Friday, August 15, 2008

My Adventures In Italy

Five years ago this afternoon, I departed on "my grand adventure" to Italy. Somehow, it seemed fitting to open up the travel journal that I kept during that time. It's a peek into not only the trip itself, but my inner journey. So, I figure from time to time over the next six weeks, I'll pop in an entry here and there into this Blog. It's certainly gonna be an interesting contrast of the before, then and now!
Mrs. B
15 August 2003 – On the Plane; Philadelphia, PA
I am sitting on the plane in Philly; believe it or not, there may be a problem with the plane (indicator problem) but, the captain just came on to say we’ll be on our way in 10 minutes. Sigh of relief; although, I guess it’d work out if I got delayed.

I’m on my way to Paris, then Verona. So far it’s been uneventful, although I am already thinking I have too much crap (even though I did get everything in one wheelie bag and one carry-on). Yes, I began to think this while lugging the carry- on through the airport here in Philly, my shoulder aching from its weight. I’m definitely going to ship some shit home after the class in Verona is over. No way am I lugging this over Italy for two weeks. See how much I’ve changed already!

The most traumatic thing today was saying good-bye to Nigel and Clyde. This will be the longest yet that we’ve been apart. I know they’ll be fine, but my heart still hurts a little. I’m happy that my heart is hurting for cats and not some guy. Yes, I really mean this!

I hope the people get friendlier during this journey of mine! So far, no one has been that outgoing. I think I have a “dud” for a seat mate; some big guy who won’t even look at me. He seems to have an attitude; or maybe he’s one of those that is scared shitless of flying but he doesn’t want to let on. Well, it’s a 7 hour flight; maybe he’ll say something at some point (He never did!)

I’m not sure yet how my writing will go. I do want to capture details of my trip so I can write up a memoir later. I’d like to write about my inner-journey, too. I think I’ll be in a different place emotionally six weeks from now. And, of course, I’d like to write poetry, stories, articles, etc.

When this trip is all said and done, I’d just like to be happier. That’s a broad statement; I’ll figure out more details as time goes on.

16 August 2003 – In the Airport; Paris, France
I’m not impressed with this place. I ran around for almost an hour just trying to figure out where I was supposed to be. This airport is full of escalators and moving sidewalks that seem to go everywhere but where you want to go. Some of the running around, admittedly, was my own damn fault. I got to the “Satellite” ok, but thought there wasn’t anyone there to check me in (at least I didn’t see anyone there). So, I tried to go down to where ticketing was. I could see it, but no escalator went down there! I asked several times and was told I had to take a “lift” down. So, along with a whole throng of people, I waited 10 minutes for the lift. Once down, I found the ticketing area with a huge long line of people checking in. I thought about standing there politely, waiting my turn to ask if I was supposed to even be standing there, but decided I didn’t have time to waste so I walked up to the counter and asked the agents if I had to wait in line. They said no (somewhat snottily, I might add; perhaps they didn’t appreciate my impatience, but, if you think about it, I DIDN’T have to wait in line so why should I wait in line to ask if I have to wait in line?) So, off I went (hauling my stupid black bag) back up to Satellite Six. Once there (and now there was a person in attendance), I was told I had to go back downstairs to check in! Luckily, some other lady that was working nearby seemed to know what was going on and said I could check in there. Also, next time (if indeed there is a next time that I’m in this inane airport), I need to say or refer to a “transfer” (the US equivalent of “connection”).

My French really sucks. I could hardly understand a word. I hope it’s easier in Italy!

Now I know why Karen Allen’s character got lost in this same airport in the movie “Until September”. She missed her plane and met up with a handsome, rich French dude. Me, it looks like I’ll make my flight to Verona where hopefully all will be well!

Later – On the Plane; Flying Somewhere Over France
This flight is actually ok. The Flight Attendant is very friendly; stowed my bag for me.

At 11:00a, it was “Happy Hours” time. She wheeled a little cart down the aisle with miniature sandwiches and cocktails. I opted for orange juice (which, by the way, was not orange, it was the color of Margot’s sangria!)

I think the carton said “Arrance Rossi” from Sicily. I’ll have to look this up later. In any case, it was “molto bene!” (arance rosse = red orange).

Later – My Apartment; Verona, Italy
I made it to Verona…but my suitcase did not. Doesn’t this figure? I’m trying not to panic…yet, or freak out, because there is no phone in this room and the landlady does not speak any English. The airline is supposed to call her before they deliver it. Sigh. I need to go get a phone card and find a phone to use to check up on this. Talk about frustrating, but somehow, I’m really not surprised.

The outside of my apartment building in Verona, Italy
Closer up
Side street; my windows were the first two on the lower floor in the lighter colored building in front
Despite this, I managed to get to the train station then to the apartment. It’s ok, but sort of loud. I’m really glad I brought ear plugs. I hope it’s a safe area because I’m on the first floor and it’s hot, no AC, so, windows have to be open. Oh well. I’m a bit out of sorts right now, mostly because my bag didn’t show up!

Lobby of the apartment building; my apartment was to the left of the elevator around the corner

My little bed in my little bedroom; note candle on night stand to make it "homey"!
The very small and bizarre bathroom

The "kitchen" (such as it was)

This was a 2nd bedroom, but, I used it to lay out and dry laundry (which I washed in the bathroom sink!)

My silly dancing hamster; he kept a smile on my face when I was homesick, though!


Margot said...

Nice beginning trip down Memory Lane, Amy! & keep us up to date on the hamster!

* a . n . a . l . e . e * said...

do you still have the hamster?

Mrs. B said...

You'll have to stay tuned to find out about the hamster :-)

Mr. B said...

I recognize the hat!

Jon said...

i like the bathroom....cozy.