ciao (hello) italy

so i’ve been in italy for about a week now.  internet has kinda been spotty so i’ll just kinda recap what i can remember:

getting here was interesting.  it was my first experience with a night train.  from munich, i sat by myself in a four-person closed cabin with a see-thru glass door.  you know in demon-based horror films, when the main character starts to realize everything’s gone awry…and everyone he/she sees just has an off look to them.  like their head’ll be upside-down or their legs are twisted backwards as they scurry by.  well that’s kinda what it was like.  the shrill scream of the wheels and the lights punching in and out as another possessed traveler passed by my door were tell signs i was the main character in this movie.  i also had the italian police startle me awake a couple of times to check my passport and search my bags.  def like being in a movie.  but i like horror films, so i was at home.  i also had another great book to distract my mind: “let the great world spin,” by colum mccan.  i highly recommend this one as it only needed my attention for three days to be complete.  3 books down in a little over a month.  i may have found a new addiction.

i woke up as we rolled into venice in the very early morning.  from the train, you could see snow-capped mountains off in the distance and sprawling villages in the nearby.  stunning.

i had written down about a thousand rights and lefts with street names to get me to my hostel.  however, only about every third street was marked, so to hell with the notes.   venice is a neat little spot with it’s exceptionally tasty pastas and pizzas and its winding roads that often lead you to a dead end.  in some places the streets are only a little more than shoulder-width and it seems as if though the opposing walls get even closer, trying to hug towards the top.  cool and all, but not at night when you have no idea where you are and only speak english.  the best i could do was ask very slowly in my chinese english accent how to get back.  all but slept in the street one night.  met a girl who got so frustrated with the dead ends that she swam across one of the canals, which i’m sure was a wonderful treat.  the water in the canals looks like it’s filled with absynthe and cigarettes.  in my hostel, i saw a texas rangers hat on a bed across the room.  another texan,  sweet.  what are the chances?  oh right, pretty good.  we drank a bit, met some locals, took some shots of makers mark and the cowboy hats were on.  a good last night in venice.  in short, it’s a great place for a romantic getaway, on which i am not.  note taken.

a couple days in venice and then i set off for the cinque terre.  it’s a lesser known tourist spot in the northwest corner of italy, along the coast.  colorful houses built in the side of cliffs and the ocean here is clean, crisp and magnificent.  another place for lovers.  after i did what sight-seeing there is to do, i just made my way to the beach.  spent about 3 hours there my last day without a cloud in the sky.  in my new skin, i jumped on a train to pisa.  snapped a few photos of the leaning thing.  hopped back on a train, and now i’m in florence.  florence seems pretty cool.  a lot of americans here.  including the texan from venice.  what are the chances we’d be in the same hostel?  oh right, pretty good.  we went drinking again last night.  it seemed a bit weird to be in italy watching the NHL playoffs and listening to a bunch of early 20-something american girls screaming “don’t stop believin’.” standing outside chatting in a circle with some girls from new england, we met this guy, “steven.”  a portly english kid who was flat hammered.  he was from “lundgren” or london, and as he swayed back and forth, he insisted on attempting to speak in italian, regardless of how many times we told him we spoke english.  wasn’t much this guy claims he hasn’t done.  and his excitement literally spewed from this mouth.  every new idea he had started with  a fresh spray of spit flying in our direction.  i’m pretty sure the last idea i could stand was in slow motion.  everyone seemed to be watching in amazement as this spitwad tumbled end over end in my direction.  voices and noise slowed to a hum and like i was in a dream, i just couldn’t move fast enough to dodge it.  it took final resting place in my beard just below my bottom lip with such force that it knocked me back.  all i could say was, “wow man, that was a lot.”  and it was.  but i couldn’t be mad at the fella.  he was too happy.

but it got me wondering about if you could see your body as a tiny dot from above.  if you could see from your original birth day a red line that connected the dot for your every move.  there’d be way more little short lines, as you go about your day-to-day back-and-forths, and then the occasional long line for when you go on a trip.  and if you could hit fast forward and watch yourself like speedy gonzalez bouncing around your little world.  then take “steven,” and you can see his little blue line connecting the dots in his life.  he’s gotta lot of long lines considering he’s “done almost everything.”  who knows how many times our lines have crossed over each other without a dot.  but not this time.  this time there’s a dot.  this time the dot got covered in spit.

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