Monday, May 07, 2007

Ciao my loves

It’s been a long time - a lot has happened As always, Italy is eventful and adventureful. We went to Sardinia this weekend - it was so fantastic Exhausting, but fantastic. We slept in bungalows right next to the ocean, which unfortunately had no heat, but it was still pretty great. We took the overnight ferry there and back, which was interesting. It kind of sucks to try and sleep for eight hours in those seats - they’re like airplane chairs. The boat was beautiful and big, but not heated all that well, and so I didn’t sleep well at all. The second night we took the ferry Katie and I snuck up to first class, where the seats are larger; we’re small enough to literally curl up into the seat of the chair, so sleeping was a little bit more comfortable. It’s the off season still I guess, so the boat was practically empty and we had the run of it. Unless you got up and walked around, you hardly notice the motion of the boat at all. But that little bit of rocking was pretty soothing, actually. Poor Juana felt a little seasick, but she got over it pretty quickly. Katie and Juana both tried to shower in the handicapped bathroom - for some reason it had a shower head - and I don’t envy them the attempt. I guess after horse camp that one time with Jenn (riding horses, camping, and not showering for a week straight - man, we smelled so bad), not showering for three days is alright with me. Also, there was no lock on the door, so I was way sketched out by the idea of showering there.

I’m still running in the mornings (not every morning anymore though And not this weekend, clearly, when I was busy sightseeing). This leads to occasional adventures too. On Wednesday I got into the kitchen after the run (Alexis estimates it to be almost 2 miles, by the way. Crazy Can you believe it?) and I heard this weird rustling noise. I thought it would be someone in the studio next door, so I went over to find out who was so hardcore that they’d be working before 8 in the morning. Nobody was there, but I kept hearing the same rustling noises. Come back to the kitchen to find a bird swooping around and running into everything. How a bird got trapped in our kitchen I suppose I’ll never know, but I opened the doors and tried to coax it out: “OK, birdie Come this way This is the outside ” While my coaxing probably is a bit nutty, the bird got out without breaking its neck on anything, and that’s what matters. And that’s my little story about a bird in our kitchen. And then I found five dollars.

I realized over the weekend just how bizarre the gender inequality really is this semester. One guy and nineteen women. The number of us all PMSing on the same schedule is staggering. Messiah has a low concentration of males, I realize that, but somehow I’ve always ended up with guy friends anyway. I can’t wait to get away from all these unrelieved females (as much as I’ve come to love some of them), and back into a mildly more balanced group. Because really, nine PMSing women all at once is an awful lot of PMS. That’s almost half the group. I have enough issues dealing with my own mood swings, let alone eight other peoples’ How Jeff (codenamed Heffay) deals with it all is beyond me. He’s got a practically infinite store of patience.

I decided that I love my hair dryer. You know how I was so cold on the ferry? Well, it was cold all weekend, because our bungalow was unheated, and it rained on and off, and I only brought one sweater and no jacket. We did have a hair dryer, though, and Katie and I discovered that it’s flipping amazing to blow-dry yourself when you’re cold. There I am, a 20-year-old college student, sitting on the bed in the bungalow, clothed in every piece of clothing I brought, blow-drying myself through all of my layers of clothing - just to be warm for a little bit. I don’t blame Megan for cracking up when she came in and saw me. I probably did look pretty hysterical. So, let that be a lesson to all of you - make friends with your blow-dryer. It could just save your sanity some cold night at the beach.

Katie was a little disappointed that the water at Sardinia wasn’t brilliant turquoise - the sun boycotted quite a bit of our weekend, at least in the mornings - but I confess I like moody water. Particularly as the sun is going down, and the wind is blowing cold, and it looks like the possibility of turbulence. I dunno, I just like it. Is that odd?

We rented bikes on Saturday, and we biked so much... my butt hurts a lot Everyone, basically, has developed bruises from our intense biking. We ended up biking along the Italian highway for a bit, and that was a little bit scary, but the bikes got us to Porto Pollo, which is beautiful and full of turquoise water and white sand, so it was worth it.

I love return journeys. I realized that on the boat on the way back Saturday night. I just get filled with all kinds of happy endorphins at the thought of being back in my own place. So, in addition to being excited to be back in Orvieto after such a long exhausting fun weekend, I’m getting excited to go back home again for real at the end of this semester. Even if it will be for only a few days - it’s going to be good. And then I have to move up to Messiah again and make a place for myself - but I’ve done that before. No big deal. I can do it again. Anyway, homecomings. Pretty darn cool. Particularly if there are people waiting for you.

I got my first sunburn in three years this weekend, too. Sadly, just on my face, so the rest of my is as pale as ever, but my face is bright red. Katie says I look permanently embarrassed, because I laugh a lot and my face is always red. Maybe it’ll turn into freckles and a tan soon, though, and I can stop looking permanently embarrassed (yes, I have freckles, too ). So, Michael Craig, I guess that means I’m not a creature of the night anymore At least not until next semester, when I go back into the darkroom. = ) I got the sunburn sitting on a rock outside of a fairy-tale forest near the water - it’s a beautiful spot. None of the photos I took really are able to describe the fairy-tale-ness of the forest, so you’ll just have to use your imagination. It was beautiful, though. And a good place for a nap.

Man, on the bus from Palau to Olbia, there was a seriously crazy man on the bus. He smelled really funky, and he kept singing to himself in French and Italian, and just talking basically the whole time. I’m not sure what was up with him, but it was interesting. I suppose being educated about crazy people is part of the european experience?

One thing I hope never to see after this Italian trip: pizza. I am boycotting pizza after this trip. For at least six months, and possibly for the rest of my life. It’s cheap and easy to find here, but man, I am so sick of pizza. If I never see another piece of pizza in my life, I’ll be happy. Unless I’m stranded starving in a desert somewhere in which case I’ll take the pizza.

I feel like our group has bonded really strongly. I only realized how much this weekend, but we fit one another really well, and we know how to deal with everyone’s moods, and we just sort of take care of everyone regardless of whether they’re pissed off or freaking out or sick or hurt or what. It’s good - I don’t think my friends and I even bonded with intensely during college, and I thought those bonds were really close. I feel totally cradled by my group here, and that’s a lovely feeling. I was looking around the ferry, at people sleeping on the floors and reading in their chairs, and I was thinking how much I love some of these girls - and I realized, this must be what it’s like to have sisters. Except for the fact that since we’re not actually related, we don’t really fight =)

The funniest story of the weekend award definitely goes to Katie Ness. She was on the island - La Maddelena - and she, Elena, and Jeff were biking around looking for a beach. Well, they never really found a beach, just harbors. But they were like, hey, we’ve come all this way, we’ve just got to wade in the water, beach or no beach. So they did. Eventually Katie had enough and pulled herself out of the water onto a rock - and smack into a huge pile of bird doo. I mean, the back of her jeans were caked with bird poop Elena apparently almost wet herself laughing. It smelled so terrible, though, Katie was like, “I’ve got to wash these out What do I do?” Jeff, it turns out, was wearing swim trunks on under his pants, so Katie stole his pants to wear while she washed her jeans out in the nasty sea-weedy-harbor-fishy-water. The pants were so huge on her, though, it was ridiculous. Then Jeff needed his pants back, so Katie put her sopping wet pants on, and according to Elena developed a weird waddle to compensate for the uncomfortableness of it all. There were also some fishermen watching this whole proceeding- so Katie has flashed a few Italian fishermen, as well as sitting in bird doo, and slamming her finger in the bungalow door in a completely unrelated series of events. Let me tell you, with Katie Ness, it is a never-ending string of accidental adventures.

We also had a small fire while we were in Sardinia - it was hysterical. First of all no one could get it going, and then Juana came along and worked her magic. So there were about five of us huddled around the fire warming our hands, and somehow we ended up doing this game where we all make our hands as hot as we can stand them, then someone says “go” and we put our hands up on each others’ faces, standing around the fire in a circle. Actually, it feels amazing when you’re freezing and someone puts their warm hands on your face. It was so random and bizarre, but it was funny.

And now, my loves, I’ve go to go, because I’ve got to catch up on a whole weekend’s worth of homework in woodblock printing class. My hands were really glad for the break, though Love and hugs from Italia,


P.S. According to Heffay, I’ve developed 7-year-old proficiency in Italian now Whee That’s going from being a 2-year-old to being a 7-year-old in a couple of months = D

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