Friend #1

Trip Start Jun 13, 2008
Trip End Jul 04, 2008

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Where I stayed
Erik's Flat

Flag of Italy  , Emilia-Romagna,
Friday, June 20, 2008

I arrived in Bologna after a short ride in a non-A/C train. For this day, it made it treacherous. Getting off the train wasn't much easier either. Bologna was dry dry heat. Having a mobile phone in Europe was good because I was able to call Erik when I arrived and was able send SMS messages to let him know that I was arriving. That was a good idea too, because he hadn't yet awoken that morning. However, the bad part was that there was a bus strike that morning. Apparently public transport strikes are quite common and they're scheduled. Luckily someone was nice enough to have pity on me to let me know that the buses weren't running, and furthermore, she was able to speak to me in Spanish so that I definitely understood. So I just took a taxi. And when I saw Erik outside of his flat, it was nice.

He wanted to catch up with me and it was good that he thought more of me than just an acquaintance from a trip in Buenos Aires/Iguaçu. Made me wonder how it would be to see Pedro or Alberto after 7 years time. I spent months with these guys and times had past. With Erik, it was only a year since I've seen him, but it felt like forever. And this was actually the first time I had even talked to Pedro or Alberto for 7 years. I hoped I wasn't just a stranger to them. It was nice to see Friend #1, I just hope that they're all still my friends.

The first day Erik had to study so I just went around Bologna and saw the architecture. There's actually a quite of history in Bologna, especially in terms of university studies. It was interesting to see the early anatomy theatre and the old archives from a place of study that outdates all of America. When I got back, Erik had to continue to study, but he kept wanting to talk, but he needed to study, so I forced him to keep going at it. I felt like developing a behavioral plan for his studying. So for every half hour of studying, we caught up and talked about yoga or psychology or our travels and our atravesuras. At about midnight we ended up leaving his place for the town square. Since this was a huge university, the square was filled with so many students from so many different countries. Erik is from Sweden, his roommates are Finnish and we also met som Brits and even the token American. They're all Erasmus, except Erik is actually studying there for good.

The next night Erik wanted to head off to the coast to a town called Riccione which is a resort town where one of his good friends had a beach house and it's also the home of Miribilandia.  Turns out that that city is where all the Italian-Swiss go for vacation as well as other Europeans.  So there were quite a few people that didn't speak Italian, but actually German was their first language. I want to learn German, but I have to finish up French first. The town had its resort like quality and the cheesy pubs that cater to tourists as well. It was funny because one of Erik's friends Francesco met a nice girl who definitely was after him. She just came up to the table and introduced herself. We actually wanted to go, but Francesco wanted to stick around to see if he had any chance with this girl. She was one of those near German Italy, but her Italian sufficed. She even was able to speak a few words of English with me. So we tried to gesture to Francesco to leave, but he wouldn't budge. After another minute, he bolted toward us and we had to leave that second. Turns out that she was only 16 years old. She was on vacation with her family. The worst part was that we stopped to get pizza later on, but the girl was there too and she was almost ready to come over to talk again. Eventually the morning rose and we got to Bologna at 6 am. My train left at 8 for Pisa, so we forced ourselves to talk and catch up. It was tough to stay awake but it would've been regretful to fall asleep.
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