Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Arrivederci Gagliano

Above: Scenes from the toga party in the cloister yard
So I've been home 24 hours and still am tired from our ordeal and dealing with issues at home.
Instead of eating inside, they brought out all the tables to the courtyard for our last dinner and the staff served us instead of us fetching it. For antipasti we had eggplant, cheese and salami. For primi: ravioli for secondi: chicken and green beans. Guiseppe, owner of the Bar and husband of the main cook Antonietta, sent over Asti spumante. The kids made togas from the sheets but we more mature people passed on that. One of the film students showed us the movie he made of our experience. Very cool and funny. It will hopefully be on line soon. There was yet another concert outside the monastery but I didn't like them as much as the night before. Our town now is filled with Romans. Once school lets out, August 1, people go on holidays and rent houses here. Lots of kids in the streets. The third business in town finally opened up, a Danish art gallery, hoping for Roman customers. Some of the Romans stop me on the street to ask if I am one of the Danes. I guess I'll never pass for an Italian. It took me a while to pack. I stupidly brought only one suitcase thinking that was all that was allowed. No, we can have two but I was dangerously close to the weight limit especially after packing my liquor bottles. Fortunately they didn't break.

I slept for 2 hours getting up at 1:30 am to leave. Some of the Italian girls helped me get my obese suitcase down the 42 slippery marble stairs. I went for one last trip to the bar to get a cappuccino at 2 am. Guiseppe gave it to me for free along with a hug. Lots of tears between the American and Italian students. Nancy and Joann had a big fight coming down the stairs. One bumped into the other starting a volley of Fuck yous. Nancy told Joanne that she may be smarter than the rest of us but she has never learned what is important in life and that was how to get along with people. I got all this later from Nancy as we were stretching our legs on the plane-her trying not to die from phlebitis-the sitting was making her dangerously swell. I usually got along with Joann though I was taken back that she didn't want to do a group project with me as she thought her efforts would be superior. As we packed, she gave me "Eat, Pray, Love" about this woman's travels in a year to Italy, India and Indonesia. I just finished the Italian part and found it fascinating. By 2:15, we were on our way singing silly songs through the mountains. By the time we got to the Autostrada, we were asleep. I didn't wake until we were at the terminal at Fiucimino at 5 am. We had to wait in a line from hell to get checked in having just a little time to grab breakfast before flying to Paris. I slept on that flight until I was rudely awaken by severe turbulence near Paris making all of us very nervous. We landed after we were supposed to be boarding the plane to Detroit which inconveniently was in a different terminal about a mile away. They at least provided us an escort so we wouldn't get lost but he triple timed it forcing some of us to run to keep up with him. Nancy kept begging to stop to go the bathroom but they were holding the plane as it was for us. Again I sat with Kelly. After an hour or so they served us dinner which would be about 5:30 am Detroit time. The food was much better this time probably because it came from a French concession rather than an American one as it did on the way there. I was able to sleep some of the time and watch a few movies. The Devil wears Prada and Jumper. The latter was stupid but parts of it was filmed in Ann Arbor at Gallup Park and Huron High. It also had alot of Roman scenes including standing in line at the airport in the exact spot we did so that was fun. We got in early and smoothly. A few more lines to stand in and we were cleared. Steve was waiting on the other side.
I will post a few more pictures and try to sort out my thoughts on my experience. but ciao for now.

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