Monday, January 03, 2005

I Think I'm A Little Constipated

I have been trying to blog all day, but for some reason, nothing is coming out. I think I need a mental laxitive, so I'm going to dig into my recent past for one.


I'm very international. I bet no one has suspected it so far. I was born in Athens (Greece not Georgia), my younger sister was born in Iran, and I'd lived in 4 different countries by the time I was 4.

But Rome I did all on my own when I was 20. I am really proud of having taken that trip. I did it on practically nothing. I mean, my school tuition paid for room and two meals a day, but for spending money I spent less than $500 dollars in 3 months. Actually it was $300 to be exact, but it seems like such an impossibly small amount that I just tell people that it was less than $500. I did it by walking everywhere, seldom eating lunch, and only going on two trips - one to Assisi, one to Vitralla, a small medieval town a few hours outside of Rome, and one to Florence.

I'll start at the beginning.

The small Catholic college I went to in NH had a study abroad program in Rome, Italy. They paid a convent a sum of money, and the nuns boarded us for the "spring" (more like the dead of winter) semester. Try and ease yourselves past the hilarity of Zelda as a Bride of Heaven, and you may find some items of interest.

The convent was located in Trastevere which is a blue collar neighborhood across the Tiber River from the rest of Rome. My first overwhelming impression of it was how stone freezing, f*cking (can't really swear in the same sentence as "convent") cold. I had been warned, and I had prepared physically, but I was not prepared to feel the cold of the marble floor through the soles of my shoes. The convent was all marble and ancient stone. I forget how many centuries old it was. You could feel the ghosts. It was really cool.

A small sour old lady named Gina glared at us as we came in, and at me in particular when she saw my passport. It was all dog-eared because I'd accidentally dropped it in a puddle back home. They kept all our passports so we wouldn't lose them.

Gina took us to our rooms. They had labelled each door with our names. There was an odd number of girls, and I had caught the professor's ear last semester and begged him to let me have my own room if it were possible. I told him that I was a slob and on top of that, was easily irritated by other people (which was entirely true). The good professor had taken me at my word and I found myself alone in a cold little stone room.

I put a blanket over my head and briefly pretended I was a nun; forced to take the vows by a wicked stepfather to prevent my marriage to the son of his bitter enemy. I stared out the window imagining that he was looking for me. I longed to call out to him, but was prevented by the vow of silence.

Then I unpacked. But instead of hanging up my clothes, I put every stitch I had on, wound a scarf around my head, and got under the covers, where I shivered myself to sleep. Someone woke me up for supper.

I have two things to say about the nuns' cooking. So good, and so fucking bad. The pasta they made every night is the stuff of dreams. I can't remember how they did it, but it involved the perfect amount of parmesan cheese. I honestly don't think you could have had better anywhere else in the city. Not that I would know. I ate out once the whole time I was there. The rest of the food was mediocre at best, but they did have some nice cheeses, and after a week of "continental" breakfasts at 7:00 am, and suppers at 8:00 pm, I was pretty happy with anything they set in front of me.

This is going to take much longer than I thought, so I will have to write it in parts.

Damn. I detest foreplay.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

On : 1/3/2005 11:32:02 PM Inanna (www) said:

Zelda as a Bride of Heaven... . bwahahahhhahahahaa... I mean, of course. (Loved my kitty stuff! Thank you!!)


On : 1/3/2005 11:39:43 PM Zelda (www) said:

I'm so glad you got it. Sorry it was late. Did you get the green tea? I swear by that stuff. Kept me well all last flu season.


On : 1/4/2005 1:39:59 AM Jeanette (www) said:

Loving this. It 's kind of like a romance novel that hasn't happened yet. Heh. Detest foreplay, indeed. I'm with you on that one. :)


On : 1/4/2005 1:46:42 AM Trashman (www) said:

So did you ever do the "nun" thing for Jethro?


On : 1/4/2005 9:24:27 AM Trogers (www) said:

The vision in my head of you in a convent, it just throws my mind in turmoil.


On : 1/4/2005 9:36:15 AM Inanna (www) said:

I thought that was green tea!! I love that stuff, although it looks a little red too....


On : 1/4/2005 11:22:08 AM Fleece (www) said:

Cheese!! Now YOUR post is making me hungry. I love Italy.


On : 1/4/2005 11:43:41 AM Zelda (www) said:

Jeanette - There was precious little real romance for me in Rome, but it was a very romantic city.

Trashman - No.

Inanna - It does have a reddish tinge....

Fleece - I loved Italy too, but I never quite got used to the Italians. However, the group of students I was with embarrassed me so thoroughly, I almost preferred the Italians.


On : 1/4/2005 12:42:30 PM Seven (www) said:

sounds like a fun adventure, tell us more!


On : 1/4/2005 1:02:29 PM tinyhands (www) said:

Hey, blogging about past vacations- GREAT IDEA!
Italy is high on my list, but I'm afraid I'm going to need several porters to carry around all the money I'm going to need to see it all.


On : 1/4/2005 1:26:35 PM Zelda (www) said:

Seven - I will.

Tinyhands - It wasn't exactly a vacation. It was a study abroad program, so technically, I'm not ripping off you.


On : 1/4/2005 2:45:39 PM Trashman (www) said:

Just no? So what have you dressed up as?


On : 1/4/2005 2:48:35 PM Zelda (www) said:

A naked lady.


On : 1/4/2005 4:48:18 PM Jethro (www) said:

It doesn't matter what she dresses up as, it's all coming off anyways.