The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Monday, July 31, 2006

My Own Worst Enemy

After a long day of London sight seeing, I had time last night to just sit...alone...and think. This was the first evening since I have arrived in London that I found myself alone with my own thoughts. They took over and the jolting reality of my situation came crashing down on me like a ton of bricks. I went to the market for some red wine and the tears just started flowing. It finally hit me how freaking terrified I am of all of this. I have honestly never felt like this about anyone. I was talking to a friend tonight and before I could say "things would be so much easier if I could just find a guy in DC"...I realized something. I don't want a guy in DC. I don't want a guy of a different Religion. I don't want a guy who fits into whatever mold I thought I had. I want Ben. Plain and simple, I want to be with him. That is all. I'm not sure how any of this is going to work and really, the practicality I have been fighting to keep out of this situation is finally creeping in.

I knew I needed to sit alone with my thoughts, but I really just wanted to be in his arms. I could not get in touch with him and my mind began to wander. As a woman, I have the pleasure of being a slave to overanalytical obsessive thoughts and doubts in moments like this. I spent my evening doubting him, doubting me, doubting us. With every minute that went by that I did not hear from him, my mind wandered further. I found myself in the midst of this web I had woven within mere hours. Not even a good friend of mine could snap me out of it. It all just became too much for me. I slept with the phone in my hand and dreamed about him. When I awoke and realized he still had not called, I felt empty.

I found myself thinking back to this day. When we parted ways, he told me he wanted us to still be together. He broke down my walls and he made me believe in "us." Then, he dropped that ball within one month when he found someone new. He walked out on us and he hurt me. It is not fair to project that onto Ben. Those are my insecurities and he has not given me a single reason to doubt him. I know this, but I am still struggling to believe it.

My dear friend would not allow me to stay in bed crying today. Rather, she forced me to leave puffy-eyed with her to grab some coffee on our way to school. We were at the Starbucks across the street from his work and I was staring blankly out the window when I felt my phone vibrate. "Hello darling, are you okay?" he says. He told me he left his cell phone at work last night and really missed me. He noticed that I called a few times and wanted to make sure I was okay. I guess he could hear in my voice that I was not because he said "stay where you are, I'm coming outside." When he saw me, he just hugged me. I stood there in his arms and just let it all out. I'm scared. I'm leaving in a week and I am downright terrified of all of this. He looked me in my teary eyes and said "it's going to be hard for both of us. But I'm here. RIght now, it's you and me. That's all that matters." He wiped my tears and then kissed me.

Friday, July 28, 2006

A Woman's Place

Cultural differences exist in the way in which women are treated. Some women are forced to wear certain clothing or only walk certain streets. In some places, women must marry men they don't love or unwillingly submit to strangers sexually. Some cultures go as far as to mutilate the female genitalia as a way of showing the woman her role in society. America, on the other hand is a culture that attempts to put women on equal footing as men. In the last 100 years, Americans have come a long way to allow a woman to venture beyond her historical place "in the home." (Granted, some would argue we are not quite there yet.) Anyway, I realize some of these practices are imbedded in a particular culture and I would venture to say that even within a culture not everyone thinks that same way. It just depends on the person and what is in his or her heart. If I am not making any sense, allow me to evidence this with a case study:

A friend of mine on this same trip also met a guy in Ben's group of friends. They are having a bit less success in their "relationship." Most probably because it was a purely physical endeavor. Anyway, about a week ago, I mentioned that we should all get together and cook a good meal. She said she would pass because she had no desire to cook for him ever again. Huh? Apparently if you put a strong minded American girl with a guy who expects her to be submissive, you are going to have some problems. They were at his place and he suggested they go to the market and grab some food because he was hungry. She said she would go with him but was not really hungry herself. They get back to his place where he proceeds to tell her that he was going to shower and she could go ahead and start cooking. He shows her where the pots and pans are and tells her how he would like it prepared and then he goes upstairs. Why in the hell she stuck around to cook is BEYOND ME! Nevertheless, she did. When he came downstairs, he bitched about the way she was doing it. Are you freaking kidding me? As she finishes the story, she tells me "watch out, they have their expectations of where a woman belongs and apparently, it is in the kitchen."

Last night, I went over to Ben's place to watch a movie. I had not eaten yet and I figured we would just order take-out. He said he had an idea. We ventured out to multiple stores searching for the perfect meal. We went to his favorite Algerian meat shop and bought some steaks. We found a market with some fresh vegetables. Then, we went to a wine shop to get a nice bottle of red. As we walked back to his place, my friend's story popped into my head and I couldn't help but laugh because I know this guy would never treat me like that. When we got to his house we unloaded everything and I said "okay, what can I do to help?" He poured me a glass of red wine, pulled up a chair and told me to sit and relax. Then, he cooked for me. He would not even let me peel the potatoes. Nothing. I just sipped my wine and enjoyed watching him. I then consumed the best meal I have had since I arrived here*. After dinner, he would not even let me help him with the dishes.

These two gentleman came from the same culture, grew up in the same area and have all the same friends. I think my guy must have a better mom and a bigger heart:-)

*Yes, I realize that is not saying much considering the food here is crap.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I have been having the most breathtaking lovely experience this summer with the most amazing man I have ever met. I broke my normal "boys don't make the blog" rule because I just could not contain myself. This gent has renewed my faith in men but more importantly in myself. Many of you have been following along and supporting me in this. I do believe that you can see the sparkle in my eyes from where you are. I hope you are liking this guy as much as I am. I do feel like I am in a fairy tale. So, to continue:

He has not allowed me to pay for a single thing since I met him. He buys my coffee even if he is not having any. He says that I am his lady and that I deserve the world. It's only money.

...still reading?

He gently kisses me on the forehead and says "this is a special one because it means I will always protect you." And he does.

...still reading?

He told me that before I came into his life, there was only room in his heart for God and his Mom. Now, I have a room all of my own.

...still reading?

He plays no games. He is open and honest with me about everything. He tells me that he is scared about where our future will lead but that his heart tells him we belong together.

...still reading?

He tells me that he feels like he has known me for years. Then he asks me if I believe in destiny.

...still reading?

He loves to hold me close and dance with me. We can be in the midst of a crowded bar with friends but if a slow song comes on, he wants to dance. Neither of us even notice the people watching with envy.

...still reading?

He was born in Paris, grew up in Algeria, and now lives in London. He is Muslim.

...still reading?

For some reason, that one has stopped a few people in my life from reading any further. That one has made people question this wonderful man. I am not claiming to be the most openminded and welcoming soul around. I grew up in an area of our country without much diversity in lifestyles or cultures. Some may say I was sheltered in a sense. But I have been been downright shocked at some of the responses I have received from people in my life. I am taking a class right now that discusses racial/gender/ethnic equality and how far we have come. I am living an experience right now that is showing me how far we have to go.

I was born as a white, upper-middle class Catholic in the United States. Never in my life did I anticipate that I would personally feel the hurt of stereotyping in our society with its freedom of Religion and expression. I cherish the time I have spent this summer allowing my mind to be open to other cultures and ways of life. I am experiencing life with the most amazing man who treats me like an angel. I cannot fathom that someone would doubt this man or even fear that he would harm me just because he is Muslim. It saddens me, angers me and confuses me.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

To Know a Man, You Must Know His Friends

His friend told me last night they have a saying in France that translates "to know a man, you must know his friends."

When I met Ben, I actually met all of his friends. It was the evening of the World Cup Final. I was, of course, sporting my Italia shirt. We walked to the King's Crown Bar very close to the dorm. Little did I know we had chosen the only bar in London full of French guys. Oops. The bartender refused to serve me. This loud cheering group of French guys booed me. They all picked on me. It's okay, I could handle it. I pulled out a copy of my passport that plainly showed my French heritage in my last name. Sophien (the bartender) came out from around the bar and hugged me. He yelled something at the guys in French and from that moment on, they were okay with the French-American girl in the Italia shirt. They then spent the rest of the evening making bets with me as to the outcome of the game. I spent the rest of the evening drinking on their tab. (Thanks Italia!)

The King's Crown Bar is their second home. These guys convene at this bar every day of the week, sometimes not even to drink, just to hang out. They are an extremely close-knit group, like brothers, and they will tell you this often. The bar is on my way to and from school and if any one of them sees me walk by, he will come outside and cross the street just to tell me hi. I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with his friends both as a group and individually. They have made me feel very welcome here.

Last night, I met Ben at the bar after he got off work. We were all standing around talking and drinking very lightly (some were only drinking water). Some guy in another group of people was a little drunk. He was flailing around the dancefloor a bit haphazardly. As one of Ben's friends, Jamal, walked by with a stack of glasses, the flailing guy swung his arm, knocking the glasses. They all shattered and I just so happened to be standing on the other side. Something inside of me told me to turn my head away. Thank God I did. I was covered in glass. I stood there, a bit stunned. I looked around and I seemed okay. I didn't see any blood, but with every slight movement, I could see pieces of glass falling off of me. Ben told me not to move. Immediately, the guys from outside came running in to make sure I was okay. Ben and Jamal pulled the flailing guy aside to have some words. Sam took away my glass of white wine in case something got inside. Sied and Sophien took me outside and carefully picked the pieces of glass out of my hair. I told everyone multiple times that I was okay. I thought the attention was unnecessary because I was fine. Sied sat me down and said to me "you should know that we will protect you. You are Ben's lady and he cares a great deal about you. This means that we care about you too. To know a man, you must know his friends."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

How long I have waited

I cannot seem to find the words. If you could see my smile right now, you would not need my words. Yesterday, I was at his house and we were sitting in the garden drinking champagne. "I'll be right back" he tells me. I was just staring up at the stars, mentally a world away. I heard something and turned around to find he had brought the radio outside and lit a few candles. He sat back next to me and we continued just enjoying each other's company. Mr. Clapton began singing "Wonderful Tonight" and at precisely the same moment, we both said "I love this song." I giggled. He took my hand, pulled me close, and we danced. We simply danced. So many of my dreams came true in that moment. I have often fantasized about such a moment. I have asked every boyfriend I have ever had to dance with me, usually to no avail. I didn't have to ask him. He knew. He tells me that my smile shows him what is in my heart.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tube vs. Metro

So last night, I decided to venture into north London to my guy's house. He and his flatmates got new sofas so they did what any adult male does, they put the old ones in the front yard, bought a bunch of beer, and invited people over. Anyway, I hopped on The Tube and was on my way. I am finding the Tube to be quite like the Metro. No one really talks or makes eye contact. Standing on the escalators is only allowed on the right side. I bought an Oyster card much like my Smart Trip. I believe having mastered Metro enabled me to take to the Tube so quickly.

Anyway, I was listening to my IPod and not paying much attention to what was going on. The train stopped at Seven Sisters and never started again. Everyone was getting off the train, so I paused and asked what was going on. "There was a light malfunction at Walthamstow so they have closed the last four stations. Everyone has to get off here." Um, and do what? With one simple movement, they shut down four stops on the Victoria Line. During rush hour. I followed the crowds up to the street to find hundreds and hundreds of folks lined up for the busses. Inconvenient, but not the end of the world. I could not help but laugh when I thought of how this sort of situation would be handled in DC. Seriously, what do you think would happen if they just lopped off the last four stops of the Red Line and told everyone they were on their own to get home during rush hour (and did not refund the fare)? Mass hysteria comes to mind.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Through his eyes

When I was in Italy (and even my first few days in London), for the most part, I traveled alone. There are some huge benefits to taking on the country solo. Everything is on my time. I leave when I want, go where I want for as long as I want. I got more things done because I did not have to compromise on anything. Just me! Very rewarding in that sense. Also sometimes lonely. I wondered what it would be like to be traveling with someone. A part of me wanted someone to talk to over coffee at a cafe. I longed for enlightened conversation and just being with someone. I wanted to take romantic walks seeing the city at night. Traveling alone really leaves one a lot of time for inner reflection.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of experiencing London with someone. We walked the city for hours. We went to many of the same places I had already been, but everything looked quite different. This time, I got to see things through his eyes. His love for his city made it that much more fascinating. We rode the London Eye and just stared out at London. We spent time in St. James Park listening to the birds and enjoying the quiet. We ate at his favorite Moroccan and Lebanese restaurant and he spoke to our two waiters in their own native dialects. We met up with all of his friends at the pub down the street for a pint. We sat in his garden and sipped on a bottle of Algerian wine he has been saving. I sure am enjoying London this way.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Dorm Life

Oh man, is this an adjustment. There are the little things like no coat hangers, only one towel, the shower head sprays toward the ceiling...you know, the usual dorm-type issues. And then there are the big ones like sharing a flat with the most irresponsible disrespectful children I have ever come across. (In case you are wondering, we are not talking about undergraduate native Londoners, we are talking about law school students.)

I knew my first night here (Saturday) that we were going to have some issues. I was exhausted and indulging in an extremely peaceful rest (considering my bed is only halfsize) when I was woken to screaming. And laughing. And door slamming. At 3am. Now, I can drink with the best of them, but when you share a space with folks, you should have a little respect, no? Since I had only arrived that evening, I had not yet met anyone in the program and I did not want my first meeting to be while I stuck my head out the door telling them to keep it down. Let's try to hide my age as long as possible, right? So, I laid there getting more and more pissed as they got louder and louder. Ahh, the memories of undergrad. I figured it was folks from my flat and maybe they just didn't know I had arrived. I made enough noise in my room so as to make my presence known. I was greeted with "no idea who you are, but come on out and party!" I retrieved the ear plugs that Air France gave me and tried to get back to sleep. Last time I checked the clock was 4:45am.

I awoke around 9am for the day and headed to the kitchen (slamming every single door on my way:-) I met a girl in there who we shall call New Friend. Since I had yet to figure out how to handle the situation, I coyly said "so, were you around last night?" She gave me an evil eye and said "I was trying to sleep." Oh thank God, it wasn't only me. Looking around, the kitchen was a disaster: used dishes and pots and silverware covered the countertops; the burner on the stove was left on overnight; the microwave was across the room and no longer worked; and the best part...a fuse had been tripped. This fuse went to all the refrigerators and freezers. New Friend had gone grocery shopping the day before and all her dairy had to be thrown out including the French cheese she bought at an open air market. That, my friends, was one pissed of chick. We didn't clean much, figuring whenever the children awoke, they could do it. So, we went out for coffee to figure out how to deal with this.

Sunday comes and the dishes remain. I was in the kitchen unloading my new groceries when a guy came in. We will call him New Enemy. I started chatting with him and immediately recognized his voice from the yelling on Saturday. I asked if the dirty dishes were his "oh no, I've been cooking upstairs." Although this guy is completely obnoxious, he says the dishes aren't his, so I'm okay. There are 7 total rooms in our flat, so New Friend and I begin discussing the dishes with other folks in our flat. We find two others that are just as annoyed with the dishes situation. The consensus is "hey, I did not come here to be anyone's maid, they can clean their own effing dishes!" That's four people we know are pissed about the dishes and one guy who doesn't seem to care, but said he didn't do it.
(Side note: I would like to take a moment to say it's not only about the dishes. New Enemy is still slamming his door 593 times a night and he has also rigged the door to our flat so it doesn't close and all his friends can come in even though the dorm people told us not to do that.)

Monday comes and the dishes remain. I passively agressively put all the dishes on the kitchen table with a note that reads "You use...you clean!"

Tuesday come and the dishes (now in the center of the table in the kitchen) remain. I walk into the kitchen to see New Enemy and Friend of New Enemy. In chatting about the note and the dishes, they laugh saying "you know those dishes are probably going to stay here all summer. We aren't cleaning them." I said "oh, I assure you, those dishes will not stay here all summer. I will throw them out the damn window if I have to." I left. I returned 30 minutes later and all the dishes were put back in the sink and my note was torn up. Now. I'm. Pissed. I left the dorm for the rest of the day but not before I relayed the story to New Friend and she replied with "effing unbelievable."

Later that night, I was awoken around midnight by New Friend (who was quite intoxicated). "Hey, we figured out what to do about the dishes. We're going to wash them" she says. I sleepily retort "I'm not washing the dishes. I will go out and buy an entire new set and keep them in my room before I wash those dishes." New Friend's face lights up with "that's just it, we wash them then we keep them all in our rooms so they can't use them. Whadduya think about that?" Hmmm, drunk New Friend may just be on to something here. Actually, the plan has seemingly been concocted by multiple drunk flat mates and friends. So, I join them in their drinking, which turns into our declaration of a civil war in flat 2-5! Then, we all just start slamming doors for the hell of it. Oh yeah, who are the children now?

Around 2am, there was a knock at the door. If you have been keeping track, we have discussed 6 of the 7 in our flat. Well, who do you think is at the door? Lucky Number 7. He is coming to ask us to keep it down. I am sure you can imagine the reaction he gets out of five drunk girls. "What, you can't sleep? Who cares, we can't make pasta. Why don't you clean the damn dishes!" In chatting with Lucky Number 7, we realize that he was actually not in town when all this went down and is, in fact, a neutral party in our civil war. Well, everyone realized it but drunk New Friend and she just really tore into him for about 30 minutes. We didn't stop her because, it was quite amusing. In the morning, we all made nice with Lucky Number 7, so we are pretty sure he will either come over to our side or remain neutral. Either way, that leaves two of them. It is on now!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Ole Charlie

Okay, I really have (had) every intention of doing a full synopsis of my time in Italy, but I just really cannot do it justice right now. I am still trying to adjust to dorm life and having classes again, in addition to exploring London, so I have not even had a chance to upload all my pictures.

For now, though, you will have to settle for a story about being in the right place at the right time.

I was walking around the Buckingham Palace area yesterday when a couple of cops on motorcycles halted all traffic. I told my friends "let's stick around and see if it is someone important." At the same time, I realized that even it was someone important, I would doubtful recognize them. The first car came out of the palace gates and Prince Charles was sitting in the back seat. Yep, you heard me (er, um, read me)...I saw Prince Charles yesterday.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Day 1 (Napoli)

My first introduction to Italia was Napoli. Napoli is a graffitti-covered, urine-smelling city with roads that sit under a blanket of litter. If you think that sounds bad, double it. The people have a fashion sense stuck in 1982 and display more affection in public than I do in private. The very narrow cobblestone roads play host to a transportation throwdown as the tiny bubble cars take on the scooters who take on the pedestrians. Ah si, Napoli. I must admit that this dirt-poor port city of Napoli with its view of Vesuvio and lack of tourists was surprisingly charming. I did love having Pizza and vino for lunch. I admired how the shops of the city shut down for three hours so the workers can enjoy pizza and vino for lunch as well. I enjoyed walking past shops where the workers stood outside smoking their cigarettes and playfully yelling across the roads at each other. I watched in silence as a funeral passed by; the car slowly driving the casket down the street as the family, draped in black, walked arm in arm behind their loved one. There is something to be said about experiencing true Italian culture in a place that lacks many tourists. I quickly realized that Napoli is a city about the people. The careless and poor, yet very proud and charming people.

I wrapped up day one with a home cooked meal with mi familia Italiana.

Luccia, Diana, Grandma, Carlo, Gabriella, and Maria

We arrived back at Diana's around midnight and I was utterly exhausted and half-drunk on vino and Lemoncello. I am truly surprised I lasted that long considering I did not sleep on the flight over because some French woman next to me had some sort of difficulty breathing/panic attack. I am pretty sure I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow at Diana's house.

What a night!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Ciao Italia

(Note: this is from yesterday, but I just now got internet.)

As I looked at my ticket to London at the airport, something dawned on me: today is July 8th. I arrived in Italia on July 3rd. Five days. That's all. Five days of inhaling everything Italian without once breathing out. I have experienced Italian people, land, water, buildings, religion, and food. In five short days, I fell in love with Italia.

I walked the dirty smelly cobblestone roads of Napoli for five hours dodging cars and trying to understand how these poor people live.

After Italia beat Germania, I watched the people of Napoli celebrate in the streets.

I had three delicious feasts with mi familia Italiana.

I rode along the Amalfi Coast and stopped to take in the breathtaking views that the southern tip of Italia has to offer.

I walked the shops of Positano and watched a man make shoes.

I enjoyed Lemoncello and mozzarella Sorrentino, two delicacies of southern Italia.

I stood in the center of the Ampitheatre at Pompeii and thought of all of the bloody bodies dragged out thousands of years ago.

I saw the cast of a man who was buried in ash under after the wrath of Vesuvio almost two centuries ago.

I gazed at the Italian countryside on a train from Napoli to Roma.

I stood in awe of the magnitude of the Colloseo as I was told legend has it, if the Colloseo falls, then Roma will fall, and if Roma falls, the world will fall.

I experienced the creepiness of Italian men.

I got a bit turned around and upon crossing the Tiber river, actually lost my breath at the site of Basilica di San Pietro. (St. Peters Basilica in Vatican City.)

I somberly walked the tombs under San Pietro and shed a tear at the tomb of Pope John Paul II.

I saw actual remnants of the cross that Christ carried.

I took a photo in the Capella Sistina (Sistene Chapel) with a man yelling no photo over my shoulder.

I stood at Piazza del Popolo, the entry gate to Roma from the North, and looked out on the tridente of streets carved into the fabric of the city.

I received the Sacrament of Penance by an Italian priest at San Maria Maggiora only feet away from the manger that held Christ.

I sat at a café and sipped the best cappuccino I have ever had as I watched the people move about.

I fell in love with Italia.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Roma in a day.

Okay, I realize I am blogging this trip a little ass-backwards right now but bear with me. Sometimes, a girl has a crazy dinner experience and on her way (running) home to the hotel she happens upon a internet shop.

I asked the front desk girl at my hotel for a restaurant recommendation. She made a call then sent me to a ristorante a few blocks away. She said Mario would be waiting and he reserved me a table with the best meal I will ever have. Fabulous. She actually was not lying. The food was pretty amazing. Although I never did find Mario, my old Italian man waiter was a trip. He was energetic and nice and spoke English to me. I was surrounded by two other tables, both Americans. I chatted it up with the Americans and had a great experience overall. Until the end.

So my meal is wrapped up and I am ready to head out. Italian waiter man brings me the check, leans in and says "tip is not included. cash please." Hmmmm. American couple to my left says "We think tip is already included and he is trying to pocket some money." American family on the other side says "um, why did he pinch your cheek?" So all of the American tables have a discussion on whether or not I should leave waiter man extra tip. I decide to go ahead and give him a decent tip. He was really nice and easy to speak with. I handed it to him and headed inside to the bathroom.

As I am in the bathroom, the lights go out. Damn sensors. I finish up and start jumping around so the lights will go back on. They come back on. I emerge from the stall to wash my hands. The bathroom door opens and here comes waiter man. "Oh, sorry, sorry!" My first thought is that I went into the wrong bathroom. Oh well, I am done now. But wait, he comes back in "I thank you for tip." He seems genuinely thankful (which of course leads me to believe I should not have tipped him.) I say "prego, prego" as he takes my (still wet) hands. He goes to kiss me on the cheek and I oblige then pull away and take my hands back. He says "I kiss you for tip." Ahhhh. I get it. That kiss on both cheeks thing the Italians do. People warned me about this. Although no one warned me which side to go to first which made for an awkward moment with my fourth cousin Gabriella, but that is a story for another time. Where was I? Si, he said he "kiss me for tip." Then, he grabbed my head and attempted to shove his tongue down my throat! All I remember after that is pushing him into a wall and screaming bloody murder while he repeated "I sorry. I sorry. No tell. I sorry"

Now, while kissing an Italian may or may not be on my list of things to do on this trip, I did not anticipate it would be my 55 year old waiter!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

It is really hard to type on an Italian keyboard because they have different keys.

I promise to write all about my new love-hate relationship with Napoli, but I do not have time now. I did want to chime in and say how freaking crazy it was to be in Italia for the game last night. First off, the entire freaking city of Napoli closed early for the game. Only about three bars stayed open and they were packed. Although my friend lives in the "rich" part of town, it is still not safe for gals to go to bars, so we watched the game at her house. She lives on one of the main streets, so the party ensued downstairs and we watched from the balcony all night sipping on our beers. Red green and white fire works...scooters and little bubble cars honking up and down the streets...nekkid Italians running up and down the street with huge flags (okay, not nekkid, but in weenie bikini's). I actually had to put ear plugs in to go to sleep because they were still at it at 2am and we had a long day to wake up to.

Apparently, even though they lost, those Germans partied it up too. From my friend in Germany: "This town was (still is) f'in crazy! It's 1 am, and people are still driving down the street, honking their horns. One of the main streets in this town was closed, and it was still packed with folks, even thought we lost. I must apologize for any typose, because I am a little bit drnuk now. German beer is wunderbar!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


I am sitting in Napoli at the casa of mi friend Diana. It just dawned on me that today is July 4th! I guess being surrounded by all of the tri-color flags (red-white-green) , it slipped a girl's mind. Happy and safe 4th to all mi Americana friends back home!

I shall now return to the saloon for some Peroni, pizza and soccer. I am also learning to curse in Italian.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Leaving on a jetplane

"hi laura, i am vary happy about your arrive in Italy
don't worry for nothing, I'll take you at the airoport at 11:50
I'll wait for you
do you have a swimming?
if you have it's better, we can go to the sea

And with that, I am off to gallivant around Europe!!! Destination London (via Naples and Rome). See y'all in August...who am I kidding, with wireless internet access and my laptop, you will surely be hearing from me:-)

So far, I have received some great advice/wisdom from people:
In Italy, kiss every man and woman twice.
Always say Prego or Gratzie.
In Europe, if someone is sitting and eating, they are paying a lot for that service which is why you tip less.
Order soup because it usually comes with free bread.
Beer is usually the same price as water or coke.
Salad is sometimes weird.
Sandwiches come with butter on them.
Don't talk to anyone named Francois and don't bring home a guy named Sven.
Take a weekend trip to Scotland and eat a chip sandwich while drunk.

Anyone else got two cents to put in?

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Yesterday, I went to a sports shop to buy a new Nat's shirt to match my Nat's visor for last nights Nat's game. It was 50% off. Had I waited until today, I am quite sure it would have been 75% off. What was that?