Sunday, February 21, 2010
So now to catch up on some blogging!
Last weekend I took a solo trip to Pescara Italy, it is on the east coast straight shot to the right of Rome. I left on the day that it snowed in Rome for the first time in 25 years! It was a blizzard on the train leaving Rome and it reminded me of home! Anyway, the train ride took about 3.5 hours in which I stared out the window at the wonder of Italy. The landscape changed so often that I couldn't look away! But 3.5 hours later I arrived in a small town near Pescara called Chieti and that is where my adventure starts.
Exiting the train I entered the new part of Italy alone. I was tired and hungry and I just wanted to be at my hostel. Little did I know how far it was from me! I went to a coffee shop and got a map of the area and asked the bartender where I was going. Soon all 10 people in the bar were talking to me about different things. Directions, wisconsin, school, rome, italian etc... I was loving it because the new accent threw me for a loop and I succeeded in distinguishing it finally. All I can say is, if I didn't speak italian, I would have NEVER reached my hostel. But I did it and it was beautiful! It was a vineyard and olive tree farm. I was in heaven. I spent the first hour chatting with the owner about stuff and then headed out to explore! The area was absolutely brilliant. Rolling hills, vineyards, and sun. I loved exploring and being a part of this new city! I ate lunch at a real local place that had excellent food and wine. Then I got gelato...obviously. All of this was in preparation for the next day where I would help teacher at the middle school where she teaches. Her name is Vincenzina and her family took me out to dinner that night! Wow, I do not have any clue how Italians can eat so much! Course after course! The apetizers were fruits and cheeses with nuts and olives. We ate bread and oil, wine and frizzy water. Then little chips came out before my pasta al ragu' and I was having a blast. I found it hard to concentrate on my italian when all this succulent food was before me! I ate lamb, fish, liver, and chicken in one meal. The conversation was great and the environment to match. Needless to say, I was not hungry until lunch the next day!!!
Saturday was an early day because I had to take the bus to middle school. Haha, that sounds funny. When I got to the school the kids flipped out. I had no idea what to expect, but this was crazy. I sat and observed one class, and the next the kids could ask me questions. The funniest question was, "Is it true that you eat...eggs... for breakfast???!!" I just laughed and responded, "Not only eggs, but meat and potatoes and oragne juice and coffee!" The whole class went into an uproar saying, "WHAT! You can't do that! That's CRAZYYY!!". I had to admit, the questions were all hilarious and it was such and interesting experience to see how foreigners view Americans. It is hard for them to comprehend the size of our Country because theirs is so small. They all ask if I go to LA or Hollywood all the time, or NYC. Every sterotypical american attribute they asked me about, and I tried to set everything straight.
School finished at 1 and so Vincenzina and her family took me to Pescara and the beach!! It was a gorgeous day and we had such a great time talking and walking on the ocean. But it couldn't last forever and I had to go back to the hostel and get some dinner! When I got there, the owner was in the kitchen and so we chatted for a while and after that I got a free bottle of freshly squezzed olive oil from her trees as well as fresh pepperoncini sun dried and cut up into a jar of olive oil! Wow! The things that can happen by being friendly just amaze me!
So, the next morning I had to leave. I walked onto the porch and was greeted by the sun rising over the fields of grapes and olives. The wet smell of spring was in the air and it reminded me of Wisconsin. But alas, I had to pack up and go after a HUGE breakfast of an espresso and vanilla cookie.
The train ride home was a really breakthtaking journey. It was warm in the carriage thanks to the heating rays of the sun. The mountains were clear and I could see their clear streams trickling down thier enormous flanks. The rays reflected of the snow that covered the tips and shimmered in every direction. Little towns sprung out from nowhere and were so rustic and calm. I can't explain the journey home just because it was so brilliant and sensorally numbing. I loved traveling alone, yet at times, I wished for someone to talk to. That is why I so anticipated being back in Rome with all my friends and feeling the familiarity of the eternal city once more.
Now I must wake up the others for perhaps a papal audience or a walk to the pantheon for a cup of coffee nominated for the best in the world...I love my life. Peace to all!