Friday, December 4, 2009


Don't you love words that are almost the same in other languages? "Perspectivo" came up during an art history class that I sat in on the other day. Well, now that I've had dinner and I'm in my sweatpants, I have a little better perspective than when I posted earlier. The silver lining to my day: I learned a lot about the Italian train system; also learned a lot about public pay phones (and how few there are); and the journey landed me in Siena, which is a beautiful city. I haven't seen much yet, but I look forward to exploring a bit tomorrow. I arrived too late today to meet with the second program I had an appointment with, so we are meeting tomorrow at 10am (luckily they were flexible). Afterwards, though, I'll have a couple of hours before I catch a train to Florence.

I felt plucky enough after checking into my hotel to request a new room. The cigarette smell is really bothering me - I think that after being sick for so long I'm more sensitive to it. Anyway, that request was denied, but at least I asked. Then I went and ate dinner alone at a real restaurant. I don't like eating alone, but I was hungry and it's hard to pass up an Italian meal, no matter the circumstances. I had gnocchi in a creamy pesto sauce. Trying to keep it light, you know. Dinner was a stark contrast to last night, when I felt like I was out with friends. Tonight I was The Lonely Traveler. Another good perspective to have from time to time, lest we take friends for granted.

I took the picture below in Perugia. I thought it was interesting, because evidently the idea of cleaning up after your dog is somewhat new to Italians (I know the French aren't very interested in the notion, either). I like that this little baggie station has step-by-step instructions on what to do.


  1. This raises the question: "Would you have to feel plucky to ask for a non-smoking hotel room at any hotel in the U.S.A.?" Congrats on going for it, though: being assertive is good! (not to be confused with expecting everyone else will always give you what you want, which is definitely not the definition of assertiveness) Anyone who would say that you do not have the right to ask for what you want is probably channeling Satan: Dominate, Manipulate and Control. YGG.

  2. i'm much more plucky when I speak the language. That was my main hesitation, because while the people who work at hotels tend to speak some amount of English, there is still a language barrier. It was such a long day, I didn't feel like the hassle.

    But, lets be honest . . . I was raised not to make a fuss. :)

  3. Carrying our pasts, creating our futures. Reminds me of a conversation I had the last time I ate breakfast at Cozy Cottage. 12 hours later, I slept in my own bed in Iowa for the first time in a week. The next morning, I opened the TV guide and noted all the times and channels for the Sunday Morning talking head shows. Then I remembered something someone had said to me, turned off the tv, clicked on my favorite internet radio staion, and listened to music all morning, and felt great.