Friday, March 25, 2005

Oh yeah

I forgot to tell you all, I finally had something other than Italian food! Yup, we went to a chinese restaurant, and it was goooood. Like, not as good as American chinese food, IMO, but still, non-pasta was a nice break. When I get home, first thing I'm eating is Mexican food. You don't know how much we'd kill for Mexican food right now.

Happy Easter everybody!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Almost...spring...break...

Ah, another day at the castle. So there's this other intern there right now, but she's in like her 40s, and she annoys everyone. She never ceases to ask questions, silly questions about things that are none of her concern. Even the super nice, calm girl that works there can't stand her! And here's where she won my disfavor: she doesn't speak english, not even a little. She had me write down a few sentences for her to explain something, but she can't even pronounce it, let alone remember the words, so basically she can say "hello" and I don't even know what else. So some Germans came in and I was talking to them in English, and what does she do but try to butt in and talk to them in english! Like, she talks over the rest of us all the time, but at least she does it in Italian, which she speaks. But she was trying to talk in freakin english and all she can do is point and say "there," I mean, what good is that when I'm right there talking to them and explaining things, I ask you?? So she had found not a friend so far in that castle, as far as I can tell.

But, who cares right now. Tomorrow evening I leave on the overnight train to go to Sicily (well, the train actually takes me to Calabria, to the very tip of the boot) for spring break! I'm meeting Liz and a girl in her program down there, and we're going to Catania, Palermo, and the Aeolian Islands (doesn't that sound so exotic?), and wherever in between. And some of my other friends from here are gonna be down there too, so we'll probably meet up with them. Woo! Of course, I probably will be completely without internet while I'm over there, so there won't be any updating or responding to e-mails (try to contain your despondency). If there's super fantastic or super awful news, you'll just have to call me. At least this time I'll speak the language of the place I'm travelling to =)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

yeah...

At the castle, nothing to report. My life is boring. Well, except for the being in Italy part. On the plus side, I'm making real headway in Vanity Fair. More than 200 pages in the last two days! Woo. Looking forward to spring break on Friday.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

2/3 done!

Ah, sweet almost-freedom. I finished my second exam today, and since this one was oral I already know I did well--woo! Thank goodness. So now all I have to do is learn medieval history for my last exam and I'm all set. But I'm gonna give myself a bit of a break before I do that, I think. I was gonna bring my textbook with me to Sicily when I go for spring break, but I think I've learned my lesson after countless trips (such as to Innsbruck and with BCR) that no matter what it just ends up being extra weight in my suitcase and that's it. So I'm just gonna bring something fun, that weighs less, instead to read =)

Yesterday the friend of my roommates (who was their old roommate) graduated, and they did this huge thing for her. Like just this huge huge party with signs and photos and all this stuff. My theory is that because everyone doesn't graduate at the same time, they make a bigger deal about it. Like every month there is a different group of people graduating, but it's not very many people. Since for us we almost all graduate at the same time, it's like we all celebrate together, but for them it's just like one or two people in a group of friends at a time, so they do these huge parties and stuff for it. Complete with sunflower headdresses, sometimes, as was the case for this girl. That sounds really random, sorry. I shouldn't be so tired, but I am. I'm blaming my incoherence on that.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Just another manic monday

Ah, so I just finished my first exam, on Cold War history. I have no idea how it went, because this one was a written one, so I didn't get the grade, and I have no idea if my general ramblings were sufficient answers to the questions. They were really vague questions, so I don't really know. I could have done a good job, or sucked it up. Who knows. But it seems like the talk I heard about cheating being a big problem in Italy is true, because both girls on either side of me were asking me questions during the test! Me, the foreigner, of all people. They probably think I'm dumb because I didn't really answer their questions, but I just didn't want to :-p I just made some vague statement and went back to my test. But there you go, rumor confirmed. I'll find out my grade after easter (cause spring break starts on Thursday for us), and then I'll have the opportunity to do an oral exam if I didn't like my grade, in attempt to raise it. But I'm hoping I won't have to, because I really don't want to do any more for this class. I have one more test after tomorrow to worry about, in mid-April, and I just want to forget about the rest.

Yesterday there was a huge mercato all over Trento for S. Giuseppe. There's one every Thursday morning, but this was like 4 times as big and all day, til sundown. It was pretty nifty, but I hate it when it's so full of people you can't even move. And Italians are not big with the courtesy when dealing with lines or crowds. Plus, I've realized something. All the time before coming here people kept warning me about Italian men, and these past few months I really hadn't seen anything worse than what you get in Berkeley, so I wrote it off as exaggeration. But apparently they were just waiting for nice weather. These guys, especially when they find out you're american, are so damn aggressive. And them with their damn camera phones! I swear, the whole lot of us are going to have our pictures all over this country and not know a single person who has these photos. I don't know if it's the same way all over Europe (like in Hungary) or not, but it seems to me as soon as the winter coats come off, these guys go nuts. Not in the psycho rapist way, of course, just in the won't leave us the hell alone kind of way.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Beautiful Saturday!

It's so nice here today. The crocuses have been blooming the last few days, and today I saw the first daffodils. I totally want to not study this weekend and just enjoy the weather and the stores being open tomorrow. =) I'll have to find some sort of compromise, I guess. But I realize, I'm totally unprepared for this weather. I only brought two skirts with me, that's it. No capris, nothing else. Just pants. I'm gonna have to buy stuff, sorry daddy. =) But I haven't really bought clothes since I got here, just like a coat and stuff, so I've been good.

Yesterday when I was talking with some of the Italians at the castle, they were asking me questions about America, as people are wont to do here, of course. They were asking how far New York is from California, and I explained in flight time (since I barely have an idea in miles, let alone kilometers!) and the woman was like, wow,that's longer than all of Italy! And I was just trying not to laugh, because she sounded so amazed that America would be so much bigger. Then they started talking about all the different cultures and religions America has, and saying that they're not used to it here in Trento, because all the immigrants have just started coming in the last few years, and so they're (the Italian) much more closed off.

Of course then they started talking about how it feels much less safe that the northern Africans have started coming, and how the Albanians aren't very nice (I only really know a couple of Albanians here, and my roommate isn't a good representative to break that stereotype. Apparently she's friends with some of my American friends' Albanian roommates, and she goes over there and completely ignores the Americans. Like, they say hi and she says absolutely nothing back. At least I get the bored-sounding ciao). I thought it was interesting to hear them say so, though, about how much more closed off they are than America, and thought of all the people who think America is such a racist society. Nice to know that at least some people here admire us for our tolerance.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Woo computer time at work!

No one comes in here for huge chunks of time, but the minute I get to the computer, they won't stop coming! So I have to keep getting up and down. Oh well. It's so nice and warm here (like 60s, I think) it's fantastic. It pains me to write that sentence, but it's true. I've been saying for years I'm just going to colder and colder climates, first to San Diego, then to the Bay Area, and now to Trento! Every time I tell people here that I'm from California they say to me, you came from California...to Trento?!?! It's very funny. =) This morning was boring, I just studied and talked with the tourists who came in, but there aren't too many of them right now. But this afternoon the woman I work with is much more lively, and so we've been talking and eating waaay too many cookies and having fun. The castle is partially closed this afternoon, so they had me translate the sign for them into english, which was kind of cool. Then they got the fantastic idea to have me translate the sign with all the different ticket prices! Which was a bit scary just because this could be up for a long time so if I make stupid mistakes I can be made fun of for a long time. I asked a couple of times to be sure what some things meant. But it was neat, thinking I might actually leave something behind here =) I'll have to show my mom when she comes to visit ;-)

So apparently just eating bread with butter is odd, because a couple of nights ago at dinner I had that, as we do frequently in the States, and my roommate was baffled. Which I find odd. I mean, they eat bread and mayonnaise!! Seriously. Now that's just gross. Oh, and I forgot, when I've been talking to people here, they totally know about Berkeley! Well, not all of them. But here at the castle, one of the gardeners knew of it! He was like, oh Berkeley, MIT, Harvard, they're the top schools in the States. (and they don't say MIT like we do, as initials, they say it like "mitt". And they do that with all the acronyms here. USA is said like "ooze-uh", the CIA like "chia," it's weird. Actually, it just makes it hard to understand. It took me a bit to figure out that "mitt" was MIT.) So I thought that was pretty cool, anyways.

Oh, and I figured out the holiday on Sunday. I think it's Father's Day. So mystery solved...except for why that means the stores are open. =)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

A double holiday!

Happy St. Patrick's day, everyone, and happy birthday to my mom!

You know, they don't celebrate St. Patrick's day here. Isn't that sad? The only people who are excited about it are the Americans and the Irish studying here. But fear not, we will celebrate enough for the lot of them. Well, maybe not me. I'm tired...I worked at the castle today, which means I sat around for endless hours and did some studying. I also got to speak to a bunch of tourists in english, though, so that was nifty, because the woman I was working with today doesn't really speak any, so I'm actually useful! It's amazing how many people speak english now, at least somewhat. I usually talk to random europeans, not Americans or anything. Today there were Polish people, some from the Middle East/North Africa, and some from places I have no idea where! And last night I was hanging out with some people, and we were in total American (just me), Egyptian, Italian, Indian, Russian, and Byellorussian, and we were all speaking english! (because most of those people didn't speak any italian) My conclusion--not only is english super cool, but being a native speaker is also way awesome. The italian guy said that he think english is a musical language, very pretty, which is funny because I don't think I've ever heard anybody say that before.

Oh, and I checked with one of my italian friends, and he said people here don't start wearing flip flops until like May or June. Which explains the funny looks. But also makes me wonder--why the heck would they wait so long?? Makes little sense to me. And today I was wearing these ballet flats (without socks, of course...I would have work flip flops, but it seemed inappropriate for "work") and the woman was like, no socks already! It really does seem like the reverse of what it should be, like the colder it is the sooner they should be ready to wear warm stuff.

Apparently there's some sort of holiday on Sunday, and so the stores will be open. As my friend Katie said, in America they close for holidays, but here they're open?! A bit odd. But hey, any reason stores are open more is a good reason to me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

My toes! I can see my toes!

Today is nice weather again!! And for the first time since arriving in Trento...I'm wearing flip-flops. That's right, it took nine weeks, but I finally did it!! And my friend Marianne (also from Cal) is wearing hers too! We're both getting rather odd looks. You'd think these people would be out in shorts and t-shirts now that it's a bit warmer, but no, it's all coats and boots still. They must be in love with their winter clothes. Or maybe all the horribly disfigured people come to Trento so they can hide their deformities under coats and hats all year long. Who knows.

I'm getting worried about my sanity, though. Yesterday I spent all day wearing two different earrings, and never noticed! I had my hair up in a ponytail, too, so my hair didn't even hide it. Between that and the talking to myself...it doesn't look good.

Went to office hours this morning and set the day for my last exam...April 15th, just like I wanted! All the responsible adults will be sending in their taxes (well actually maybe that's the irresponsible adults, who wait til the last day), and I'll be doing my last final. Woo! It's just after noon here, and I've already been so productive! I got up early, called America, studied for my final, went to office hours, picked up some forms I need for my tests next week...I'm on fire! If I were a better person I'd get up early all the time, because then I have so much day! But I think I love sleep too much to do it before I have to all the time.

I also had a genius idea. If you had a teleportation machine, then you could live on the east coast and work on the west coast, which means that you could get into work at like 7am west coast time, but really it would be 10am! So you could sleep late and everything. And sure, you'd get out of work late, but if you're getting the extra sleep, it's worth it. So now someone who knows how to do that kind of thing needs to get to work. I can come up with the ideas, but the actual implementation needs to be passed on. Delegating, dontcha know.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

"It's hard to be a meerkat by yourself," or how I got to four countries in one day

Ah, so much to recount, I could be typing forever. But who knows if it would all be read. I'll give it a try anyways. We left Saturday morning on the train and arrived in Innsbruck around 12:30. It's only two and a half hours north of us, so close! When we got there, we realized we were totally screwed, seeing as we speak a grand total of ten words of German. It really made us appreciate how comfortable we are with italian, because we didn't know how to ask even the simplest of questions! Apparently, though, everyone speaks english. Well, not everyone, but lots of people. I'd heard that of the European countries, Italy has the fewest people that speak english, and it seems to be true. Also, their accents are really good. The girl I worked with on Friday, after hearing me speak english with some Germans, said to me, wow, your accent is so great. Germans can get it, but for some reason Italians can't. This also seems to be true.

Anyways, our ghetto hostel (we didn't know it was ghetto at the time, but it turned out to be) was closed until 5, so we had to lug around our luggage all day, which wouldn't have been so bad, except I brought several books to get some work done (which I, of course, did not open once all weekend). So we got some food (the restaurant had a menu in english and italian, thank God) and then meandered around Innsbruck killing time til 5. It's really pretty! It was cold though. It made us appreciate Trento weather! That night it snowed as we were walking around, which sucks. I mean, mid-March, people. =) Anyways, Sunday we did the tourist thing in Innsbruck. We got this thing called the Innsbruck Card, which meant we could ride the tourist bus and the regular busses and get into all the tourist things all day. It was really cool. The bus takes you by most of the big tourist things, and we got to see the castle, and take a cable car waaaay up the mountain. We met some canadian guys who were there to ski, and they must be nuts, because you're like a million miles up and go super vertical down the hill. And I of course exaggerate not. But the view was super cool. We got stuck a few times without the bus because it's the off season, it only comes once an hour, and I swear he would leave early. We got stuck at the castle once and then we got stuck in the morning before we could catch the first one, but that was our fault because we were late. We managed to go straight instead of turn right on one street, which we'd walked like a million times already, and we went totally around the city instead of to where we meant to go. Lord knows how this happens. But it was cool.

We killed time going up the torre civica and that was really cool, but there were a lot of stairs. Even for a foothill person, a lot of stairs. But Innsbruck was really pretty, we had an awesome time. There was a store that sold painted egg shells for easter, and there were thousands of them there. This time I'm not exaggerating; it was incredible. Some of them were so beautiful, too. My friend Katie and I each got one (but cheaper ones); I'm going to use mine as a Christmas ornament. They made it back to Trento in one piece, hopefully they'll make it back to the States ok, too. We didn't get to see so much stuff, though, because there just wasn't time. But I really liked Innsbruck and would definitely reccomend it. =) Oh yeah, and on the tourist bus, we totally saw a guy who looked just like Brad Pitt. Again, not exaggerating here. All three of us were like, OMG! He looked just like BP when he grew the beard. If he hadn't been speaking German, I would have thought he was seriously BP incognito. Of course, he could have been him speaking German, I suppose I don't really know. I tried to surreptitiously take a picture, just to prove it to people, but not only did his girlfriend totally know what I was doing, but I didn't get the picture, either. You'll just have to take my word for it. I have witnesses!

That night we needed to catch the train to Feldkirch, on the Austria-Liechtenstein border, but we missed it by like ten minutes. The next one was in two hours, so we ate dinner and called the hostel, trying to beg them to wait for us to arrive. He said he'd stay til 11:30. We finally got on the train, and of course it left 20 minutes late! Which wouldn't be such a problem except of course we needed every minute possible. We finally pulled into Feldkirch at like 10:45...but the last bus to Liechtenstein left at 10. Yeah. So then we tried to use the computer thing in the station to book a room in Feldkirch, but it didn't work! It was til we touched the screen, then nothing. So at this point my friend Katie starts going nuts and says we can just sleep in the train station, it's probably safe. And, if it's not safe, we can just be like meerkats and take turns on guard. Which of course cracks me up. We go to a taxi driver (who spoke a little english) and asked him to take us to a cheap hotel, and as we're going we ask him how much it would take him to drive us to the hostel in Liechtenstein. 30 euros. So we call the hostel guy and he says he'll wait until 11:45 for us, and we get our taxi driver to drive us to another country. We finally made it, the hostel was so pretty and a million times nicer than the one in Innsbruck, and just about empty, too.

The next day we went to downtown Liechtenstein and looked at some of the sights...but it turns out there's not much to do in Liechtenstein. We couldn't even go to the castle because the prince and his family still live there! So it's closed to the public. Our hostel guy said he sees him walking around town all the time, and his grandkids all go to the regular schools. BTW, if you are ever going to Liechtenstein, definitely stay at that hostel. Anyways, we decided to take the bus into Buchs, Switzerland, because it's only like 10-15 minutes. We went there and walked to the smallest town in all of Switzerland, only 34 houses! It's medieval, really neat. The castle was closed because it was out of season/Monday, though. Oh well. Oh yeah, that's part of the reason there wasn't much to do in Liechtenstein, the museums were closed because it was Monday. So we spent a couple of hours in Switzerland, then went back to Liechtenstein. The waitress we had there didn't speak english, and she said, "too bad you don't speak italian," in Italian, and we were like, hey, we do! So we got to use our Italian skills in Liechtenstein...random. =) Oh, the people there were so polite--if we were anywhere even near the crosswalk, the cars totally stopped for us. Every time. We left in the afternoon, got back to Feldkirch around 6:15 (which looked really pretty from the bus) and then took a 7:20 train to Innsbruck. Then we had two hours to kill in Innsbruck before our train left to take us to Trento, but this guy in one of the food places was so damn rude. I wanted to kick him. Finally we got out of there at 11, and we half-slept on the train back, and we arrived in Trento at like 1:30. So glad I live near the train station =)

Overall it was a very fun trip, I'm so glad I went. Not only did I finally get to go to Liechtenstein, but I also really appreciate how much Trento feels like home, and Italian comfortable. Let's see, some random things: At the castle on Friday, at work, one of the older women who works there kept asking me where I was from. She was guessing Cuban and Brazilian and all that, but I told her the USA. And then she asked me, you're American American? To which I of course responded, what is American American? I think she was baffled that I wasn't blonde and pale or something. And the guy I worked with, he started looking up pictures of San Diego to see what it looked like, and it made me miss home. It also made me realize I don't explore my city nearly enough! So this summer I am totally playing tourist in my own cities. There is so much in SD and the bay area that I haven't seen or haven't seen in years and years. That night I managed to burn my hand on the oven, like on the hot burner part. I thought I could squeeze my hand in the tight space, but apparently I was wrong. I got some stuff to put on it so hopefully it won't scar. I guess life figured that the one from when I was eight had faded almost totally, so I needed a new one. Argh.

Today I have my very last lecture...woo!! I'm very excited about that. But worried cause that means I have less than a week to study for my finals. But I really shouldn't worry so much about it because not only does it theoretically not matter what I get since I have already gotten into grad school (or so people assure me), but if I really mess up I can do the exam again! What a system. But I really don't want to do that, I just want it to be done with and good. Means this weekend there won't be anymore fun travelling, but that's ok, the weekend after that, spring break starts, and I get to go to Sicily! Ah, it better be warm. I am going swimming either way, though, I've decided. I'd just rather not get hypothermia if I can avoid it.

I put up the pics from the trip, divided by city of course, at photos.yahoo.com/berkeleybunny. Some of the pics are just things I found funny, like a car with the sticker "long car" on the back, that was like as big as my pinkie toe. And other random funny stuff like that. But you have to go through like all the pics of the city too, cause they're all mixed up together. I also added a couple of pics under my apartment, just of the rest of the rooms, nothing too exciting.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Al Castello

I don't have much time because I'm at the Castle right now and this computer is the one they use for tickets, and since I can't issue the tickets I don't actually get to sit here, so I'm working on borrowed time. Last night I had to call Liechtenstein about travel arrangements, and what a pain! It took us an hour to figure out how to make the international calls from Italy (turns out we were missing the 00 that you need at the start of the number...goodness gracious), and then when I called one place, she didn't speak anything but german! I tried english, italian, and even french. I mean, is tourism at Liechtenstein so fantastic that they don't need clerks who speak something other than german?? I'm kinda doubting it. But after much trouble, we finally have our arrangements set up for going to Innsbruck and Liechtenstein this weekend. Woo!!! Finally, my half-lifelong dream will be accomplished. I won't be back until Monday night, so you'll have to wait to hear about all the coolness we see til Tuesday. Try to contain yourselves.

So today I had my first full day at the castle, which is still in progress. I sit around and talk with people who come in, sometimes. And that's about it. I met some Canadians today, from Winsor (sp?), near Detroit. We get lots of Germans, though. Some speak english, some only german. I love that english is such the international language! I'm so proud of how awesome we are. =) I feel like I had more to say, but now it's pretty much nothing. Oh, only two more hours! Thank goodness. But hey, it's better than taking a class for which I'd have to take a test. I'm trying to study for my exams now, but it is not fun. But you know, Liechtenstein makes up for it. =)

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Doing research on law schools (like their classes and stuff) is starting to get me excited...which is a good thing. At UT I could even come back to Italy for a semester! lol

Spring?

It feels like spring is finally on its way in Trento. Yesterday and today have been warm (in the sun, of course, not so much the shade). I'm still wearing my heavy coat, but now, no jacket underneath! Just a t-shirt. Yesterday I sat at the fountain in the main piazza in just my t-shirt, soaking up the sun. I got a lot of funny looks, though, like maybe they'd forgotten what a person looks like without a coat. Of course, I'm always getting funny looks here. I never know what social norm I'm violating, but it always seems to be something. Oh well. Such is life.

This morning I went to Buonconsiglio for sort of the first day of my intership (but not really, it was more just introductory stuff still). I start for real tomorrow, working the full day. As far as I can tell, I do nothing. I'm in the ticket office, but there is someone there who actually works the computer and cash register and stuff. So basically I sit around all day and talk to anyone who happens to come in to ask questions and stuff. But it's still pretty slow, apparently, because it's still early, so not that many people come in. Ah, oh well. I can get all my friends in for free, though! So there you go, if you were just thinking about coming out for spring break, now you have a real reason to--I can save you €4! (that's the price with the student discount) On the plus side, since I'm totally unnecessary, I can work whenever I want that's convenient with my schedule. The hardest part is going to be figuring out how to keep myself from going insane sitting in a chair for 7.5 hours at a time with nothing to do. No computer to distract me, seriously nothing to do. I guess I can study for my finals, but you know, I can only study for so many hours at a time. And so many is really not that many. My brain can't take that much work. Maybe I'll write a novel. By hand, in my notebook. Or create a plan for world peace. Or draw pictures of bunnies. Nah, that would be too hard--I can't really draw. I'll stick with the novel and world peace.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

More computer time...woo

My Elizabethan Theater professor is so super nice. I went to her office hours today to talk to her about the exam, cause I have no idea what to expect and all. She was telling me I could do the test in english or Italian, but "I have perfect Italian" (which, sadly, is totally not true, but it was nice of her to say so anyway) so she's sure I'll be fine. I would totally be taking the second module of her class if it did absolutely anything for me, but sadly it doesn't (of course, this one doesn't do anything for me either, but I wanted to take it anyways). But I totally love her.

My Medieval history professor told us the date for 0ur exam would be late April/early May, which gave me a heart attack because he told us before it would be April 15th or 18th, and I made plans around that. But I talked to him after class and he said I get to be a special case (thank you study center for sending him paperwork that makes it seem more complicated than I think it actually is!) and will let me take it early; I have to talk to him in office hours next week to set a time for sure, but hopefully I'll still be able to do it around the 15th.

In my Cold War history class, the test was supposed to be Wednesday the 23rd, but apparently she's only allowed (side note: I just wrote that "aloud" instead of allowed, and I just asked my friend, and apparently it's not just me that has this problem of writing the homonym...this italian is messing up our english!) to have the exam on a Friday, Saturday, or Monday...how weird is that! So it got moved to the Monday before, which luckily doesn't mess me up any more than losing two days of studying, which is ok.

Packs of cigarettes here are funny...they all have these huge stickers on the side of each pack that covers like half the pack, and they're are totally plain except for some written warning about not to smoke. But instead of like ours that say that the surgeon general says it's bad to smoke, etc etc, they have funny blunt statements, like "Smoking kills," or "Smoking ages your skin." I just think it's really funny. And, I have to say, not that effective a deterrent.

Lol, I forgot, I got an e-mail from a guy from my Russian class last semester (one of two, poor guys), wishing all the girls from russian class a happy vosmoe marta (otto marzo, march 8th), which was nice. (he was cool, but then, so was our whole class) So I e-mailed him back to thank him (and tell him my russian is so bad now!) and he e-mailed me back this:
I met some College Republicans at the Bear's Lair and since you are the only Republican I know, I asked them if they knew you and they said of course and we talked for a long time and they showed me pictures they had, but I totally forget their names because I had been drinking all day!
So I don't know who he talked to, but if you are reading this you can tell me. I find that so amusing, especially the part about how I'm the only republican he knows. =)

9 hour time difference is a lot

Wow, not only do my friends read my blog, but so do people I don't even know! Or so I gather from yesterday's comments. I should just skip law school and become a full-time blogger, but about like politics and stuff instead of just daily life. Beacause I'm pretty sure even Michelle Malkin wouldn't get paid for just that.

Last night we went to this bar where my friend's roommate was performing some songs (he plays the guitar). He's German, he speaks English and Italian too, which is pretty cool. One of the songs was this love song (I think) in German, and it sounded so strange...my friends and I were saying, we can't really imagine German as this sweet, romantic language. Just basically shouting. Like, maybe German should be the "in case of emergency" language. When there's a fire and you need to evacuate, then you start shouting in German. Or maybe during a shoot-out, police would use German. And then, when they're having a romantic dinner with their wives, they switch to Italian or French or who knows what. Hmm, something to consider.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Two months!

I have exactly two months from today left in Italy...I can't believe it! Anyways, today I finally had another Cold War class today, and she decided to have us make up the lectures we missed...damn. Which means the exam will be pushed back another week (she actually wanted to keep it the same day, and I wanted that, because she told us that then she'd give us more choices on the exam and wouldn't cover the last lecture, but we voted, and my classmates somehow think it's better to have the harder test a week later...to which I say, nay! Fools!), so it's now the day after my Elizabethan Theater final exam. So now, I have to decide if I want to try to ask her to let me do that exam the week before, or if I should just go ahead and do them back to back. I'm leaning towards back to back because this weekend I want to go to...Liechtenstein! That's right, my half-lifelong dream of going to Liechtenstein is about to be realized. It's kinda odd, my friend Katie here (also from Berkeley) has wanted to go to Liechtenstein forever, and knew a guy in high school with the last name Liechtenstein...just like me! Tricky business. So some of us are going to go, hopefully this weekend. (since the week after that I have two finals, that wouldn't work so well) But yes, quite exciting indeed. Liechtenstein is so small we can't even take the train there...we have to go to Austria first and then take the bus! Lol.

Oh, so today is a holiday in Europe. L'Otto Marzo (March 8th) is International Women's Day, or something like that. Guys give all the women they know flowers or something and wish them happy women's day...I don't get it. Like, I need a reward for being a girl or something? As far as I can tell, there's no real reason to having this day. Like, it's to make up for not being able to work or being equal with men or something in the past? It makes no sense to me. All this third wave feminism crap. I'd so get my ass kicked for saying that to the people I know here. So I'll just say it to you, and hope that the only people who read this agree with me.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Another Monday

So I manged to get sick this weekend, which kinda sucks. Just a cold, but I never liked not breathing. I think I am possibly the last of our group to get sick, though, so I did pretty well. The only problem is that the cold medicine I brought from home is daytime non-drowsy stuff, and I think it's been keeping me up the last two nights, because I haven't been able to sleep too well. I just figured non-drowsy just meant that it didn't specifically put you to sleep, but I perhaps there's more to it than that. Tricky indeed.

Anyways, so you know what's interesting here? Who wants to be a millionare (chi vuole essere millionario) is super popular here. It's one six nights a week! And the host is even more friendly and involved in the game than Regis was. For example, he totally tries to help the contestants. One time the question was about a song, and he started singing it to help the guy, and he says, you know, if I were to give you advice, I would tell you to use the 50-50 here, and stuff like that. I think it's funny the different questions that they do here, because it's obviously kinda different than what we'd get asked in America. Like sometimes I don't know like the first super easy questions because they're about Italian sayings that I of course don't know. And then they ask things like, what's the main ingredient in marzipan (which I imagine in the US would be, what is marzipan? instead), and what city was Sophia Loren born in? (and who the heck would know that in the US?). And one of the hard questions, that a guy lost on, was what number president was Abraham Lincoln? 1, 5, 11, 16. So I think it's kinda interesting to see what they do here. Oh, and 70% of the audience knew that the 2006 world championship for soccer would be in Germany. Can't see that happening in America.

I had four different kinds of bread in my cupboard at one point this weekend. Four kinds! And I thought I ate a lot of carbs before. Here it's all pasta, bread, and sometimes potatoes for a bit of variety. I'm bordering on vegetarian, except for my pizza toppings and a few other things. Italian food is great. =)

Oh, I booked my flight home! I'll be back in California on the 13 (Friday...hmm) of May, and probably back in Berkeley on the Monday or Tuesday afterward. Woo! =)

Friday, March 04, 2005

TGIF

So I thought I sent these form thingies via e-mail when I brought my laptop in on Monday, but apparently I managed to not attach it, I so I had to drag the damn thing back in today. Of course, now it's like 3 am in CA so talking to people on AIM, not so feasible. Hmph. So yeah, yesterday it snowed. A lot of snow. Remember those pictures I posted from January? It looks like that again. Except it seems to be melting faster, thank goodness. The snow looked almost like feathers, it was all fluffy and big flakes. At least it's sunny today. But ever since I got here I've noticed that there seems to be an unusually large number of people on crutches here. Definitely more than back home. My theory has been that the ice and snow causes people to slip and fall all the time here and that's why they're always on crutches. This snow seems to prove me right. A lot of the sidewalks here are, instead of cement, this cool stone, which is really neat cause it's smooth, but the problem is when it snows, it becomes a skating rink, practically. Really hard to walk. And you can imagine, me + extra slippery surface = dangerous. Luckily yesterday I just filled out this form thing for insurance, so if I do break a leg (knock on wood), then I can just go to the emergency room and not pay a thing. But I'm still aiming for not doing that.

So every year in Italy there's this big singing competition at San Remo ("Prego" readers, this should sound familiar to you), and they televise it. It's kinda like Celebrity American Idol or something. Anyways, they also have special guests visit each night, and on Wednesday night the celebrity guest was Mike Tyson! It was so bizarre. He's on this stage, singing "Volare," with the Italian host. (Ask Mike if you don't know the song, I'm sure he has it.) On the list of things I never imagined seeing, that would definitely be there. I mean, I'd never really thought to myself, I wonder if I'll ever see Mike Tyson singing...in Italian! But if I had, I would have guessed no.

This whole week my cold war history clas s has been cancelled. Losing 3 out of 10 lectures is a lot. So I need to e-mail her and find out if we make up the classes, or what? Cause the exam is in two weeks. Seems important to know. But I really have loved the extra free time =) (dammit, I just tried to e-mail her and her e-mail isn't listed online! Everyone else's is, but not hers for some reason. hmph)

Thursday, March 03, 2005

More snow! For heaven's sake.

It's snowing again!! It's March, it's supposed to be warm now. It's supposed to be skirt weather soon! Apparently Italy is having it's coldest winter in a long time...perfect timing, of course. Argh. And I can't seem to find the only book I have assigned to me in english at any of the bookstores here! I think it's because they don't have a real university bookstore here, it's just all random bookstores around the town. It's not so much that I want to read it because it's in english, but because she said that's the book she pulls all her lectures from! So it's like a valuable book to have, one would think. But that test is in two weeks, so I haven't really got the time to order it or anything. These silly people and their not having the books.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The great thing about Italian culture--strikes

So this morning I had my 8am class, but my 10am and my noon classes were both cancelled. Hurray! And in my 8am we just watched a movie, the version of Hamlet with Mel Gibson. Sadly it was dubbed in Italian so I had to pay attention...or, to be honest, I was so tired, I just "listened with my eyes closed" for a bit. But my dad will tell you, that's a valid way to watch tv. ;-)

Yesterday I went to the castle to do a guided tour to get to know the place a bit. The castle is super cool, but the tour I joined up with was a bunch of kids (I'm guessing like 7th grade) and ohmygod I just wanted to smack them all! I was seriously entertaining fantasies of pushing this one kid into the fountain as he was leaning over it. And I've discovered, this penchant for talking during class that I see in my peers at university, it starts young and doesn't end. Even the damn chaperones wouldn't shut up!! Argh argh. I had to restrain myself from trying to get the kids to behave. I guess I got used to doing it this summer working at LHS...so I tried to keep my "evil eye" looks to myself.

It was really nice and warm in Trento when Liz was here, but as soon as she left it's been freezing. It's March, it needs to warm up. No more joking around. Plus, I broke the zipper on my coat. I can still use it, but when I step too wide and the bottom of the coat pulls (cause it almost hits my knees, this happens often), it unzips itself. The little metal part at the bottom came off so there's nothing keeping it in place at the bottom. So warm now! That's an order.

I guess I have a tendency to tell about the things that aren't cool here, but I should talk about the nifty things too. So, in that spirit, I present to you the niftiest invention ever: the above the sink drying rack. See, above all the sinks here, there are cabinets, but in the cabinets, instead of regular shelves, there are metal wire racks, and so when you wash dishes you put them on these racks right above the sink. The water drips down into the sink, the air circulates because it's all open, and it takes up no counter space! This is the niftiest thing ever. America should do it too. I'm gonna try to get this done in my house (unless I have a window or something over my sink...in which case, I guess that wouldn't work...hmm).

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

free time!

So I went to class this morning but there was nobody there! A few other students showed up, but not too many. So we went to the other building to check the list of classes that's on the wall (cause that's how they do it here), and it said that lecture was cancelled. Strange! And tomorrow I might not have one or two of my classes because there is a strike, for some reason. Who knows why, it's Italy. My 8am class is still on, but we're just watching a movie. It's actually good that my 8am is gonna be meeting because then afterward I can check the wall to see if my other two classes are meeting or not. Apparently it's normal to ask someone you don't know to borrow and copy their notes, because the girl I was talking to this morning asked a random person for them and she was like, sure! She said it was normal to do so because there are lots of students who come from out of town (this girl, for example, comes from Verona, an hour away, whenever she has class), and it's hard for them to get to class. So I got a copy of the notes, too. The handwriting is a little hard to read, but hopefully it will be helpful. If I get brave enough, I might try asking a random person in my medieval history class to borrow their notes. I figure being an american trying to take notes for the class gives me a bit more of an excuse for why I want to borrow them (I'm sure they don't care, it just makes me feel better about it).