Friday, April 28, 2006

Is There Steam Coming Out of My Ears?

I really wanted to post all of my pictures from Italy before I left for London, but I don't think I will be able to. I leave in 4 hours and I have been grading since I arrived back in France. I have only slept 7 hours in the last 2 days. I am so tired.

My friends, Amanda and Heather, are meeting me in London on the 8th. From there, we will go to Amsterdam and then to Paris. I am really excited! We are going to have so much fun!

I think everything should be back to normal on the 18th of May. I will post pictures from Italy, England and Amsterdam then.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Coast Bound

I am off to Naples. It may take 2-5 hours depending on the train. Today I just want to relax. I have been going for days straight. My feet and knees hurt so bad. They are reminding me I am not 18 anymore (thank God). I cannot wait to post pictures and talk about staying in hostels. I do not think I will ever book a hostel again!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Few Quick Words

I am having a great time. I cannot wait to post all of my adventures. I am fine; Italy is beautiful and today it is actually warm. I am in Rome right now and Friday I am off to Naples.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Cold Italy

I just wanted to let everyone know I am fine and Italy is beautiful. Milan is cold and I am cold because I did not listen to my mother when she told me to bring my coat.

I am definitely on my way to fatsville. I had gelatto for breakfast AND lunch.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I'm Off!!!!!!!!

I leave today for Italy for two weeks. I doubt I will be blogging much. If I get a chance I will try to post a few pictures. I will be back on the 25th for 3 days and then I am off to London for a week and a half to meet my friends, Amanda and Heather. From London we will go to Amsterdam, then back to Paris. Like I said, I am a globe trotter.

I Live in the Phunky, Phunky Ghetto

Please forgive the many pictures in this entry, but I am trying to get CNN to notice my talent.

As everyone knows, I live in the ghetto and occasionally cars and building get set on fire. Today was a super exciting day because both happened!

What amazed me most about all of this was the complete incompetence of all emergency personnel. Sasha and I saw the burning car, observed the fire fighters standing around scratching their heads, ran back to the dorms, got my camera and returned to the scene before anyone attempted to do anything! As a matter of fact, the fire fighters who were at the scene originally were gone. (I feel so safe now.)

I do not have the talent to convey the utter hilarity that unfolded as we watched the French try to put this fire out. First, they couldn't hook up the hose because they couldn't find a hydrant. Finding one took about 20 minutes, then when they turned the water on, it wasn't properly connected, so water went everywhere. That took another 20 minutes.

After they figured out how to use the hose, they focused on the car. Let me repeat. Instead of trying to get the fire in the building under control, the hosed the car down. Now, WHY? WHY? Oh god, France, why? The car is a lost cause; put the burning building on the top of your priority list, please.

We sat and watched all of it for nearly an hour, long enough to observe the police standing about a mile away from all of the action while all of the kids played in the rubble. When we were leaving, we noticed the car was still on fire.......

Friday, April 07, 2006

Toilet Fascination

I swear I don't have a weird thing for public bathrooms. Well, maybe I do. I often think of them and the germs. I also think it is strange the types of conversations overheard in public bathrooms.

Weirdness abounds in these places. For instance, I have never understood why girls would willingly go to the bathroom unless utilizing the facilities...and I AM a girl.

Also, I am often alarmed at the amount of comfort some people display in public restrooms. You know, those aren't magic doors. If you can still see feet, floor and 2 feet of wall, the outside world isn't shielded. As a matter of fact, whatever is going on in the stall is magnified, thanks to bathroom engineering.

But I digress. I know I have already written about a toilet once, but this one really wanted me to take a picture of it. Look at how tiny it is! If you can say "cute" and "toilet" in the same sentence, let it be applied to this picture.

A big thanks to Sasha's feet.

I guess I should also say for the record I have taken pictures of toilets in Germany and Mexico. Now that I have come to terms with the sickness, I will probably embrace it. Be on the look out for future pictures of Italian toilets.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Happy Holiday Around the Corner

Tulip in Parc Floral on a beautiful spring day.
Unfortunately, spring was only in France for 1 week.
Now it is back to winter.
I am so excited about going to Italy, I can hardly stand it. I know I will probably get mugged or something equally horrible will happen, because let's face it, that is just how my luck runs. BUT, right now I am super happy. I feel like a little kid getting ready to go stay at Grandma's for the weekend. There are so many things I want to see and do and eat and drink while I am there. Whew, I get breathless just thinking about everything. I am also really nervous because I just know I will forget to do something before I leave and then something horrible will ensue.

I am going to Milan, Pisa, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Naples. By myself. I am going to be so cultured and fat when I get back to France. Then, I am off to London and possibly Scotland or Ireland (haven't decided yet). Heather and Amanda get here on the 7th of May and then it is London again, Amsterdam, Paris. Look at me; I am a world traveller. Who would have ever thought? A country girl from Arkansas globe trotting. Scary, huh?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Paris Metro

Picture of Nation metro station. The advert is
for L.A. It is spelled phonetically in French.
About 45% of the time, I love the Metro system in Paris. I HATE the public part, but it is quite easy to navigate and very convenient. However, it is very dirty and there are many, MANY crazies who find it interesting to wander around the tubes all day.

Sometimes really gross things will be on display for all to see. For instance, the other day a homeless man who had urinated on himself several times, passed out on the train. He smelled so bad that most of the people had to get off the car he was in, including yours truly.

Most of the time, not including the apex of rush hours, riding the metro is tolerable. Not enjoyable, but not abhorrent; convenient, if a little bothersome.

There are even shops in the stations. You can buy papers, clothes, food, wine, and flowers. Occasionally, when I am in a hurry for a party, I just transfer at Nation so I can buy a bottle of wine to take to dinner.

However some days, it is down right fasinating. There are tons of musicians who showcase their talent in the underground. One of my favorites is a 5 man group who sings Irish (I think) music. There is also a very long haired Asian man who plays the violen fantastically.

Sunday, there was a string group. Beautiful! Amazing! They were playing classical music in the mist of rushing commuters. I think I might be a little jealous. There was even a lady pushing the band/group's c.d. Consumerism at its finest.

So while the Metro is disgusting and revolting most of the time and more often than not, just a means to an end, sometimes it can be really astonishing.

Talented string musicians in the
Metro on a Sunday afternoon.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Beautiful Weekend

This weekend was BEAUTIFUL! I think it rained both days, but only for a few hours in the morning. I spent Saturday in Vincennes, which is southeast of the city limits of Paris, just walking around taking pictures. Sunday, Sasha and I went back to Vincennes and then to the Marais. The Marais is fantastic on Sundays. It is the gay area of Paris (there are two Madonna shops), but on Sunday all of the Orthodox Jews are out. It is such an odd mix of people. The highly fashionable and men with long beards and cool hats. Only in Paris could such a mixture work.