Trip Start Sep 11, 2006
Trip End Dec 02, 2006

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

I've emerged after a long computer absence. I'll try to tell you what's been going on in a chronological fashion.
I left Italy the 19th of september. Before I left, I didn't accomplish much. Mostly I hung around Perugia. I've met some nice people there through Zach. Mostly I felt a bit like an interloper--watching and being friendly, but not really part of anything. I realized I had started to look ahead to what comes next (what DOES come next) without really enjoying where I was. This is my constant struggle. I'm in Italy for godsakes--I've been dreaming about this for so long--and I'm determined this time to really take in the moments.
At the airport, i bought a magazine dedicated to the life of Orianna Fallacci, the italian journalist who just died. I really admired her. the corriere della sera has been having little news bits about her recently. in rome and florence, the governments want to name a via or piazza after her, but the socialists are protesting against it (she was a very controversial figure). i also read about muslim riots against pope benedict's words criticising islam. the corriere della sera writes of the 'piazza musulmane'--an italian version of the 'muslim street'. another headline: l'accusa di khamenei: bush dietro al papa. this translates to khomeni accuses bush of being behind the pope. i think it's only obvious that the pope is just another rove-bot. i love the news.
in athens, the travel agency i worked with picked me up from the airport and took me to my hotel. my friends, THAT is the way to travel. my hotel room at the central hotel was fabulous and pretty. it is right near the plaka. i immediately put my stuff down and went right back out to walk around. athens is a bad bad place for me because there are many gold jewelry stores. i did a little damage. just a little. see the picture.
the next day i went on a half day tour of athens. i'm not used to doing these tours--i feel like a sheep sometimes, but really, it was pretty good. the parthanon really was the best. it was so busy, and i tried to imagine what it would be like if it were busy with pilgrims instead of tourists. it's hard.
i don't have much to say about the sites. i feel like i should, but it's hard to take it in. i've been reading about this stuff for so long, so i expected to get really excited to finally SEE it right in front of me. but i find myself a little confused as to how i'm supposed to really feel.
the next day i got on a bus for a 'classical tour' of the pelopponese. i saw the corinth canal, epidauros (!!), um, olympia, delphi, ah, other places too. it was great. the guide was a very sweet young greek woman who, it turns out, is passionate about herodotus and all things archaic and classical. she told great stories from homer and herodotus and others along the way. i was just about the only young person on the trip, but i got along great with some of the other people. they were all mostly my parent's age, and were very sweet to me.
zorba fact: anthony quinn (who played zorba) was born antonio reina, in mexico. reina is spanish for queen. queen-quinn.
one of the really great things about travelling alone--something that has surprised me--has been sharing meals with other solo travelers. i don't, as a general rule, eat with strangers when i'm home. why would i? but here (on the road, i mean), there is a sort of friendly ethic of sharing meals, or seeing sites together, and then saying goodbye, its been a pleasure. so far i've had dinner with an englishman, a belgian, a french-canadian, a few aussies, some kiwis, a greek, and a whole bunch of italians. they have been young and old, men and women. i've learned SO MUCH already from them.
i really feel like a different person.
remember at the beginning of this post when i said i wasn't living in the moment? now i am. completely. it feels great.
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