Friday, August 31, 2012

Living the Dream


First, let me offer my condolences to anyone who has to travel internationally for their job.  What an uncomfortable journey it was.  Toledo to Chicago….no problem.  Chicago to Madrid…met two very lovely young women….one was headed to Torino, Italy to spend a year as an au pere to 7 month old twin girls and their eight year old brother.    The other was headed to Seville, Spain to study Spanish for a semester.  Comfort level on plane…..minus 4.  No leg room, and the woman in front of me had her seat reclined for 90% of the flight.  Madrid Airport….by the time I got off the plane, I had one hour to get to the gate for my flight to Naples.   You have to be part mountain goat to navigate this airport.  Just getting from the plane to the concourse was a seemingly endless uphill incline from ground level to level 3.  Then a llllloooonnnnngggg walk to the terminal, then a series of escalators that eventually led to customs officials.  Went through quickly….wouldn’t have needed that ticket to Cork  Then more escalators down to a train that took several minutes to get to the concourse where my flight was departing.  Then another llllooonnnggg walk.  All this time, I’m lugging around two bags with no wheels (that’s another story…bad luggage decisions).  All this took 50 minutes.  I slept on the 2 hour flight from Madrid to Naples.  After whacking my head on the hand dryer in the Naples gabinetti per signore, I found my luggage and my driver and enjoyed a relaxing drive with breathtaking views all the way to Sorrento, where I slept all afternoon.  Ate my first fresh sardines for dinner last night.  Yum....very different from the canned ones.  Then I slept 12 hours.  I think I'm caught up now on my sleep.

A wonderful realization came to me as I was strolling the narrow streets of old Sorrento this afternoon.   I don’t have to rush to see this place.  I can explore at leisure, which is a luxury I have never enjoyed, and I think most of us don’t in our short vacations here and there.  I’m really looking forward to that.  Another realization.  Everyone here speaks English!!!   My driver said I picked a bad place for learning Italian, because most residents here work in the tourist industry and are quite fluent in English.  No matter….they know how to speak Italian, right?  

Will post some pictures next time....if I can figure out how to do it.  I think I left my instruction book back home (where is that?)  I move into my apartment tomorrow and start language school on Monday.

Arrividerci for now!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Be Still, Crazy Head

Okay, getting this blog set up wasn't all that hard, except I want it to look pretty.  I have no idea how to do that, but I hope it is revealed to me in the near future.  In the meantime, it'll look pretty boring.  Bear with me.  

(I need to get my fingernails cut, because I'm making mistakes on almost every word!)

This will be a short entry, because of the fingernail problem, and because I'm still in the U.S., preparing to leave for Italia on August 29.  I arrive in Naples on August 30, where I will search for the driver who will deposit me in a lovely hotel in old Sorrento, on the Amalfi Coast.  There I'll luxuriate for 2 days, until I can move into my apartment, which, who knows, could be a dump.  It does, however, have a balcony with a view to the sea, so I can tolerate a little dumpiness for that.  One of my first pictures will be the view from my balcony.  

Most of you know that I couldn't get a visa, so I'll be applying for a residence permit and throwing myself to the mercy of the Italian immigration officials.  I have a ticket to Cork, Ireland in hand, should the permit be denied.  I'll stay there until I can return to Italy.  I loved Ireland when I was there, and, although I hope I can stay in Italy, this is not the worst scenario one could imagine.

My sister from California is arriving today for a week's visit, so I will happily spend a few days with my family before I leave.  My head is spinning with last minute details, but I wear myself out enough with the spinning to be able to sleep at night.  A great comfort.

Summer in Ann Arbor has been lovely.  I could easily live here.  My next entry will be from Sorrento, Italy and you will see the beauty of the coast I will enjoy daily for 3 months.  Lucky, lucky me!