Recovering from Italy

I would really like to write a big long blog about my trip to Italy, but somehow i can’t right now. I have managed to work myself into a state of a-feeling-which-is-almost-panic-but-isn’t due to reading David Berman which always puts me into this weird mood where everything i think is actually a poem and is therefore thought in a very slow, broken way because its all on different lines with stupid punctuation. And I’m listening to “Call Me” and its like “yay, this is a happy song…or maybe it isn’t because isn’t it rather desperate and full of unrequited love and just so much *wild hand gestures* longing no matter what that does to her self-esteem and dignity? oh god she’s me. only i don’t even have anyone to sing this song to. i should just sing it on the street and see who will call me. gosh, i hope its someone nice”

Speaking of nice, OBAMA. Elections! Whilst in italy i became très distressed whilst reading a newspaper, which unfortunately was in italian, turned to my friends and said “guys, i might be wrong but i think someones tried to kill obama”. Yes, yes they had. I’m rather worried for him because if he doesn’t get elected i’m worried that i’m going to still believe he is president because that’s just how it has to be. And i see his face everywhere. And i wave. And yes, occasionally giggle. And think about how much i just want to live in the White House with Lincoln, Clinton, Washington, Teddy and Franklin, Kennedy and Obama and be like…their snow white. Though they obviously aren’t dwarfs (but there are 7 of them).

Italy was lovely, very much so. Yet now i except everywhere i go to be a ruin, to observe ancient frescos and keep turning this way and that to see which angle would be best for a picture. My favourite things? Why- the excellent company of Hannah and Ellen and all the new people: first and foremost Namrata who excellently adapted to our funny ways. Then, though not really new, Nicole and Min Young. Countless others (okay there were 42 people on the trip including me but i am very lazy). And special mention goes to Zara and Vithya. These people may not read this but thank you for your conversation, for being bad at bowling with me, for the snacks, taking photos together, being tired of walking, being excitable, not telling the teachers i broke one of the hotel beds (it was a little camp bed with wooden slats…we were jumping up and down…), for someone else saying it was like they had a little tv show inside their head, the new discoveries, just for everything.

(ah…have just snapped out of weird mood. excellent)

Places (in no real order…this probably isn’t all the places we went to):

Colosseum: Isn’t it big and fantastic? We got followed around by some italian boys outside using hilariously awful chat up lines. Its odd to be outside it, it feels like a picture. Inside, everything has been stripped away and depressing….

Ostia Antica: So ridiculously beautiful. Not the most interesting of ruins (best preserved toilets of the ancient world!) but so magical. You can wonder for hours without seeing anyone through these ruins overgrown with grass and the sun was setting and it felt so, to use a word much overused by hannah that holiday, quaint. For example, we stumbled across some boy scouts receiving communion from a priest, some small children walking along singing in italian accompanied by guitar, we sat in the theatre which is just arranged so perfectly and, best of all, climbed up the stairs of a three story building with the most beautiful view across the whole place.

The Pantheon: Yes, it may just be a big ol’ concrete dome, but its seriously impressive. I didn’t understand until i actually saw it. We stumbled across it really, its not really that advertised although there were so many people. We sat staring at that dome for ever, in not-actually-that-silent awe.

The Vatican: I didn’t realise it was so…museumy. Wondered around lots of Egyptian artifacts and statues. rushed through the rooms leading to the Sistine chapel, was slightly surprised at how small The Creation of Adam is. much preferred The Last Judgement, that fabulous shade of blue. I think this unimpressed tone comes from having to run through rooms of disgusting modern art to see the chapel. Ooh! We did get free headphones at the Vatican from the audio guides, they tell you you can keep them because they’ll throw them away otherwise for hygiene reasons.

Monte-Cassino: The courtyard…the view…we were up their literally in the middle of the cloud and it was just such an awe-inspiring feeling. The actual tomb where St Benedict is buried is, I’m afraid, horrible. Very tacky shiny gold. But the whole building is only around 60 years old because it was bombed during World War Two and then rebuilt. We saw a Benedictine Monk! I know they aren”t technically tourist attractions but still…

Mount Vesuvius: The top was closed due to poor visibility!!!! Damnation. Bought some tacky necklace made to make up for disappointment.

Herculaneum: I guess going down into the city is impressive because its so far below its surroundings…and i might only think this because it was too hot a day…but i really hated this place. It is so boring, there is not that much to see, the place has no feel to it, you can see all these modern buildings surrounding it, it isn’t looked after properly (seriously, if you want to steal some ancient ruins go there. Flimsy, waist-high wooden gates aren’t much of a defense system) and the cool places were closed. Gah.

Pompeii: Waaay more impressive. Its so big and sprwaling, you can imagine what it was like because you can tell people actually lived there. AND OMG I SAW CAECILIUS’ HOUSE! It was right there!!! Unfortunately, you cant go in or even touch it because its being restored. But still. I did get to go into the Lupanare, literally The House of The She-Wolves, i.e the brothel. With some rather interesting pictures i must say. You can wonder around and always find some impressive house to see. I recommend a visit. Though please do not take pictures of the dead bodies, this seriously distresses me. Particularly in the Garden of the Fugitives, when one figure is looking over the rest, probably his family, and probably had to watch them die before dying himself. And there you people are snapping photos of him and being all “ooh-better turn off the flash or else the light will reflect off the glass”.

On a lighter note, we went bowling on Halloween- i did make several people scream with my zombie get up. Hee hee. We also spent two girly nights watching Dirty Dancing- i am now constantly listening to the soundtrack. So that is around it. It was fantastic. and now i have to go back to school. Wish me luck. No seriously, i have a physics test on Thursdayand history coursework to do. I need some luck, or at least someone to slap me and go “stop singing you fool!”.


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