The days from October 28th to November 1rst Bleed together something foul.
Let me pre-face this entry, by first explaining that a description to San Sebastion and France will not happen in my blog. I already explained my first trip to San Sebastion, and France was exactly how I've come to feel towards the country.
It was french.
The pictures will be posted on Face-book.
Allows me to pre-race this entry further by explaining something.
I accidentally booked my flight to Italy at the same time I was supposed to have class.
No big deal, if I managed to finish my third composition in one night. And do the extra homework.
So I did.
This took ALL night. I didn't sleep a wink.
No big deal for me. I'm used to this kind of abuse, and Siestas are my friend.
Thursday night was the only chance I had of seeing 'El Arvo' But also the night before a 9:50 flight to Italy, in another town, 1:30 hours away by bus. I wrestled with the idea of going or not. I had already found I disliked the theatre that was performing it, but it was super-cheap and a Molière farce, maybe they did comedy better than absurdity. (This was a foolish thought, as DLP always says 'Dying is Easy, Comedy is difficult' or something in that vein) So I went. Brief review, it was funny at parts, but in the end the Actor/Director/Lead character loved himself too much. Came on stage to explain his vision of the show after a forced five-six bowings. The show was cut a lot, and it was way too long to be so short. (If you don't understand I'll explain in fuller detail to anyone who is curios.)
That being said, I didn't sleep all of six hours (two of which being siesta) on Thursday after an all-nighter Wednesday.
I was tired.
Metro to San Mamés (The Bus) opens at 6:00.
Bus to Santander leaves at 7:00.
Bus from Santander to Airport? 8:45.
Arrival at airport? 9:35.
Note about Ryanair. Don't rush.
By 9:50 (Gates Closed) the gates hadn't even opened.
My mobile has a pin that needs to be entered when you turn it on.
Not a problem because I don't normally turn mine off (I leave it at home when I go to the theatre).
Except when I get on a plane, because they ask me to.
I realize I don't have it's pin as the screen goes dark.
Cave men survived without mobiles.
I should be fine.
I have two hours in Pisa.
'Screw it,' think I, 'I'll hit up the Tower.'
Hop a Taxi. Shoot photos of tower, and tourists.
So many Tourists.
I want to do this, only I want one of me pushing it over.
The Big Church Next to the Tower that no-one really cares about!
I have an evil plan...
...and it involves PIZZA!
And Coconut for Desert. Fresh Coconut.
Hop a Taxi to Train.
Don't figure out the Train system in time.
This is my train I literally got to the door as it snapped shut, so I popped out my camera in desperation.
Then I did something stupid.
I bought a new ticket.
Trains? Trains don't have time specific tickets.
I didn't learn this for a long and a lot of train fuck ups.
So what do I do?
I take a breath.
I'm in Pisa, and I have no idea when the next train will be.
I'm going to go eat pizza.
Yes I'm going to do it.
Yes I did it.
It was fantastic, and cheesy. (Not literally. I mean it had cheese, but less than american pizzas.)
So I bought a ticket to the same place that I was told was venice when I bought the ticket through online.
Now keep in mind I'm tired, lost, and frustrated.
Frenzia, I remember a teacher calling it Venicia in Spanish, and noticed that places names have a tendency to change from language to language. Like Deutschland.
So I go to Frenzia.
I get off the train.
And want to get lost.
So I try, and find a lot of really cool statue 'replicas.'
I think to myself, 'How do I get to the canals? They must be a smaller part of Venice. Oh well I'll wander around a bit and then hop a taxi to that swell hostal I was reading about. I'm tired enough to pay for two at this point.'
So I get lost, have gelado, drink Cappuccino (I'm not terribly keen on it, but hell I'm in Italy right? Hudson Hawk[link] would kill me if I didn't), and take a lot of photos.
These? These are all locks.
What a naked fountain!
The buildings here sure are pretty, where's the water?
Venice? This. IS. FLORENCE!!!!!
A lovely Building. They have a lot of these.
Maybe if I follow this River I'll find the Canals?
Oh look a Gondola! I must be in Venice. They only have them there and nowhere else.
What a lovely wedding dress.
This thing actually was really beautiful, but you know what would perfect the outfit?
Boy, it's getting late. Where are those Venician Hostals I looked up?
This was my absolute favorite part of 'Venice,' and all of Italy. This Staute.
I could rant about it for hours. And I will, probably to you. Especially if we get married... just sayin'.
Night rolls around, my legs are crazy sore.
I have a Grappa and Cappuccino.
I wander around more.
I have wine.
I begin to worry.
I buy a lock at a €.99 store and lock my Backpack's zippers together.
I find a pair of guitar players and a whole group of Boheme-like youth.
So, I sit down.
I offer a girl who looks at me Kalimotxo.
She knows what it is, and we talk a little in spanish.
She thinks I'm spanish, and she is spanish.
Maybe she's had too much to drink? That's still bastante cool.
She leaves, and I wander on.
It's 3:00 am, I still haven't slept and I can't find a reasonably priced hotel. (65€ a night? That's obscene, thought I. Surely I can find a Hostal, Hostals aren't well advertised.)
This quickly becomes a bad idea.
Worried about self defense, as I often do when I've had a drink or two, I use my special ability to find odd weapons (Past discoveries of note: A Trailer hook and a broken dull sword) to pick a bit of ordinance.
Grappa and a Cappuccino
I have no idea what this thing is supposed to be, but it has to sharp ends and fits in my hand.
Around 4:00 am, I find an easy chair by a dumpster in an alley.
I tie my key chain to my backpack, put my wallet in my backpack, and set the backpack on my lap, and put my other hand under my jacket holding the bit of metal.
I'm cold, I'm tired, I'm making a TERRIBLE choice.
I sleep for half an hour.
I wake up, and decide moving is safer than sleeping.
At this point while I walk I stumble. Not from the drink (trust me that's not a worry anymore) but because my legs aren't exactly listening to me anymore.
It is around this time I start to think I'm in Florence.
Why? Because there's a few businesses called 'Florence X.'
In my wanders I found the Prostitute hot spot.
'Parks have benches! I can sitdown here', I think.
Nope, 'walked in' on a man receiving a blowjob.
In a park.
I didn't sit down.
I also didn't realize until I saw the girl look up.
Why do I assume she's a prostitute? I came across one on the corner before, and found a whole... what's the gathering word for prostitute? Brothel, I guess, I came across a whole Brothel of prostitutes in the surrounding area.
Awesome. I'll find another park.
So I look for internet, I have to steal an unsecured network because I don't have a mobile.
The way 'Free' internet works is it texts the password to your mobile.
I find out that the same train station that brought me here will take me to Venice.
So I go there.
At 7:30 am the service desk opens.
I ask for a train to Venice.
'The train's full?'
'Yeah sure... no wait, tomorrow's too late, thanks anyway.'
How this transactions should of went?
I should of gotten on the train to Venice and not even asked.
Because you can buy tickets on the train, you just can't sit down.
In a seat.
You can however sit in the non-seat area.
I learned this on my train-ride to Rome, because I couldn't find my seat.
(I suspect the seats aren't assigned, however a young woman sat down next to me 9as in I was sitting there first) and a young man came up to me (I suspect they were together because of the way they acted together, and their similar ethnicity, which I could not place to be exact) and told me I was in his seat.
A woman in the 'standing' area bought her ticket on the train.
What I should have done?
I should have hopped the next train to Venice, even though it was 'full' and bought the ticket on the train.
Carnival is in February. I know how the train system works, I get the Ryanair thing, I'll book my tickets way in advance, and book a freaking hostal before I go, and I'll be fine.
I'll go to Rome, See the Pantheon ('if that's in Rome', I think), hit up a tour bus, and get lost.
Oh boy do I get lost.
I hate Rome today.
Because it's full of old things that aren't hotels with beds.
I think to myself 'Only €100 for a bed sounds mighty reasonable at this point.'
I am stumbling a lot.
You know what's funny about Rome?
It's the Catholic Capital of the WORLD.
You know how many Catholics there are in the WORLD?
You know what November 1rst is?
The Day after Halloween. (Which is like saying the Day after Christmas Eve.)
All the Hallowed's Day.
All Saint's Day.
You know how many Saint's the Catholics got?
Enough to book every 2-3 star hotel in the business.
I go to a hotel, ask for the price.
'Tonight, maybe tomorrow night' (Maybe if they have internet I'll book a hostal.)
'Booked tonight, tomorrow-'
I don't care about tomorrow.
I haven't slept in so long I laugh as I wander.
I laugh violently.
I laugh until I cry.
I cry hard.
I'm lost in a place that doesn't speak English very well, and no one speaks Spanish, and Italian is not close enough to make the difference. (However after this I am determined to learn italian and live here if I retire. And Direct 7 plays her, they will all be masterpieces. I will be Sainted, against my approval, and they'll build a bunch of stupid statues of me from stolen marble. Strong opions on that later.)
I am so sore, upset, and alone that I sit down in a secluded place and completly fill my hankerchief. (It's a big one too. With crying oozes. You know the like.)
I can't spend another night like I did the one before.
I can't keep walking. I just can't.
I've been asking everyone that will talk to me, tourist shop owners, venders, taxi drivers, anyone.
'Where's a near by hostal?'
I still don't know the Italian word for Hostal.
I sit down on a bench and fall asleep for ten mintues.
I cry more.
I keep walking (what other choice do I have?)
I run into a kid, who I can't tell what language is his first, and ask him if he knows of a nearby Hostal.
He does, but he can't recall, so he calls a friend, yeah, for a random stranger like me (I had my sunglasses on even), he calls an Italian friend, speaks with him, in itallian, and tells me to go to Termini and look for CTS.
He has me write it down and everything.
Then asks if I know where Termini is, I tell him I'll hop a cab.
He tells me to take the metro, it will go right there, then points me in the direction of the metro.
This kid can't be more than 18, I don't why that's important for you to know, but it is.
I get to Termini. (Metro is AWESOME.)
I can't find CTS, but I do find a hotel.
I walk in, and wait 15-20 minutes while the desk manager talks on the phone.
'Standing up for this long to be told there won't be a room, I should go. No. I should stay. There's a chance.'
There's one room!
It has no internet.
65€ a night? I'll take two. (nights.)
Free breakfast too.
Around 6:00pm on October 29th I fall asleep.
After 37 hours without it, I sleep. I sleep until 8:30 am.
I shower. I have my own room, with a lock.
I have the BIGGEST breakfast of toast, crossiants and tea.
I wash my cloths.
I clean my wrist-piercings.
As I put on my shirt, the right piercing pops a foot out, not a problem. I alcohol up the hands, unscrew the jewl, drop it in the right side of my contacts container with saline solution, rinse the piercing, deftly pop the foot back, rinse, dry (careful to avoid touching the actual area), and throw on a band-aid, I brought a bunch just in case.
I'm on top of things.
I head out. It's a brand new day, and I'm not lugging around my backpack!
The guy at the desk was amazing.
Funny, nice, and really helpful.
Capital Hotel, Termini Rome.
A block away from Hotel California.
Today I hate Rome again.
Why? For the reasons you love, and don't pretend you don't, because I have strong opinions.
I'll get to those. Keep reading.
(Not fun to be teased is it? Well maybe you should think about my proposal, hm?)
First thing I did was buy a 24 hour ticket on 'Rome Tour' bus. This was a bad idea, because the bus is infrequent.
First stop, Collosium.
It's integral to theatre history, and I want to see the inside and imagine it filled with water.
Lame and covered in crosses.
And torn apart.
Ripped to shreds.
On one hand, it is one of the 'wonders of the world' that only represents the sheer enjoyment of human death, no other culture really had a non-religious open killing monument before the Collosium. Built on Jewish slave-labor.
(Did you know they had Sailors raise the linen ceilings? Great idea!)
On the other hand, it was a gorgeous building, and perhaps could have been remodled into something else.
Nope. Robbed and profained.
'The difference between vandalism and remodoling is government funding.'
This sort of thing pisses me off.
Now there is some disagreence, and honestly I don't know the truth.
Supposedly christains were killed in mass for spectacle in a different ring.
I don't know.
What I do know is that I hate Constantine.
I paid 12 extra euro for my tour, because it came with a guide, and I got to skip the line.
This was worth it, today was the last day the collosium would be open for a day or two, and it's supposedly the bussiest day of the year. 2 hour line easy. (6€/hour? Hell yes!)
The guide was funny and educated.
And there was a free tour (and line skip) with the Palace thingy.
The old palace thingy.
I went there.
It was passable.
I have pictures.
They are on facebook. Actaully the whole trip is there.
Captions when I'm not exhausted.
After this I went to the Bus-stop.
4 times another bus went by (ten minute intervals) and no sign of my bus.
Oh, btw, don't buy from the Rome Food-Wagon Vendor things.
They are expensive and shitty food.
Shitty icecream really, the food's not bad.
Funny thing: A spanish man asked for a sandwich, and the vendor asked him if he wanted the salami one, and he responed in spanish 'What? No! I'm Spanish, I want the Jamon!'
He was my hero, obviously.
I laughed and smiled at him, he smiled back.
I love being pseudo-bilingiual.
'Roma Cristi' (or whatever the damn thing's called0 is 3€ cheaper than 'Rome Tour', more frequent, and stays open much longer. It's a tour bus line.
If you are in Rome, take this, buy this ticket, it's like a day bus pass with guided tour and great stops. Trust me.
So I bought the ticket for the bus. (still no sign of Tour Rome)
Rome... oh rome.
I should have wikiapedia'd the Pantheon before going.
I only knew a little bit about it.
The Byrant Poem, the past.
Not the present.
Oh the present.
Ohhhhh the present.
Pop quiz: Where was Julias Cesar Assissinated?
A) In the Collosium, after he stabbed Russell Crowe in the Lungs. (No, that was Joaquin Phoenix)
B) The Forum. (No. But a funny thing did happen on his way to it.
C) Argentina. (No. But this is what history tells us.)
D) The Pantheon. (Yes, he was killed there with the rest of the Roman Gods.)
I'm not Catholic.
I'm not terribly christian, and to be honest, even if I am, I'm a very Buddhist christian.
But I do love the Roman and Greek gods.
They are stories so old, so long forgotten the orriginal meanings (which no doubt were simple) that they have evolved into infinitely complicated dead beings.
(Actually I have this thought about the third overthow, being Athena instead of Apollo... See scholars think Apollo would have been the next God to Overthrow his father, among other reasons because his name stayed the same when the Romans took over. But you see Athena (she would revert to the old names, obviously) was an accumulation of other goddesses. She started out pretty lame, but as the Romans... or Greeks, 'converted' smaller groups she amased more lesser goddesses. She became the God of Wisdom, War, Vigor, all sortsa stuff... another time I suppose.)
It's very sad to see it all removed for all these Catholic Saints.
I guess it would be more interesting if Catholicism ate Roman Gods like Romans ate the Greek gods.
But instead they castrated them, as Chrono did his father.
I don't know if you knew this, but there was a tragic Earthquake that struck Italy in 1314, they say all of Rome fell into the Vatican.
Rome is lucky though.
This righteous anger was quickly quelled.
Consider the Anger quelled. For now.
This gelado was the BEST ice-cream I have ever eaten.
1) Prelines and Chocolate.
3) Strassvouche. (Stracciella)
4) Another type of Chocolate.
I kept the spoon.
After this I wandered about more.
I went to the Vatican.
And there it kicked in.
My weird reverse fear of heights.
Not that I get the opposite of affraid at heights. (Although come to think of it...)
I get terrified under very high ceilings.
This was one of those times.
I started twitching.
People looked at me funny. This is something I got used to a long time ago.
But the fear was gripping at me.
I tried to chill, but it wasn't helping.
My batteries died in my camera, and I was out...
but not before bottling some holy water when no one was looking.
I hope some undead have the decency to attack me now!
And I even got some back to Spain!
I hoped another bus, and found a gift shop.
I went in looking for something in particular, and tried explaining to the guy there what I was hunting for, she didn't quite follow and gave me the wrong thing (just handed it to me) I explained (all this in english) that it wasn't what I was looking for, and she helped me find it, and then gave me the orriginal thing as a 'gift' for not understanding what I was saying. I tried explaining that it was my fault for not being able to speak Italian in Italy, but she insisted.
Back to the hotel, and to make with the Kalimotxo (My firstborn daughter's name is going to be Kali Mallory-Dani Nichols, I've decided. The initials don't spell anything fun, but I'm going to love calling her Kalimotxo. She's going to be a spanish little girl too, no matter who the mother is. Could be you, you know, with that proposal and all. If you don't like the name Kali Mallory-Dani Nichols, well... we can talk about it.)
After pregaming with italian wine (cheap of course) and cokecola, I went out to the bars.
'This is cool, there's fountains everywhere! It's like drunk paradise!' I thought drinking from my third fountain.
Then, 'Oh Dukkha, I'm gunna get Disentary from this. Or something. Stupid Drunk Kishpike.'
Note: You know what they say about shopping while you're hungry, it also applies to Drunk and Shopping in a Chinese Store.
This is called a Donner Kebab. When you are A) Drunk, B) Poor or C) Hungry they are your friend. They are three and a half pounds of meat in half-pound of bread. The Red-Bull, was among other things, a bad idea.
That was the rest of my night, until I got stomach ill and came home, rested for an hour or two, and then wrote the lion's share of this blog, which I will later feed with a christian's share. There will be post cards, a lot of them, but stamps are sold out, like crazy. Expect Spanish Stamps unless I have more luck tomorrow. (With the sort of luck I've been having they may get airmailed for free because a dog has peed on my leg... or something.)
My trip back was rather uneventful, I met some interesting people and made it home.
All in all? I learned a lot about myself, the world, and how these two interconnected beings function together.
I'm not certain if I'd use the word 'enjoy' for how this trip went, but the word I would use would have a similar connotaion. I'm ka-freaking tired, but alive. I also have 700 some photos to filter through.