More journals, more pictures. We packed up camp, and drove to Rome, then headed out for another fine dinner. I also lament the loss of my anklet. I talk a lot.
So today we woke up, packed up camp, took the bus (we bought tickets) to the Happy Rent place, stopped off at an Internet cafe, got our car, then headed off to Rome… and that brings us up to the present.
we’ve been listening to the radio, and they play a lot of English music. They’re playing “Fugees – killing me softly” right now. They also play a LOT of Christina Aguellera. Heh.. now they’re playing Avril Lavign.
One thing that I realized the other day that bummed me out quite a bit. During the accident, my ankle scraped the ground, and it ripped off the anklet I was wearing. That anklet really meant a lot to me.. and I had had it on for well over a year now, and I miss it. Not in the “i notice it’s not there and my ankle feels naked” sort of way, but it represented something pretty great, and now it’s gone, and sticking a new one there won’t be the same. Hrm.. An example… hrm.. here’s a lousy example, but hopefully the idea can get across. shortly before we moved away from Cleveland, (but after I found out we were going to move… a decision I was very much against) my young people’s group took a trip to the terminal tour.. the large building in the center of downtown Cleveland. In the basement of the Terminal tower was a mall, and we all went shopping there. We also headed p to the top, to see the skyline, and while I was up there, I found one of those cartoon maps of the city, that had local businesses and famous sites drawn on it, with streets, etc.. I took that map home, and hung it on my wall in Cleveland, then when we moved I hung it on my wall in Zeeland, and it stayed there through grade 8 and most of high school. it’s not that I loved the map at all.. it was kinda tacky, but it represented a lot. It represented all my friends I had back in Cleveland, but it also represented that day, at the Terminal Tower.. that one day during a time when I was really sad where everything was right, and everything was good, and I was happy. Sometimes I just needed that map to remind me how everything could be perfect for a while even when the rest of the time seemed pretty bad. That’s what that anklet was. It was a reminder that for a little while, I was as happy as I had ever been before, and I was (for that moment) exactly the person I wanted to be. If you’ve ever seen the episode of Ed where Warren gets the infinity Tattoo, that was the inspiration. The logo for my site (the favicon) was a picture of that anklet as well. Now it’s gone, and it makes me sad…becasue it sort of feels like one of my last connections to that moment is gone forever too. Here’s hoping that I have reason to put on a new one.
I did get a necklace on the beach. David and I were hanging out there when the girls were all getting changed, and this guy from Africa (that’s what he said.. I took his word for it) came guy with these necklaces, which he said also came from Africa (I suppose that, too, is possible) and tried to sell them to us. We weren’t all that interested, but David got him from 15 Euros down to 5, so we each got one. They’re nice, I like mine. but haggling a guy down to 1/3rd the price isn’t quite up there as “one of the happiest moments of my life.”
We found a hotel to stay in, but we didn’t find the other girls. I hope we meet up with them before they leave tomorrow, cause I’d like to get a chance to say goodbye to them.. they all turned out to be really kewl, each in there own ways. They were certainly kinda and accepting of me, which was helpful. I had some fears that they’d be this tight knit group that didn’t allow anyone else in.. so it’d be me on one side, next to Becky, then Mindy and Maryrose as the bridge between two groups.. but that’s not how it went at all. I had a chance to hang out with each person on this trip, and they all turned out to be kewl.
outside there is an accordion playing the exact kind of music you’d expect to hear on TV when a sitcom or cartoon zooms from some guy in America over to some activity going on in Italy. It’s both funny and awesome. Maryrose and Mindy have just dyed their hair red. For Maryrose, this was a second run though to get the sections that weren’t done to her satisfaction the first time.. There’s talk of doing my hair after dinner. Sounds fine to me. What’s the worst that could happen? I look unattractive? Uh oh, my life would be radically altered… Okay, if my hair all fell out, then I’d be both pissed and a helluva lot cooler (think temperature, not reputation.) Anyway, that’s what’s on tap or this evening. Apparently we did finally find where we were going (it wasn’t the train station, as I had been told.. though I think we were first heading for that because the place we were headed to was near that), but it was a hotel that the other girls were supposed to be staying at. We did end up driving around for a while though, and for a little while, it look like it might come to blows in the front seat. We got out and walked a while, found the hotel, asked if they were there, but they were not. We started checking prices of hotels around the area, and finally settled on one that was 20 per person, which seemed fine to me.
On the way back to the car, we stopped at a pharmacy, and tried to buy an ACE bandage. We spent the next probably 10 minutes explaining to the people there (they were both seemingly nice guys, who seemed more interested in finding out what and why we called things what we called them then anything else, and we were kinda in the same boat.) what an ACE bandage was. Maryrose began wrapping the sleeve of a sweatshirt around her ankle to demonstrate, and fist the guy showed tape, then something like gauss, then a very small elastic band that was either some sort of adhesive gauss thinger or something like what we wanted. So Maryrose said “like that, only bigger” and the guy pulls one out thats almost a foot tall. “too big”, and he pulls one out that’s 10 cm, which would do just fine.
She and I both asked for one.. but then we continued to explain why we called it ACE bandage. for a while, he though Ace meant elastic, then adhesive, but then we (first me, the more effectively Maryrose) explained that ACE was a brand name, like Aquafresh or [some other item sitting near the counter] the one guy then spoke rapid Italian to the other guy (“Oh.. is the… name!”) Then spoke more rapid Italian to the other guy including the phrase (“Aquafresh bandage”) we ended up writing down what we called the thing (ACE bandage, or Elastic wrap) and they wrote what they called it (Benda elastico), and we smiled, purchased the bandages, and continued on our way (I enjoyed that little cultural interchange)
we returned to the car, which was parked kind of awkwardly jutting slightly out into the street. We decided it shouldn’t stay there, so Becky and I volunteered [ok, I volunteered and Becky seemed to agree] to carry all the bags in if they just moved the car (we were about 2 blocks away from the hotel, I’d say. We carried the stuff over, no problem, then just kinda relaxed until Mindy and Maryrose returned, and we’ve been hanging out here (I took a nap, Mindy planned where we’d be going tomorrow.. here’s hoping she figured out how to get there as well, Maryrose and Becky worked on dying Maryrose’ hair. now I think we’re getting set to head out to dinner.
We’re back from dinner. We went to this Wine tasting bar, and had some fancy fish and beef meals, a fine bottle of wine, and a plate of Italian cheeses. Our waitress was a girl from California who used to work at an Italian restaurant (or winery, I’m not exactly certain) out in Frisco, owned by a guy who used to work out here,I believe. She helped us out, with what certain things were, what was good,etc.. we ended up tipping her (leaving money behind on the table… they don’t seem to do that here.) pretty well when we left..just cause.
I had this Canadian smoked salmon that was so good, it melted in my mouth. I’m not a food guy.. like I don’t enjoy eating that much, but some of the meals I’ve had out here have been so good that I think things might be changing. Afterwards we headed out for rice cream, cause it’s hot out here, and Becky mentioned Ice cream… and if those two things are true, you should get ice cream. it was gooood.
We got back to the hotel, and I spent the next long while shaving using a bar of soap and a razor given by Maryrose (it was pink) While not a particularly painful process, it was certainly time consuming, as each successive pass required a lengthy cleaning of the razor. I now have the old goatee, and I don’t know if I’ll kill that tomorrow, or just leave it til I get home.
we played euchre in the room until about 1am, which brings us to now. There’s a loud group of American kids outside in at the outdoor cafe below. They sound pretty dumb and petty, trying to have deep conversations about things like “art” and how a lot of things happen at 4:20 (Hitler’s birthday, Columbine..). Hold on.. we’ve got lesbians… The conversation just got a bit more interesting.
Have you noticed that “where were you on September 11th” has started to become the new “where were you when Kennedy was shot?” It makes sense. Seems a shame we don’t have more “where were you when man first landed on the moon?” We really need to go to Mars or cure cancer. Where were you when the Berlin Wall fell, or the military coup failed in the USSR? I was in cleveland..sneaking downstairs to watch news footage with my dad. Where were you when they built the ladder to heaven? Looks like we’re all going to bed.