Friday, May 04, 2001

Okay, it'll take a while to get some pics up, the film ones will be done saturday. In the mean time I wanted to put some thoughts about Italy into the ether. These follow no coherent structure:

Food: Unless you want to spend a lot of money, the food in Italy is so-so. You can actually spend a lot of money and still get so-so food, its a crap shoot. If you don't want to spend a lot your choices are limited. Pizza are and Sandwiches. Thats it. There are NO Taco Bells in Italy. In fact, any ethnic food you find has a strong Italian slant to it. Pizzas are thin crust and wanting for toppings but are of good size and are cheap. Sandwiches are ham and cheese, no matter what its say it is. It is ALWAYS ham and cheese. It seems that the only meat in the country is ham.

Driving: Italians know how to drive. Really. They drive like maniacs, but they know what they are doing. I can only guess that the bad drivers are simply killed by their own ineptitude early on. A Darwinian solution to a problem that has plauged our contry. They have a car there called Smart, check it out at I wish we had these here, they are well suited to Italy, where driving space is limited and gas is real expensive.

Weather: Nice

Clothing: Fashionable

Train System: Even the Italians don't understand it, but once you are on a train, things are pretty good.

Catholicism: Every few blocks it cities, there a small shrines. They are unassuming and humble. Old, but never forgotten. There are coins and candles in front of the faded images of the Madonna or Jesus. The churches are nice. They feel secure and reverent, not like the glittering, tacky "Crystal Cathedrals" here. Some of these churches were around when this whole "Jesus Cult" thing started. Saw a lot of priests, nuns and monks in Rome, they seemed to be having a fun time as tourists in their very own Christian Theme Park.

Mass Transportation: In Rome, it transports masses of masses. Packed full, unable to breathe, stifling. The system is good, is based on the honesty system, its just overburdened.

Wednesday, May 02, 2001

Every single goddamn plane after the first outta Cleveland has been late. Every one. I realize this as I sit in an unfinnished microiterminal in Toronto. Why am I waiting? Because as we are about to take off, there is a problem, we have to go back and get another plance because this one is broken. Jesus!

Another hour delay. But Air Canada comes through and we get a plane, board it and go. Get picked up by Ed at the airport in his stunning new Cranberry (another word for purple) PT Cruiser.

It's late, only TGIFridays is open, I order the biggest burger they can serve by law. I enjoy it. I enjoy having my iced tea refilled over sixteen times. I enjoy the fries and the company. It is nice to be home. After some regaling we get home to a cat that actually seems happy to see us. I shower and fall into a coma. omorrow is work. I hope I remember where it is...

Tuesday, May 01, 2001

Last day in Italy...

Find a newsstand with English papers and mags,
Find a great Restaurant with good prices and service (crap)
Find metro stops and short cuts that might have saved up 2 to 30 hours of walking (double crap)
Lost mail I have been trying to send since Venice (F%ck)
Am being charged 150 lire per MINUTE at this internet point (double f&ck)

We fly out today, all packed with no where to go since it is a major holiday here. Oh well, we finally got the tv to work in our room and can watch CNN. Maybe the riots have started in London.

Oh year, went to the Vatican Museums yesterday, but that bit of hate filled commentary will have to wait until I get home and can posy without being robbed blind.

Pax Uscita (Pack is outta here)

Sunday, April 29, 2001

Its now the end of two very long days. Yesterday we took our first package tour to Pompeii. This was a little bit of hell, from the terrible english spoken by our first guide to the lack of any exploration time in this massive city. You could easily spend three days in Pompeii and not see it all. Amazing place. We did meet two great Aussies however. Cattle Ranchers on a three MONTH vacation. Great people.

Today was a visit to the Appian Way, the mother road in and out of ancient Roma. This is actually a picture perfect countyside. I would love to live in such an area. (The Appian Road was also where all the slaves in Sparticus rebellion were cucified, they went on for many miles) We visited the Catacombs where some 500,000 early christians were buried. A nice Scotsman took us about, my only gribe is that the tour was too short, there are something like 5 kilometers of tunnels running all about and in every direction. Super cool and creepy.

Then we hopped the lido train out of town to the old port city of Ostia. This is another huge city, nit as well preserved as Pompeii but everybit as facinating by the fact that trees and vines grow over about half of the ruins. One can (and we did) get lost among the hundreds of tiny roads, allys, baths, temples and apartment complexes. We even poken around in a few places we werent supposed to but Ostia isnt the hotspot that Pompeii or Herkulaenium is.

TOmorrow is (da da dummmm) the Vatican. It is f£cking huge so we will only be able to se a part of it. We also hope to view an armory nearby. I must go now, I am tired from the Appian way and must find pizza of Chinese food to sustain me. Tuesday is our return. Bummer.