Mood: Running on vapors
Drinking: The usual poison
Returning to the real world is proving to be more difficult than I thought. It’s my 2nd Monday back in the swing since returning from the lands across the sea, and I still feel fuzzy about the brainpan.
Can’t blame it on jet lag anymore. Not reliably, anyway. But I may be able to blame it on my weekend of geek theater ecstasy, since I saw both Neil Gaiman’s MirrorMask (gorgeous) and Joss Whedon’s Serenity (orgasmic). So I’m lost somewhere between the streets of flying fishes and River’s ballet of Reaver death. And if you understand none of that, I guess you’re not a true geek. Which is good or bad, depending on your point of view.
I think I need to see both movies a dozen or more times to thoroughly saturate myself in the otherworlds, but I do have a living to make and so here I am, deskbound, procrastinating by babbling incoherently. Fun!
About the Italian adventure…my real world friends should prepare themselves for an avalanche of photos, coming to inboxes soon via Ofoto. For the virtual world, though, I’ll condense it to a list of highlights, since I am as yet unable to post photos here. Consider yourselves starcrossed.
When In Rome…
– Be sure to eat not only pizza and pasta, but nectarines from fresh air fruitstands like the one on Via Imperiali. Juicy and delicious.
– Rent a scooter, if you dare. We did and I found myself alternating between laughing maniacally while speeding in between moving buses and swearing incoherently (ohfuckohfuckohfuck!) while trying to maneuver my way out of a traffic circle. It was great fun!
– Marvel at the Sistine Chapel. Not just the ceiling, either. God and Adam are just part of the crowd.
– Get a tattoo near Vatican City from a man named Massimo who speaks no English. When it’s finished, smile and tell him “Bellissimo!” He will laugh at you, but you won’t care at all.
– Touch the stones of the Colosseum and wonder who was touching these same stones on the other side of 2,000 years or so.
– Make friends with the stray cats, but don’t let them follow you home.
– Imagine the Roman men dressed in Centurion outfits. You won’t be disappointed.
– Instead of throwing coins in Trevi Fountain, throw yourself in. It’s more fun. (I should have taken my own advice on this one.)
– Eat all the pizza you can stomach.
The Five Wonders of the Cinque Terre
1. Steps. So many stone steps.
2. The water is bluer than the sky.
3. Follow every path you see because you never know what kind of wonders lie at the end of it. Or not. But either way, you’re walking off all that Roman pizza!
4. The cats know many secrets.
5. Don’t miss Vernazza — it’s the best of the five towns.
Venice Must Be Seen To Be Believed
* Streets of water are even more beautiful in person than in all the books you’ve ever read.
* St. Mark’s Square is better in the early morning hours, shrouded in mist and empty of people. The pigeons are always waiting, though.
* Rent an apartment between St. Mark’s and the Rialto bridge. Never leave it without applying red, red lipstick.
* When taking a gondola ride, be sure to do so at dusk. None of your photos will turn out, but some pictures are better in your head, anyway.
* Mask shopping is a must. You should go into every shop you see, find a favorite, and visit it three days in a row. Then when you make a purchase, be sure to buy at least four.
* Internet cafes are magical.
* Don’t be fooled by the creme-stuffed canolis and their sultry red cherries. Try the apple-filled ones instead.
* Avoid the Rialto bridge at noon unless you want to be caught in a sweaty tourist sandwich.
* Get lost. Over and over and over.
* Ride the public boat for at least an hour, just to see what you can see.
* The mosquitos in the shower are actually tiny vampires. You won’t feel them bite, but they will leave a mark that lasts for a week or more.
* Leave your windows open at night so you can hear the drunk gondoliers singing Italian opera as they float down the canal outside your apartment. (The mosquitoes are already inside, anyway.)
* Gwen Stefani looks better on Italian MTV.
* Ricky Martin is SO gay. You know this without a doubt after seeing his new music video five times in a row sometime in the middle of the night.
* Decide that watching old Italian men arguing is your new favorite hobby.
* You don’t have to go to Murano to buy pockets full of glass.
* It’s ok to dream of Venice, as long as your heart is still in San Francisco.
Five Things You Should Do In London When You Only Have 25 Hours
2. Walk to Buckingham Palace.
3. “Look kids! Big Ben. Parliament.”
4. Ride the London Eye, but try to get in a pod with the German tourists. The Americans are too annoying.
5. Eat pub food. Not just fish and chips, either. Try the bangers and mash.
– Lo, who’s already planning her next overseas adventure. How about a hike to Count Dracula’s Castle, eh?