Tuesday, January 11, 2011

We settled into the rooms in the old monastary. I bought an extra cheap blanket since the nights were so chilly. I do not think any of us were prepared for the bitter damp wind that comes with living on the side of a mountain... they are mostly prairie kids anyways.
Matt, D and I went to Naples for this long weekend. It was almost like being back in Cairo again, but without the heat, fewer people, and- can you believe it- more garbage. It did not help that we arrived in the dark, and were staying literally on the wrong side of the tracks beyond the train station. That night we wandered around looking for something to eat, and stepped in dog poo, saw people buried in the trash, and saw a man pull out a gun and point it at someones head. But there were some beautiful moments. It was warmer than Cortona, t-shirt weather, and so one day we sat at a cafe by the seaside, outside in the sun, and ate pizza in short-sleeves. I wanted to take that couple of hours and bottle it and keep it for rainy January afternoons.

We three are going to Rome again this weekend. I love that city. I love that we can do weekend trips there. I am trying to stretch my money though, perhaps until June, to maybe visit some friends in Hong Kong. But Hong Kong is a million miles away from Syria or wherever I am going to be in May. We will see. I was trying to do some book-keeping last night, figuring out a budget, and I think I can do it if I spend $300 or less a week. Which will include accommadation, food, train tickets, etc. Haha, nothing ever goes according to plan though!

Dinner is the highlight of my day. We get served every night a large plate of pasta, often just with olive oil, garlic fried zucchini, and then a salad with some form of protein. Dessert is next. There is always a jug of wine on every table. It is warm, filling, healthy, delicious. We would all gain a zillion pounds but since we are living in a mountain town, none of the streets are flat... constant treks up hill and lots of stairs.

School during the day. We often play cards for a few hours before dinner. After dinner we either sit around and drink more wine and play games, or you can go hide in your room with a book. I do both.

I do not have early class today. I think I will go read for a bit. It is nice and quiet this morning. And warmer. The views are spectacular.

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