Whenever I start talking, or writing, I want to tell everything there is to tell! But since I really don’t have time to spare for sitting in front of my computer, I am going to post at least one interesting thing that happened each day I am in Italy. Featured today: a short account of my journey here, a fact about Italian men, and a fact about Italian women.
It started on Tuesday night, when I finally finished grading final exams and began packing. I had already planned what I wanted to bring (somewhat) and begun to set things out, but I still had some laundry to do and miles to go before I slept. And actually, I didn’t sleep that night. My dear cousin Amanda came to get me at 4:50 a.m. just as I had finished packing and changed into my travel clothes. She helped me empty the fridge of perishables and laughed as I had to lighten my suitcase by a few pounds. This amazing girl had to get up at 4 a.m. to get me. THANK YOU, AMANDA! We were (or at least I was) a bit slap-happy on the way to the metro.
So she took me to the metro, which I took to Reagan National, from whence (after an hour delay) I flew to JFK. I had a long layover in New York, but we left on time at 5 p.m. I was really tired by then, but I tried to stay awake all day long so that I could sleep on the plane. And I did, very well. You see, not long after I found my seat at the back of the plane (a window seat, 38G) the lady sitting next to me asked if I would switch with her daughter, who was sitting up several rows in 19G. Sure, I said. No problem. After I found my seat there, the flight attendant came up came up to say that those seats had been double-booked (or something that was unclear to me) and we had to move all the way up. I was now sitting in 1G. Business class. First class.
There were so many amenities, I didn’t know what to do with them all! Instead of a thin fleece blanket and small, flat pillow, passengers in first class get a comforter (practically) and a big, fluffy pillow. They also get noise-cancelling headphones, a bottle of water, and a completely different menu than the rest of the plane. I was so tired that I unfortunately did not get dinner, but I did enjoy the omelet for breakfast. And I really enjoyed the reclining seats as I slept.
So, it was a good flight! And even better, my suitcase turned up at the baggage claim. I kept thanking God after each successful stage of the journey. I took the train, then the metro, then a bus…and there were Anna and her friend, waiting to pick me up in Sora!
Since then I feel like I’ve done so much: hiked up to the old castle in Sora, dinner and il vino with Giuseppe (who is the father of Antonello, the owner, and only speaks Italian), lunch with all the volunteers at the house of Gabriele (who is a friend of Antonello and a park ranger in Abruzzo), and my first three hours of work. We cleaned rooms for guests and then I worked on sanding remnants of paint off an old door.
Observations from the past 24 hours:
Italian men are really great about helping with suitcases. One guy helped me get my 49-pound suitcase onto the train, and then two more helped me with the process of getting it on the bus.
Italian women like to match things. I spotted three matching outfits, yesterday. One lady had on golden-beige glasses, shirt, purse, shoes, and fingernails. Another lady had a blue patterned dress, light blue bag, and blue espadrilles. The third was wearing light purple from top to bottom. Oh, and I saw another all-purple outfit today.