walk, a long wait and a security practical strip down. I think the German one made me feel safer. After another 3.5 hours in the FREEZING cold I got on a plane. Met a nice couple talked with them a bit but I really needed to sleep. Once I laid down I didn’t remember a single further thing till after the plane landed.
Had a panick moment when I couldn’t figure out Shanna’s plane info, but found her and was so grateful for the ride to the apartment. Where I finally met my roommates- who were kind enough to help lug things up 3 flights of stairs, and give me things to go to sleep on the futon.
Saturday, August 23, 2003
Alberto and his Dad picked me up and off we went. I haven’t been this thrilled in a long time. Alberto’s dad was great and they are so sweet- true kind of gentlemen and not mammoni. I am so eternally grateful that I didn’t have to do the bus train bus crap, didn’t matter that I felt a bit car sick (I haven’t been a passenger in a car for a long time), nothing happened though. I was simply happy and got to spend some extra time with Alberto. When we left Fruili we each gave it a one finger salute and said ciao with joy and gusto. I got to the hotel, and was in fifth heaven! I had the air conditioning cranked up so that I had to sleep with the covers (haven’t done that in months). I paid through the nose for it but it was SOOOOO worth it, and there wasn’t anything cheaper that I could find. I watched BBC World, CNN World, MTV, and even managed to catch some of that Italian porn that everyone says is on TV at night. They are right it is and it is quite odd.
Friday, August 22, 2003
Thursday, August 21, 2003
She says the most asinine of things sometimes and demonstrates such a distinct lack of professionality that I am going to be writing it up. I really wanted to be neutral but I feel I would be being irresponsible by doing so. I had the emotionally draining day from hell and it was specifically because of the way that Francesca interacts, lies, inflates, distorts and over all fucks around with things. It is the same thing that happens when you come to the school. She does great follow up etc but once you pay she falls off the face of the planet. The lady is greedy to her bone. She tells me you can do the privates next week. Sure I can let me hop on that commuter concorde for privates- or do you have a teleporter hidden in the closet I can use? Hello Bitch I am in the states on Saturday. And she is confronting me trying to get in my face and make me angry- intentionally. One that doesn’t work with me, two if there hadn’t have been other students around I would have made a bigger scene than what you know how to deal with, and three when I say I am walking away cause you are pushing my buttons yelling at me down the street really does make you look like an ass. I am just proud that I maintained my calm. I could have lost it so easily.
It may seem like nothing to someone else but it is a lot more than it sounds. I had two hours of class, the scene, I ate lunch with the teachers, then I had to go and run errands, had a 2 hour straight private, then two hours of class, and then an hour and a half of cinema class. Alberto really does know what he is doing there. And the privates went decently as I talked with Livvy about Italian politics so it is something that I will encounter again most likely. But nevertheless after a day like that I was so exhausted- mentally physically and emotionally that there is almost nothing left. All of the reserves I was trying to establish are gone. I want to just screw them over but I also do not want to lower myself to their levels. I do plan on writing on nasty review though and to be honest I hope that the piddly amount of money she spit about was worth the future losses.
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
As for classes I now know how annoying I must have been when I first started with my Spanish. There are times where I simply want to kill one of the other students in my class. She speaks French and Spanish most of the time which is annoying enough, but for the love of god quit asking inane questions that are of no help. You are here to learn the language not the linguistics.
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
Monday, August 18, 2003
Sunday, August 17, 2003
Saturday, August 16, 2003
I went to class in the morning, and afterwards realized I leave in a week. This realization is somewhat terrifying. However in practical terms, I desperately need to find a hotel that is not outrageously expensive to stay in. Alberto said he should be able to help me get into Mestre with my things which will be mush easier in a car than trying to do the taxi-bus-train-bus bit. I am in love with him for that.
But reality is starting to set in and I am trying to ramp myself down to give myself some space and rest before I land in NC and have to start my Masters. I am not sure I believe that part is really going to happen. Things are becoming real. I have gone full cycle here in Italy- the grapes that Dino has terracing the house have changed colors and it is time for the next step. GAH!
Also just found out about the power failure on the east coast. I hate not knowing the news but thank the lord for certain little flags popping up in my face about things. It is amazing that emergencies like this can still happen; especially in light of the entire hack that idiot of a president has given to this sector. I sincerely hope that Bush gets a severe lashing and beating for his energy deregulation policies and other stupidities in that sector (can anyone say Enron??). Like it or not many of his asinine ideas may not have caused this crisis but they sure as hell have helped it along on the way. Damn prat! I am almost at the point of not caring who replaces that idiot, yes I mean the puppet of Karl Rove who cant speak English, just someone make that anyone else. One of the things I am grateful for not living in the country right now. Not to say Italy doesn’t have its own Bush-esque idiot. Berlusconi lives up to his side of that friendship in more ways than one. Honestly though anyone has to be better. I can not imagine what it must have been like but it was pretty hideous sounding the thought of being stuck for hours in the subways. I though it was bad enough trying to get around on the metro in Paris. Being stuck in a car with no movement or circulation at 4pm the beginning of rush our- that sure sounds like a good definition of hell to me.
Friday, August 15, 2003
I made it through classes and right afterwards I ran to the internet café to send out a list full of emails that I had thought out, and check the responses. Got most things back and still have a few more to deal with but stupid apartment people. I swear to god the apartment complexes in the south are some of the most asinine organizations known to man! It is utterly ridiculous this whole co-signer bullshit. Does it matter that I would prepay, thus one would think removing the liability- No. Does it matter that I have the funds to cover this- No. I don’t have a job making 3x the annual rent (no I am not living there for a full year either- but I do have a salary 3 times the rent for the duration of the rental agreement but that would be too logical for their credit department to deal with), so I have to have a cosigner. Off I go to try and get this taken care of. I know I seem to be over reacting and it might be a bit ridiculous but I sincerely dislike being treated like a child, and I dislike it even more when people won’t work with you to meet you half way.
I made the decision to not be antisocial and not stay holed up in Grado, so I went to Udine. In Udine the biggest things we saw were the tiepolis. Some phenomenal paintings, much more of a style I could hand if I have to watch all the religious things.
It rained while we were in Udine, which was utterly wonderful. I wanted to go play in it, but the wind started to make the pain pelt down fairly and well I didn’t want to be drenched for the rest of the day so I hid in the church alcoves with everyone else waiting for the church to open. The storms here are so wonderfully beautiful and I still excite like a three year old at the sound of thunder and the sight of lightning. I really wish I was able to catch it on film as the coloration and the shapes are amazing, but it isn’t that easy. The best part of it all I must say was actually feeling cold. The sensation of a shiver was so utterly delightful and delicious that I simply cannot explain it.
I met Allison, an interesting woman/character who is British but lives in Belgium and works for a lobbyist organization. We spent a lot of time talking but as can often be the tendency with me I unintentionally over power the discussions. I am aware of this when I am at “full faculties” but I am not there right now. I realize at the end of the evening that I am still learning how to really listen to others and make sure that they know that I am listening. Perceptions they make the world go round.
Thursday, August 14, 2003
I headed out to dinner, first time in about two weeks that I have eaten out. Not sure I will do it too much more while I am here but it was good to have some prosciutto again. Afterwards I went to the café by the school and I went through the read the pamphlet spill antibiotic powder on self shake the thing up and let’s try it stages. We will see if it helps. I now have a new item to add to the list though- one of those gel eye masks.
After which I headed in to Alberto’s cinema night. We watched an Italian comedy called “Ovo Sodo” which in translation means hard boiled egg. Not sure that helps but it was an interesting movie. Heck I saw two of them today that one and “Il Ultimo Baccio.” Ultimo Baccio has one of my favorite Italian actors (gorgeous gorgeous man) in it which was nice. After class Alaine and I tried to get through the reading Alberto assigned us to present tomorrow but after 30 minutes of itching my eyes and this diatribe being so damn difficult I said to hell with it, and headed home to crash. I am ultra-sticky, and I still couldn’t be arsed to wash off the humidity.
Ugg tomorrow we have 4 hours of straight class and then a trip to Udine. I want to go as there is some great art work by Tiepolo that I didn’t see when I went shopping in Udine, but since getting back from Paris I am just completely drawn. All reserves feel gone and so I am always tired. Plus I really am at the stage where I am more preparing for starting classes at Chapel Hill than I am about throwing myself into my classes here. I am glad I came for 8 weeks but I should have left the states two weeks earlier. We will see how tomorrow goes.
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
It is also definitely hot, I am dreaming of a cold shower. Though to be honest it is cooler here in Grado than it was in Paris. Probably for no other reason than I am not sleeping on the 4th floor anymore I am on ground level now. I am also hoping that when I go to classes this afternoon my debit card will have arrived making life a bit easier for the next 10 days.
Still going ***LALALALALALA*** with my hands over ears about leaving Grado in 10 days and starting Grad School in two weeks GAH! There is so much to think about and get under control (what ever that means) and prepare for that it is quite tiring. I got back to Grado after taking the bus from Udine, where the train did stop. I immediately took a shower, laid down and promptly fell asleep completely missing class. I ended up walking the town and talking with Shanna, which was nice. Ran into Francesca at one point and they had my debit card- YIPPEE. But I am really tired and my eyes are still recovering from the high pollution indexes in Paris thanks to the heat. I am hoping that I will stop rubbing them soon.
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
I wandered most of today. Went to the Old Opera House, where they had a great display of costumes from Spanish productions. I cant wait till I am living here this winter (one for the cool weather- it is about all I am thinking of right now if you cant tell- this is what heat does to you, it melts your brain). I am going to try to got to a production or two at the Opera house (which doesn’t really do Opera any more but more of Ballet etc). The library area is quite interesting, but I think my favorite part of the whole location is the Chagall ceiling. It is gorgeous. Then I wandered a bit of the surrounding area. Found some great deals at Zara and Promod- for 32 Euros I got 2 nice shirts, a scarf and a pair of really cute pants, I wanted to get a skirt for an extra 25 but they didn’t have my size. I only wish I had more money on me, well maybe it is a good thing that my card didn’t make it in time after all, as it is I will probably go home with some money and that isn’t a bad thing as costs are starting to add up and add up quick.
I decided to walk over and try to see the Archeological Museum of Paris (the entrance is right in front of Notre Dame’s “courtyard”) but it was closed. It doesn’t seem to matter when I go it is closed; maybe I will have better luck in the winter. So I walked my way to the D’Orsay, which since it is Monday was also closed. Damn I wanted to see a photography exhibit they had and my feet freaking hurt from walking all the way there (yes I have abused them once again, poor things- I am promising them a pedicure when I get home). After which I went and found the internet because I needed to clear out some email and I was tired of walking. Not that it alleviated any of the heat nor my fear of electrocuting my self with all the sweat I was dripping on the keyboard.
In an effort to combat the heat I went to the Louvre. I love the Louvre I can get lost in there for days. Especially now as it was the first place in Paris, make that Europe, where I have found REAL air-conditioning. Got to preserve all those nice cold rocks and paintings. Had my Marilyn Monroe moment as I walked over a grating vent and it blew my skirt all over. If there hadn’t have been others around I would have stayed right there with out moving an inch. I went through most of the exhibitions in one of the 3 wings with Roman, Greek, and Etruscan sculpture, with a bit of Egyptian thrown in for good measure. I walked through the Italian and Spanish painting corridors but since it was mostly 14th-17th century it was quite religious. There are only so many Jeezy Creezy’s (Jesus Christ alla Eddie Izzard) I can handle before I go slightly bonkers. I mean how many times must we show the anorexic man with thorns on him? I know I would hate to be portrayed like that for eternity. I can just hear him now every time someone paints him like that again saying one day in damnation for that painting- I wanted to be smiling you twat. I guess I really don’t get into art as much until you start to hit the impressionist period where they are painting more than just church scenes. But I do love sculptures.
Headed home and thought I was going to get some take-away fried rice, cause it would be a good idea, the Chinese in Grado isn’t exactly up to par even for my diminished standards which says a lot. And I am really craving it, first thing I have really craved since I left the states to be honest. Always interesting to order Chinese food and have it come out to you on a plate on top of spaghetti here in Italy. I was too lazy though; instead I went and lay in the bathtub. The French are one smart people; they make their bathtubs perfectly sized. Just for me! And I will love them forever no matter how politically incorrect it is for this, that and the hospitality Parisians included have shown me every time I have ever been in the country.
Monday, August 11, 2003
Besides our discussion the highlight of my day was that I took a cold bath twice today. I like those almost as much as cold showers. But it is better here as the bathtubs really are perfect for me. One of the things I am sure of is that the more you travel and take yourself out of some of your comfort zones the more simply one can be entertained. Being here at Marianne’s I am constantly entertained currently by weighing myself on the scale. There are three parts to my utter enjoyment of the scale. 1. It is in pounds something I can recognize with out having to do any calculations. 2. It is novel, while I have weighed myself in the grocery store in Grado, it is fun to watch and see if I am fluctuating in weight at all. And 3. I am weighing less which I quite like. Let’s hope it doesn’t pile back on me when I get back to Grado.
When there is such little going on in a day I often feel like adding something that is a bit off the wall to the table. Today I am going to discuss clear bra straps, and after 6 years of working for Victoria’s Secret I figure this to be an apropos topic for me and that I am a bit knowledgeable in the area. This fashion style seems to be quite the mode right now as I can’t go more than 10m with out seeing at least 2 women wearing them. First of all I more than admit I am not a trendy kind of gal and fashion is still somewhat elusive to me (I am still trying to figure out the whole shoes and accessories thing as it is), all part of that finding me bit I guess.
But simply put I do not get this trend at all. I can only speak for what I am seeing here in Europe, and I don’t know if it has made its way over to the states (which I am sure when it does it will just be the next best thing to peanut butter on all the runways) but as far as I am concerned the trend is going a bit too far. On Friday while wandering I went in to some lingerie stores. Ok I wear thongs and the itsier-bitsier they are the happier I usually am and honest to Jehosephine the more comfortable they are. So I go looking. I finally am able to get enough out in French and point at enough pictures to show the saleswoman what I want. It seems in addition to the matching clear strapped bra they had a thong with the clear straps, on all three straps. Ummm no thank you. What baffles me is that you can see the straps people! These do not just disappear- they reflect light, any and all kinds of it. I understand that Europeans are less concerned with their bra straps showing than Americans. I actually like that part of the trend. But the clear straps just confuse me, if you don’t want any one to see your straps either don’t wear a bra or wear a strapless one. Otherwise if you don’t care if anyone sees your bra straps wear a real bra with real straps and let em show.
Sunday, August 10, 2003
On a normal day Paris Plage is wonderful city provided event. Given this heat it is a stroke of brilliance from the office of the Mayor. Paris Plage is where the city has paid to truck in 6 million Euros worth of sand and set it up along the Seine as a beach and also litter the rest of the area with some niceties such as sand volleyball courts in front of the Hotel de Ville. Only in Paris can you have a building over 300 years old with a huge courtyard, and also have people playing Volleyball not have it seem absolutely ridiculous. After a nice walk through Paris Plage we headed over to a cute little café across the way from Notre Dame. The waitress was so sweet. I finally broke down and became American, yes I asked for ice. I figure with the temperatures almost 40 degrees Celsius (I could bother to do the calculation for Fahrenheit but I simply don’t want to know how hot it was in numbers I recognize). It was time to crunch some ice. She kept refilling the bowl too. I loved her.
After which we headed over to the Jardins Luxembourg. We got there a bit late and so we didn’t have long in the garden itself. I went over to see the Medici fountain, and then we were starting to walk to the main esplanade but the police started blowing their whistles. The sounds of this going on in the park really does sound quite funny. Humorous or not, we unfortunately had to clear out (they said it was dusk, but I thought there was plenty light… it really was those pointy things that sealed the deal. I could have climbed over the gates but the pointy tops look really uncomfortable to impale yourself on. I am not into that kind of stuff). The city was also presenting a photographic display on the periphery. Wonderful photographer who was absolutely amazing, I am eagerly awaiting the book, which I hope will be put together of this exhibit. Mostly it was of portraits in mainly war torn areas of the world or those in desperate poverty (usually both).
On our way to the metro home we walked past St. Suplice, which is HUGE. I mean I really wonder what it was like to be attending these churches so many moons ago. You know it is hot when you drink almost 2 liters of water and you don’t have to pee- AT ALL, I might be a camel but I am normally not this bad. Please someone send rain, cool air something.
Saturday, August 09, 2003
I went to two free museums. Free is something I always like to hear, and is just never heard of in Paris. I went to the Victor Hugo Home/Museum, and the Musee Chatelet. Both were interesting, some what cooler than outside and like I said free. Chatelet is the art holding of the City of Paris itself there are a variety of really interesting things so I enjoyed it. It was odd at the Chatelet I could go up three flights of stairs in the heat but one of the ground floor exhibits I wanted to see (Madame Sevegny’s room and letters) was closed due to the heat. After which I went and read a book at Place des Vosages. It seems that reading a book brings out my freak magnet and up came two different French men to talk with me; they were not the cute kind I have been encountering so far but the kind of weird ones. Really to be honest I am amazed and frightened, I am starting to remember some of my French, in bits and pieces, but am quite unsure about most of it and can only form sentences if I go very slow as my verbs are failing me. The fear is that I am going to get to back to Grado and I am going to have one hell of a time with my Italian for the next week and a half. Then I went to the Hugo Musee which was interesting but to be honest a bit on the dull side. I love Les Miserables but I need to know more about Hugo to really appreciate all of this I think.
I found Paul’s, a chain of phenomenal boulangerie, the bread there is simply to die for and I had an exquisite lemon/strawberry tartlette. I debated about going to the Picasso Museum but ended up in Hotel de Ville, sticking my feet in a fountain and eating said tart. This is the life. After which I checked over at the Archeological Museum of Paris but it had closed early. Everything here is closing early due to the heat. So I went over to Hagen-Das and paid an extortionate amount for one scoop of some delicious raspberry sorbet. I walked my way back to the apartment just in time to watch "Some Like it Hot" with my cousin and then the news in French.
Friday, August 08, 2003
I made my way into town just fine. Bus to the metro; metro connections and went to what I thought was the right stop. Walked out and said- oh shit this doesn’t look like anything I remember. Had to purchase a calling card, had to figure out how to dial the number I had (it was written down as if to call from out of the country). Spoke with Marianne. OOPS I forgot. I don’t get off at the Metro listed with the suburb name, but the one two stops before that. I turned around and went back two stops to the right metro to meet Marianne. Oh now I know where I am :)
So we walked home and tromped up the stairs (she lives in an adorable attic apartment on the equivalent of the 4th floor) and crashed. It has been so hot through out all of Europe these past 2 weeks. I thought by planning this trip I was going to be getting away from the heat. Thought is the imperative word; it isn’t a normal year Dorothy. Must have brought that Arizona weather with you. That or global warming. Most everywhere is having record breaking weather and many of the other associated problems (such as deaths of the elderly and forest fires). See air-conditioning isn’t a bad thing, having it might give you a cold but a lack of it can kill! Regardless we slept on the floor underneath the skylights that were open praying for a breeze, and actually caught a few. Unfortunately I also got a few mosquito bites too. At least the European ones don’t itch.
Thursday, August 07, 2003
1. I don’t care if this is a beach town. Please do not walk 6+ blocks from the beach in your thong bikini giggling your cellulite dimpled ass in front of me, whilst grabbing your boyfriend’s ass and package. It is rude, put on a pareo.
2. Please do not ride your bike with your itsy bitsy Speedo on and your knees pointing east and west. I don’t care if it makes your package look bigger, you are 60+ years old and I don’t want to see it.
3. Please do not use the head rest of the passenger seat as a drying spot for your Speedo and expect me to put my head on it. It takes a commitment before I get that personal.
Yes all three were seen with in the course of my five minute walk from the school to the internet café and number 2 is not an abnormal occurrence. Just some observations made by your smart ass foreign correspondent.
Now on to my other complaints as I haven’t been appropriately whiny enough in the past week as it is. I have such a low tolerance level for some things that is it is annoying to me to hear myself speak with people in these situations. For those who know me this is a lot as really I very rarely am at a loss for words or tire of hearing my own voice, let alone have it annoy me. My issues: One is poor management the other is bitching with no action.
The management of the school is annoying, yes this is a fact. Everyone here has had their issues with one of the Directors at one time or another. I mean for the love of god she is profiting at everyone else’s expense, in some utterly deplorable ways. Yes I do believe in karma and that lady really has it coming to her. Yes, really she does make a bigger sell than reality and once she has your money the level of service does drop. But she went a bit far when she told Martine who went out with me on her own free-time; she couldn’t hang out with me outside of school. We are starting to cross the line in to an area beyond stupidity which even with my verbosity I can’t find a better phrase.
As for bitching…. Don’t get me wrong I like to bitch with the best of them, preferably at the top of my lungs. I do so quite often- ask me about banks right now and you will see, but I can’t make drama where it doesn’t exist. In addition if I am bitching I am also going to try and do something about it. I bitch about my bank but I am also working with them to get me my new card. Ok so you aren’t happy, I sympathize but that happened in the past. You know that whole thing about spilt milk- figure out how the hell to lick it up off the floor or mop it up, but don’t cry (that is my motto at least). There is nothing you can do to change it, what are you going to do to make the best out of what situation is in front of you. Bitch away at how annoyed you are but DO SOMETHING. I feel like screaming we are NOT in America any more, Dorothy needs to learn how to deal with life out of Kansas. And one of the biggest things I have learned about living abroad is that you can not expect the rest of the world to be like America. I actually like that part- call me strange.
I feel so weird saying this as many of my friends have said it to me, must be some either evolution or changing of the guard thing. Ooh growing up- ummm yeah lets not really think about that right now, I don’t want to be an adult yet. Fuck I am one. God it stinks when life hits you in the face like that.
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
It is really hard to explain how things add up and drain you when everyone else assumes you are on vacation. Being here in Italy isn’t a “rough” life, but it isn’t all roses either. Spend 5 hours a day in intense and attention demanding classes, functioning in a different language, doing about an hour of homework per day, 95º+ temperature with about 75%+ humidity, little to no air circulation at times, walking around everywhere, no where with air-conditioning (Italians think it is bad for you), and basically a foam pad for a bed. Compile these things and it makes it a lot more tiring than most would think.
Please keep that in mind when you make complaints about how I am not living it up enough or traveling enough to take advantage of my experience here. First of all I don’t have the time for your judgmental bullshit. More importantly, I am here to learn the language and anything extra is always an added benefit but not my primary priority. I have spent the past couple days reprioritizing things and myself and my education at this point are tops on the list- above all else, even sadly enough *GASP* travel.
Tuesday, August 05, 2003
It is really hard to explain how things add up and drain you when everyone else assumes that you are on vacation. Being here in Italy isn’t the “rough” life but it isn’t all roses either. Spend 5 hours a day in intense attention demanding classes, functioning in a different language, doing about an hour of homework per day, 95º+ temperature with about 75%+ humidity, little to no air circulation at times, walking around everywhere, no where with air-conditioning (Italians think it is bad for you), and basically a foam pad for a bed, well makes it a lot more tiring than most people would think.
Please keep that in mind when you make complaints about how I am not living it up enough or traveling enough to take advantage of my experience here. First of all I don’t have the time for your judgmental bullshit. More importantly though, I am here to learn the language and anything extra is always an added benefit but not my primary priority. I have spent the past couple days reprioritizing things and myself and my education at this point are tops on the list- above all else, even sadly enough *GASP* travel.
Alberto is back from the Chicken Pox with his Puntini, which is good because I have missed him. It is also going to initiate more drain. There are only three of us in the class now and Alberto is nothing if intense. Classes require all of your attention to be focused. Sounds simple but in reality it is more than you expect. It is great for learning but it he is very demanding of you, and since he knows me well he is even more demanding with me, the joys.
Really though all I want now is to numb my mind and get out of dodge. I am terrified by the thought that the bank will not pay out on my ticket to Paris for the weekend and if cant go I really am going to want to scream. Time is starting to crash in and I don’t want to be in Paris return and then 4 days later heading to the states to start classes all while continuing my classes here in Grado. It is my only other option to get to see Marianne this summer. That is not my American dream. My American dream is for the fucking bank to get me my card in time for everything to work out appropriately (which involves me with a new debit card in Paris this weekend).
Monday, August 04, 2003
So I went to the lungomare, realized I had forgotten the post cards, went and bought some new ones. Got through almost 2 cards when a pair of older (late 50’s) Italian men started talking with me. I decided I would play the game since the worst thing that would happen is I get to practice my Italian and they would buy me a drink (water). We talked for a while and then I headed home, finishing my passegate watching the moon turn a dusky orange color and then taking a shower.
The air is so humid and thick you could practically cut it with a knife. I really am hoping it will get better but I do not extend much hope and honestly I would rather my hope (and everyone else’s) went to me getting my new debit card. But I don’t even have 20 more days (really say it aint so Joe!), I am sure I will find a way to make do. I only hope that the bugs didn’t eat me alive as I am somewhat itchy.
Sunday, August 03, 2003
It was a great day. The weather wasn’t overly oppressive and I was using my Italian all day. Even after I got home, I spoke with another lady who is “vacationing” here-while I made dinner. It was annoying not having my debit card, there were two or three nice things that I would have considered. But I barely have enough to get me thorough, so I will have to either not purchase anything or return and hope for the best.
Also it is one of those things talk about someone from the school and they will show up. Yes that is how it happens. Martine and I were talking about some of the other students and some of their idiosyncrasies, and on the way home there they were.
Having functioned in Italian all day with no real break is somewhat draining and by the time I got home all I wanted to was eat (hadn’t eaten barely anything all day), take a shower, make that a cold shower- I love cold showers, and go to bed.
Saturday, August 02, 2003
I went to class all excited about getting my card back. After going to the station and playing the “how many carabinieri does it take to find a debit card” game, we found out. It takes 4 to find the “report” with a copy of my card cut in half. The bank, who knew I was coming to get it, called VISA and for some reason cut my card in half.
I came back to the house and proceeded to rack up a pretty hefty phone bill. I got a hold of the bank. I convinced them to release my card so I could “use” the numbers to purchase my plane ticket to Paris for next week (that trip is NOT coming soon enough). I then called back and had them re-block the card to start the process of getting a replacement. For which privilege they are going to charge me to FedEx to Europe and I have to fax them a “permission slip” to get them to send it here, to HOPEFULLY have it here by the time I return, thank lord for the director of the school being willing to float me till then.
I haven’t been this happy to see a day over with in a long time. At least I got to talk with Jayne. I broke down and called her. I needed that comfort, it has been a long time since I have heard a familiar voice and it meant just about everything to me. As much as I LOVE living here right now, the thought of being “home” in three weeks, though it is sounding way too soon and somewhat frightening as it indicates I will be starting grad school, sounds pretty damn good after dealing with all the costs of today and stupid shit of this week. Yes I am completely aware that it is little things, no I am not letting it ruin my experience, but does it suck, HELL YES!
Besides that I figure as long as I can laugh while I am stabbing the living hell out of the bank people I am doing good- you know maintaining the sense of humor (demented as mine is, no one said anything about that part…:) and all that. Anyways lesson learned: next year when I really am living here- Take more than one card, debit and credit and any other means of getting money out of a machine. As a matter of fact I am going to reactivate one old account and open another just to ensure this.