Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

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Back To Life

September 11, 2006

Back to reality.

Italy was great. As I mentioned before, it had been a long time since I last saw Italy. The last time I was there, I was a teenager. Now, as a middle-aged mother, some of the changes were disappointing. There’s way too much graffiti and it’s everywhere. Prostitution is out in the open, most of the girls being from Eastern Europe or Africa. Just like the graffiti, they’re everywhere too. I’m sure these things existed when I was a teenager, I was just oblivious to most of it.

It looks like Italy has endured economic hardships since I was last there. Again, I was a teenager who stayed with relatives in a posh suburb of Rome so maybe Italy was just as bad back then but I was pampered and naive. Some parts of Rome reminded me of former communist countries with rows upon rows of non-descript ugly identical apartment buildings.

The one thing I really loved was how everything grows there. As a person who is into climbers/vines/crawlers and fruit trees, I was in awe of how you could stumble upon fresh lavender or a rosemary bush while walking down the street. I loved how vines grew up utility poles or weaved their way through metal gates. Sometimes there were fruit trees growing close to on-ramps of the autostrada.

My son is back to school, another long story that I might share with you at a later date. All I can say is that customer service here, even in private schools, Sucks, with a capital S.

I have bronchitis so details of our trip will have to wait. Check out my Flickr account (on the right hand side) for pictures. I’ll post a few a day.

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See You In September

August 1, 2006

We’re off to Italy soon so you probably won’t see anything here until September. I might upload some pictures to my Flickr account while in Italy but I’m thinking I probably won’t have the time.

My mother will be meeting us in Napoli which will be great for everyone. It’s been about a year since my children saw their grandmother so I’m sure they’ll have a great time together. My cousin Lara will be in Tuscany visiting her parents, along with her daughter who is a few months older than my son. I’m hoping the children can connect and form relationships with everyone.

When we get back in September, it’ll be crunch time to get my son ready for school. At that time I might have to reassess my determination to blog because while writing this thoughtless, short post – I was interrupted a total of fifteen sixteen seventeen eighteen nineteen (I kid you not) times. It’s almost impossible for me to write a single word anymore.

So there it is. Wish us luck. Traveling with a four-year old and a one-year old should be interesting. I haven’t been to Italy in about two decades (yes, I’m that old) so I’m hoping I don’t faint once I get there.

Ciao.

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Videos of Driving in Italy

July 8, 2006

A guy puts a camera on his Vespa and drives through Napoli.

Driving through the Amalfi Coast. [The video is actually a picture that you click on which wasn’t apparent in Firefox but worked on Explorer.]

Bonus: How Italy is different from the rest of Europe. It reminded me of what life is like in Kuwait.

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Mambo Italiano

May 29, 2006

A girl went back to Napoli,
because she missed the scenery,
the native dances
and the charming songs
but wait a minute…

She’s also going up to Tuscany to visit her relatives. And then head back down south where the Amalfi Coast awaits her.

The last time I was in Italy was when I was 16. That was many, many, many moons ago. But I still remember it like it was yesterday. Think it has changed since then?

I remember how it was when I first went, at around 8-years old and how our apartment overlooked the Colosseum and how we’d throw prosciutto out of our windows to the stray cats below. I remember feeling ill right before we went into my father’s favorite restaurant and my father not believing me until I threw up in front of the Colosseum on our way home. I remember strolling around my cousins’ grandmother’s house and how we ate plums straight off the trees in her yard. I remember my aunt getting pulled over by a cop and how my cousins immediately starting crying, saying in Italian, “Don’t arrest our mama!”. It was all a show but it worked. I remember eating at a restaurant up in the mountains somewhere and there were a lot of chestnuts on the ground. I remember how my aunt’s maid would leave out a glass of milk and a boiled egg for breakfast. If you were late to the table, you got warm milk and a cold egg. I remember getting eaten alive by mosquitoes at night because there were no screens in my aunt and uncle’s house. I remember thinking how cool it was that there were snails in my aunt’s front yard. I remember finding polished tile pieces in the sea from an old tile factory that fell into the sea during an earthquake many years before. I remember going around with my cousins, saying, “Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, osso duro vaffanculo” along with hand gestures. I remembered being freaked out at the catacombs and in awe of the jewels in the Vatican. I remember taking small tiles from walking paths in the Forum, even though there were warnings not to everywhere. I remember getting Barba Papa dolls.

It’s funny what we retain for memories.

I wonder what my son will remember from this trip.