Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cheesecake Gelato = Heaven in a Cup

Sunday. The biggest day of this trip related to any actual work. Lily and I gave our presentation on Theatres. The group went to Ostia Antica, an old used to be port city. So far after being in two villas, I've realized these are definitely some of the coolest places since you actually get to see how a place was set up, how it functions, and all of the different buildings and the way they were used. The most unique part of the day was however, giving a presentation on theatres at the theatre in Ostia Antica. We started out by performing a part of the beginning of Oedipus Rex, perfectly, of course. Then onto the boring part of the presentation spitting facts to people. Followed by another exciting part where we grabbed two of the guys from the audience to perform a second part of Oedipus Rex where Oedipus and Jocasta realize they're married and related... It was hilarious watching two of the more awkward guys, because only men were actors, perform this part of the play. They performed marvelously. After that we had to continue presenting in the beating sun, which I didn't mind because I'm getting so tan.

The next day and half were quite uneventful. I had dinner with my friends Sunday night and attempted to go out. We found a club called Beige, hung out there for a while, then headed home.

Monday I was able to sleep in until noon. It. Was. Amazing. I can't believe I've been getting up so early this entire trip and going hard all day/night. I took all of Monday to rest and relax, especially since it was a holiday, the Feast of St. Paul, and everything was closed.

Today, Tuesday, June 30th, we had our last day of classroom lecture. It wasn't that long. We were all going a little nuts. After that I met a friend from Brown who is doing another program in Rome for gelato and just some chill down time.

Then. Dinner. Followed by THE BEST GELATO IN THE WORLD. Cheesecake with blueberry. I can't even explain. It was heavenly.

Now, filling out this blog and getting ready for my last 3 days in Rome!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Vatican City/Hadrian's Villa

Well Thursday night was a huge success. Most of us all helped prepare a whole lotta food including two kinds of pasta, pasta sauce, potatoes, green beans, bruschetta, melon wrapped with prosciutto, and I think a couple other things. Oh! Apple Torte. It was Asia's 20th birthday and we all had a blast taking lots of photos and eating.

After this we pulled out the bottle of absinthe we had bought a few days ago for this special occasion. Although I hate the taste of licorice, this wasn't half bad when done in small amounts with lots of sugar and water added. At this point we were on the terrace of our residence listening to music, dancing, and having an all around merry time. Eventually though we had to head to bed to get up to see the Vatican the next day!

Well, we felt like we got to sleep in today since we didn't have to meet our profs until 9:45. I'm sickened/its kinda nice that 9:45 is sleeping in for me now. Well, we went into the Vatican museum and were extremely lucky. Cris, my professor, was able to get us into a closed off hallway which held the Augusts Prima Porta (http://www.livius.org/a/1/romanempire/augustus_primaporta.JPG), which is the statue on Wriston Quad on Brown's campus. It was so funny watching people on the outside either A) try get in or B) just take a picture of the hallway. After that we walked around looking at other statues and Cris talked about them. One disgusting thing about the Vatican, since its a private museum, is that they don't have to label anything, nor do they keep anything nice. All of the statues were so dusty or covered in webs. But once I got over that it was definitley cool to see everything in there.

Following the statues, I didn't have much time left because Lily and I had to rush to get to the Accent center (our school building) to finish up our project. But I of course went to the Sistine Chapel before that. The pathway from the museum to the temple is ridiculously long and filled with too many gift shops along the way. There were many halls with so much amazing artwork, but then once you got closer to the actual chapel, there were all of these displays of apparently modern Christian art, none of which was interesting or good. Finally though we arrived at the Sistine Chapel. I didn't realize how high the ceiling was and how far away the amazing art would be! It was pretty astounding though. Definitely hard to describe in words on here. If you're reading this then all I can say is that you must go. (Although be prepared for your neck to be sore for the rest of the day after staring up at everything for so long! I have no idea how that could be painted so well...)

Rest of the day was filled with finishing my project and resting.

Today, Saturday the 27th, we woke up around 8 to get to Hadrian's villa, which was huge. There were so many buildings to see and Sara and Luke gave a presentation on it the entire time explaining all of the different buildings and what we think they were used for even though we can't be exaclty sure. Also, the Romans were so advanced that they could heat staircases.... just insane.

After this we went to Tivoli, a small mountain town near Hadrian's villa to a museum with these expansive gardens and fountains. Pictures will be on facebook very soon. Hopefully today since I'm essentially done with all of my work!!!

For now, eat, nap, pictures, rest up for one more day of site visiting before a complete day off!

"She asked me how to spell orange"

So, it has been a while since I've posted. That's mostly because this has been a pretty uneventful week outside of the trips we've taken. I had a paper due on Friday on a mosaic in one of the museums we went to and then I had to finish getting ready for a presentation by Friday as well, which I will be giving tomorrow at Ostia Antica on theatres inside the theatre there! So anyway...

To recap:

Scholar's Lounge = boring. I've finally reached the point with the people I'm with that I haven't stopped being nice, but I have started telling them off when they're being annoying. Its a problem, but at the same time completely necessary for my sanity. I really tried to bond with the guys I'm on the trip with, but it just didn't happen. I'm not really upset about this though. I can deal with idiots for 2 more weeks. Plus they didn't have hamburgers and the fries were terrible.

After that I really just came back to the Candia and slept to be ready for the next day’s adventure to the Auditorium of Maecenas, which is completely closed off now, but originally had the side opposite what looked like a stand of seats wide open because the Romans appreciated natural beauty as well as being extremely adept engineers. In this place people would perform poetry with such an amazing view behind them. Sarah read a poem from Horace trying to give us a sense of what it would have been like. After that we went to the Aqueducts where Bobbi and Jason gave a very informative presentation.

In between the two site visits we went to THE most incredible bakery to which I’ve ever been. I bought some cake roll with jelly rolled in between and fruit on top. It was, for lack of a better word, orgasmic. Again, I’m never eating fruit in the states because it is just so much better here.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. I spent most of it in my room writing a paper and doing research on theatres, on which I’m presenting on Sunday now instead of Monday because of some Holiday the Italians have and thus closing all museums.

(Not to jump around in my day too much but…)

I had a great dinner with Asia, Christina and Amy. It was just simply noodles with pesto, tomato sauce, olive oil, and cheese, but the company was the best. We talked for so long. It was definitely one of the best social meals I’ve had this entire trip.

Today, Thursday the 25th, we visited the Pyramid, (Pyramids: No longer just for Egyptians!) of Gaius Cestius and the remains of the Aurelian Walls. For as grand as the pyramid is, we only were able to go into a tiny room with a tiny entrance. Inside though there were great 3rd style paintings and evidence of looting. The next place, Monte Testaccio, was a place where they would bring huge vases once filled with olive oil and other goods and smash them because they assumed that they weren’t good for anything anymore. We literally were walking on broken pottery (This was all too appropriate as we heard the song Walking on Broken Glass by Annie Lennox in the cafĂ© only 30 minutes before this). The mountain was made of this pottery. They haven’t even gone down to see just how old it dates back to, but they assume a long time since the mountain is so high.

Came back again today to try do more work only to discover that the internet here sucks. It has been out most of the day and I have been able to do very little research, although I was able to finish my paper completely. It is the birthday of one of the girls on the trip who is only turning 20, which just makes me feel old since I’ll be 22 in a little over a month. Tonight we’re all pitching in to make a huge dinner for all of us, and then perhaps going out afterwards since we don’t have to be at the Vatican until 9:45 tomorrow. Yes… 9:45 has become sleeping in for me. I can’t believe it myself. Well, I’m going to save this entry on Microsoft word since I can’t actually post it yet….


I should probably explain my title for this post.

One of my roommates asked me how to spell shower... as well as today asking why there were two paths (one clearly a ramp and the other stairs) and then again today asked if you go excavating if you get a hammer...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Apparently it CAN get cold in Italy...

Well, Sunday is our one day of no class so I slept in until noon. It. Was. Marvelous.

Jumping onto facebook as I normally do in the morning I noticed that Jen Jordt, a friend from SCL, had just arrived in Italy! I had completely forgotten that she was coming after all of the excitement of Fargo being here. We made a plan to meet and I went to where she was staying, in what used to be a nunnery. I had to use a new kind of public transit here called the FR train. Basically it seemed like a communter rail that goes farther out of the city. Luckily, she was only two stops away on this train. She and her new friend Brenda, from Florida and doing the same program Jen is, greeted me and we walked to go grab some gelato, where I tried what is probably going to be one of my favorite kinds of gelato: Pink Grapefruit. After this we walked to go see where she's staying and it started raining at this time, which is weird, because I was told that it wasn't going to rain at all while here! We tried waiting the rain out in her lobby, when we left though it was still raining. Now, I've never considered myself that randomly lucky of a person on a day to day basis, but this trip has proven me completely wrong the entire time and even with something so insignificant as having to walk in the rain, I was lucky enough to find a semi-broken umbrella on the ground! It opened and that's all that mattered to me! It won't shut now, but... I'm okay with it.

The rest of the day was uneventful as I started work on my paper and then just grabbed some more gelato later.

*Warning* --> this next paragraph is purely the mandatory academic portion. Feel free to skip.

Monday we had class at 9 again in the classroom. We learned about the different emperors and their apparently screwed up lives. With all the problems those emporers had personally I'm amazed the empire stayed alive at all. Then we looked at some art and learned about the different art styles used during these emperors. After that Sarah gave a lecture on the Roman calendar and how Caesar changed it, and then Augustus made it extremely Augustan-centric, by using his name to designate the year always.

*Back to the good stuff*

Well, that's not completely true... there really wasn't much good stuff that went on yesterday. It still wasn't super nice out and I just worked on my paper. We tried going out last night, but should have realized nothing's open on Monday night...

Today, class. Mostly just Major and Minor art during the period of the emperors. Then research. Nap. Blog. Now maybe going to Scholar's lounge again.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Soaking up the Italian Sun

8:00 am Bus ride to Sperlonga.

2 hours later we arrived at a small town and the huge bus had to climb up this extremely small town on a hill with very thin roads. I honestly can't believe we made it. I was scared for my life. I couldn't even look out the window I was so scared. Finally we got to the top of the hill where we could look down at the amazing city and the Mediterranean sea. It was absolutely fantastic. At this place we found a questionably feral kitten which Asia decided to take a picture with. It was extremely cute.

After this place we headed towards Sperlonga towards Tiberius' villa. This is easily the best place we've been to so far, minus the mosquitoes, which the others seemed to be attacked by more than I did... hopefully its something in my blood. Anyway, walking through what was actually a villa was cool, but after that we saw the grotto where Tiberius held dinner parties and damn, that place was beyond belief. In the water once stood a statue of Odysseus and his men being attacked by Scylla with Odyssues looking on. This statue was in the museum we went to right after. In another part of this cave was the statue of the Cyclops being blinded by Odysseus' men. On the top of this grotto overlooking the entire villa was a statue of Ganymede being carried off by Jupiter in the form of an eagle. The statue was acutally there now, although a recreation. The real one, or at least what's left of it, which was most of it, was in the museum. There were still fish in the pond where Tiberius' guests could actually pick out which fish they wanted to eat.

After looking at this and going through the small but incredible museum, we headed down to the beach for about 2 hours where I at least put my feet in the shimmering blue water, but instead of swimming laid out on the beach and tanned. I fell asleep on my stomach, as I'm ought to do apparently. Luckily though my back did not burn! I got really tan, and after shaving today discovered I have a beard tan line... Its awkward. :)

Tonight I had one of the best dinners of. my. life. Sara Hershman, the girl on the trip from Columbia, and her parents took the girls from the group, and me of course, out to dinner at this amazing restaurant. 4 course meal starting with grilled artichoke and breaded asparagus with mozzerella, and about 4 bottle of wine for the entire table. After that were 3 plates with different kinds of fish. Also just incredible. I had breaded lamb and I just about died after the first bite. I thought this was the end, but boy was I wrong. After this the waiter brought out dessert. Dessert consisted of Frutti di bosco, wild forest fruit, and ice cream. There were blackberries (my favorite) raspberries, blueberries, and tiny tiny strawberries. I put some kind of alcoholic dessert sauce on it as well, but I wasn't a huge fan. But the fruit itself. Well, lets just say I'm never eating fruit again in America. Ever. I can't even explain how thankful I am for this dinner from Sara's parents.

The rest of the night was a bust though. Many people wanted to go out, but it turned out to be one girl and guy lying to the entire group trying to get us to go out so that they could have alone time. Now, I would have been fine had they just asked for the room, but lying to me and the rest of the group encouraging us to go out after none of us wanted to is completely unacceptable. After leaving for over an hour I decided it was a waste of time and money to even try go out so I headed back to the room where I kicked the girl out of my room and my roommate wasn't too happy. I don't really care though. I realized I'm not here to make long lasting friends. Rome is the reason I'm here. The Roman's remains are the reason I'm here. Self-discovery is the reason I'm here. I'm not here to please everyone on the trip. I'm here for me and my education. This realization will probably carry me throughout the rest of the trip.

For now, I think I'll sleep. Tomorrow is our first day off this entire time. Hopefully I'll make it to mass to experience it in the Vatican city. Hopefully.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Divine Intervention

Alright, so the day started out with a Museum near termini station which I don't recall the name of right now, but honestly, that part of the day does not even matter in the slightest. What does matter starts at around 1:15 PM after arriving at the accent center and falling asleep for about 1o minutes.

As I just said, I fell asleep for about 10 minutes. I abruptly woke up and was like, "OH! I have to get to the Pantheon now to meet my dad!" I said ciao to the friends and walked down the stairs after having secured in my mind how to get to the Pantheon. Well, I walk outside and I hear this familiar voice: The voice of the tour guide of the group my dad's in. What. Are. The. Chances. Honestly, the gods have been in my favor this entire trip even through the hard times, but these past two days and especially today have worked out beyond perfectly, beyond anything I could have expected or hoped for. We visited the Pantheon, beautiful. Then we had lunch together, beautiful. Then we wandered around the area together and I showed him the space in Largo Argentina where Caeser was killed, although at the time I neglected to tell him that.

Following that we went to dinner with the group from North Dakota where I didn't eat, and luckily so. The food was not that good, at least what I had bites of from other people. However after that we went to the Piazza Navona and were all inspired by the simply magnificent artistry that occurred there. So many paintings and none of them below fantastic. Strando bought some stuff after looking through a very talented man's entire collection. I then led us home while following the Vatican wall.

We then went to their hotel and picked up a couple of the high school students and I took them to Millenium, a gelateria near Residence Candia, where I'm staying. After thoroughly enjoying ourselves there we decided to try catching up with the rest of our group at the Piazza Del Populo.


Another act of divine intervention as we all agreed to go and got there as quickly as possible. We caught the end of an incredible show celebrating the 100th year Italy has had electricity. There were people around the piazza and on stage were women dancing around with fire. Following that amaizng act there was a spectacular fireworks show, better than any I've seen in America. Another act brought on by the gods occurred here when even in the large large crowd we were able to spot Volk and the other North Dakotans.

After going home, Volk, Strand, My dad, and I went to a nice resaurant where we talked about their trip, my trip, and various other things including at one point where I taught Volk some new things about the Pantheon that I learned while taking this amazing class.

Saying goodbye was bittersweet, but honestly, the joy Ive felt from the last two days experiencing the one place on earth that means so much to the four of us, I just can't even describe the elation I'm feeling.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fargo and Rome Together

Well, when I said start at the Colloseum, what I meant was, get off at the Colloseum metro stop...

What we did was much more special the Coliseum. We got to go into the Forum of Augustus. It is normally closed off and people can only see it from above on the street, but we got a special tour of sorts. It was absolutely astounding standing on original marble floors, walking up the steps into the Temple of Apollo. Touching the pillars. Imagining what it all looked like when it was there. Noticing where the temples once stood because of imprints in the tufa fire wall. All of these things were just dumbfounding really.

After this we attempted to enter the Roman Forum as well to look at the objects put up during the Augustan period, however it was closed for "security reasons." No one was really sure what that meant... so instead Luke and I decided to head back while a few others went to a Renaissance art museum, which we didn't really want to pay the 7.50 Euro for.

The rest of the day was mundane as I had to finish a paper.

That night was quite the opposite. It started with lots of great music being DJed by DJ Zach Attack, me. Add in some drinks with just a dash of great people and you have yourself a pretty bomb night. We left around 11 to go to Trattoria to a club called Coyote. The bar charged 5 dollars a beer and played very American pop music. Our group took up the entire dance floor. We were rocking it all night long. I mean it. Like, we were there until 3 am. At about 3 we decided it was time to head home. Lily and I started walking and using her GPS to find the bus station... I don't know how but we followed it the wrong way. After fixing this problem we finally ended up at the bus stop where we met up with others we had gone to the bar with but had separated from towards the end of the night. We caught a bus home and I crashed. Hard.

Noon rolls around and it feels amazign to finally be able to sleep in. Although with no time to rest I jump out of bed. My Dad, Strand, and Volk are going to be arriving in Rome in 30 minutes. I stumble to find everything and look up the address on google maps. 12:30 I start walking, hoping to catch them before they head off with their tour group. I'm walking and realize I only wrote the street down and not the exact address. No time to head back though. I keep walking and see a bus in the distance... maybe that's theirs... but probably not. I keep walking and the road starts curving... I don't remeber it curving on google maps in the 5 seconds I looked at it... I keep walking. I turn the corner. I see a yellow shirt on a guy whose walk I could recognize from a mile away: David Volk. Then Malm, then Strand, then the pops. I help move a bag into their room and we headed to a small place for lunch. They left to go on their trip and I headed back to the Candia to wait until we had class at the Mausoleum of Augustus and the Ara Pacis.

The Ara Pacis. Um. Wow? I'm really not going to go into everything I saw here because there was one thing that really struck me today. On one of the panels that looked like jsut a bunch of random vines and flowers was something completely different. At the termination of every vine (pictures will be up on facebook and hopefully here if I can figure that out), was a different kind of flower. What attention to detail! Even MORE amazing than that though... Someone had gone through and figured out exactly what flower each one was and took a picture of the real flower and placed it next to a picture of the flower on the panel. Ridiculous.

After class was over I went and met up with Fargo again for dinner. Following dinner we went to the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish steps. After bringing the youngans home, the high school students, I brought V, S, and D, to my place to show them where I'm staying. Volk informed me that Anna Swenson had stayed in the same place while she lived in Rome! What a small world.

The end of this seems rushed. And it is. I have a paper to finish now so I can spend the rest of tomorrow with Fargo.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Taking the Heat is Proving Difficult

So, I succeeded in getting to a bancomat, but failed at the supermarket. I should have realized that living near the capital of the Catholic Church, everything would be closed Sundays. Luckily though Gelato was open. Mint and Chocolate. Yum.

Monday morning all we did was have 4 hours of lecture. Crispin lectured on Busts and portraits of people and the differences between time periods. Caesar was the first to put his own portrait on a coin. Augustus brought back a more Classical style to his busts. She also pointed out that a lot of art at this time depicted everyday life and we learn so much from those because not everything can be found in ancient literature.

Sarah gave a lecture on the rise of the Roman Empire. Something I probably should have known about, but as I found out, I actually had no idea. Probably my favorite part of the lecture was when we got to the poets Virgil and Ovid. Although it made me upset talkign about Ovid knowing that the Metamorphoses class I wanted to take is cancelled.

After class a bunch of us went to Della Palma, a gelateria near the Pantheon with over 100 flavors of gelato. So, essentially. Euphoria. I got some blackberry with some lemon and was like a kid in a candy store, which was appropriate since the establishment was also a candy shop.

On my way back from gelato I went to the supermercato and bought some noodles, a red and a yellow pepper, onions, garlic, sauce, and soda and made myself some pasta with sauce containing all those things. Its... well its still pretty bland. I need to find a way to spice things up a bit! However, all of this cost me under 10 Euro and I have food for quite some time. This was also one of my first attempts at being somewhat domestic, I mean being a Classics/Religoius studies major I gotta be able to be a trophy husband.

Later that night most of us from the group went to a bar near where we go to school to watch the Soccer game between the US and Italy. It was an American bar where the waiter didn't even speak Italian! We met a group of students from Ohio and hung out with them. I played wingman for some of the guys. I'm considering going pro. Eventually the rest of the group left, and I stayed for some reason. Time here doens't exist because I don't have a watch, and I'm still not used to my new phone, well I'm not used to having this phone so I don't think to check it. Eventually though, about an hour later (I'm assuming it was what... 1 am at this point?) I decided to walk back. This proved... a challenge. I got to a location where I knew I had to go right or left, but wasn't sure of which way to go. Magically I picked the right direction. I remember thinking, "get across a bridge and you're good. Find the Tiber. Find the Tiber." I found the Tiber. The next leg of this journey was finding the Vatican. This was easier. I got the wall surrounding the vatican and ran my hand against it thinking, "This will lead me home. This will lead me home." It did.

Class today was a lecture on domestic architecture. I became fascinated not so much with the actual architecture, because I learned about that in high school, but it was interesting learning how people have been able to figure out what things were used for. I asked an excessive amount of incoherent questions today. I felt annoying... luckily my professors are gracious enough to not tell me to shut up. Even though they probably should have!

The heat is starting to get to me... I'm growing tired more quickly and not being able to sleep as well. Hopefully my body can adjust quickly.

Tomorrow we start at the Colliseum.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Language Barrier

Well, later that night as a group we all had dinner in the Residence Candia. Erin and Sara made everyone bruschetta and spaghetti and green beans. It was a great dinner where I feel we all bonded as a group and the dynamic amongst all of us turned into a very positive one. The dinner was amazing and then we all hung out for a bit and decided to head out to Trastever to hopefully meet up with a friend of mine from SCL. However...

We ended up getting off at maybe the wrong spot.. Its really hard to organize a group of 16 of us and for one person to pick the directions... Regardless, we kept walking and walking just hoping someone knew where we were headed... I kept trying to call my friend so many times that my phone ran out of money, although I'm pretty sure that there wasn't as much on there as the people at the store said, because, honestly, how could I have used up 200 minutes in one night?

So, we walked. Then we walked some more... oh... then we continued to walk. Finally most of the group got tired and sick of looking for a pub and decided to head back. 7 of us decided though that we had walked this far already we might as well keep looking, and we did so successfully. I decided we were going into the first bar we saw. We went upstairs, sat down, the waitress came over and Brian... oh Brian... Brian was very generous with us and our drinks. After hanging out there for a while and bonding some more we decided to walk home around 2:30-3:00 am. Here we started having some pretty intense conversations which are always great when meeting new people. Luke and I decided that we HAD to cross the river because the other side was so evidently the right side to be on. We mocked the others talking about how they were going to feel so stupid after they realized we were right... In the end though we were the ones feeling pretty stupid as we had traversed to the wrong side... Finally we got home around 4:00 am with class starting at 8:15 the next morning when I learned just how good I am at rallying and recovering.

The next day we headed to a museum with many amazing statues including statues of Caesar and ancient mosaics. On the top floor there were many statues of the gods as well as what remains from a scene that was once on a temple of athena with two fights on either side of her. Behind that there were giant GIANT pieces of another statue of a female fate or muse, exactly what is escaping me at the moment. I regretably didn't bring a notebook on this trip.

After this I did something very American... but I'm so happy I did. Burger King. Megatron burger. Fries. Coke. Heaven. The BK didn't take credit cards though... which I thought was weird being such a big chain, but whatever, it hit the spot.

After that I crashed. Hard. I had to recover from just being constantly on the run while being in Europe for two weeks as well as catch up on sleep missed from the night before...

5 hours later...

I woke up much later than anticipated, but was still able to finish the Livy homework we had and then began preparing for the next step of the night... The party with Swiss Guards and Dean from Gilmore Girls.

Most of us went down around 9:30 after the party had started at 8:30. We thought we didn't know anyone there besides ourselves... However most of the girls happened to know someone who I only know through my friends at home, Jared Padalecki, or Dean from the Gilmore Girls who is also on Supernatural now. I'm just glad it wasn't someone I knew, or I would have been that little girl in the corner giggling at the famous person, luckily, I kept my cool even after I bumped into him.

So, the party wasn't the greatest. As one of my professors mentioned it would have been better with dimmer lights and alcohol, instead of bright lights and juice. Sara and I decided to follow the guys who we would later find out to be Swiss Guards. Good choice on her part. We followed them to this karaoke bar across the street which we hadn't seen before. For how small it was it was pretty strict. We had to have our IDs and fill out a small sheet before we could go in. The bar was filled with locals and surprisingly I started talking to one almost instantly. I heard a voice behind me ask where I was from, I told him, he got up and sang some karaoke and we continued to talk.. well... talk is probably being generous. He spoke broken English, I speak... well I know some Italian words and can sometimes put them together to form an incoherent sentence. I don't know how many Americans he had met before, but he had some very weird topics that he wanted to talk about including my thoughts on Area 51, and I'm not sure but something else that had to do with 9/11 and Israel... this is where the barrier thickened and I started to fade mentally. I was already growing tired trying to think in two different languages. The whole situation seemed a bit more sketch after we talked about places to go in Rome to dance and he said that he was going to a disco and that I could come with in his car... Now, keep in mind I have no idea if he's hitting on me or just being friendly because the barrier has really blocked any solid communication, I mostly kept talking because I wanted to practice Italian. So when offered I wasn't sure if he was in fact hitting on me or just being nice... and maybe Italians are like that? But really all I could think about was the movie Saw, so I decided to head back across the street at 1:15 am.

I slept so well.

I woke up for the first time in Europe feelign completley refreshed and ready to go! We got on a bus at 9:20, a nice bus, not a city bus, and headed towards the Via Appia. We started at the catacombs and took a 20 minute tour. It was so weird being surrounded by dead bodies and graves. Our tour guide was funny and made jokes about losing people on the tour, which I could see happening as the place was a labyrinth. After that we sat down on some steps and two of the girls presented on the Via Appia and roads in general. We proceeded to walk down the ancient path and took many pictures. After that on the walk back I was talking to Crispin, one of the professors and she told me about a summer program for high school students that she's starting in Rome this summer. We talked and I offered to spread the word at the national convention this summer. This only made me like her that much more.

Now I made some boiled eggs, for the first time in my life and am off to the supermarket and bancomat!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Top of the World

June 12, 2009

7:30 Jump out of bed into the shower.

8:15 leave the Candia with water but still without sunglasses.

We meet our professors at the Vittorio, or as the locals call it, the Wedding Cake, because it looks oddly like giant wedding cake... apparently. The professor from ND brought her 3 month old and husband on the trip this time too!

Our first stop was on a side green of the Vittorio. A grave dedicated to a man named Biblius. Here Sarah, the prof from ND, gave us a rundown on Latin and abbreviations and translated the inscription for us. Me, being the great Latin scholar that I am (feel free to laugh...), noticed some differences in the Latin on the inscription and what was learned in high school, Marjorie, originally from Florida and now a student from Northwestern and majoring in Classics, asked about the difference and Sarah explained it was an archaic spelling of the word "Causa."

After we went to the Forum of Caesar. The forum is down below the road we were standing on, as are many of the ruins because the land has been built up over many many ruins, which is why people keep finding more and more ruins. Apparently about 10 months ago they found some new ruins or graves in this location! Here we also saw the Curia, a place where the Senate met. The building is original, which just blows my mind. The height, the history, just everything. Near this building is a prison where Peter and Paul were imprisoned. So, not only does this trip satisfy my desire to study the Classics, but it has historical sights for my Religious Studies half as well. At this point I realized I couldn't have done anything more rewarding.

Finally the group reached our main destination: The Palatine Hill. At the foot was the Roman Forum. Temples, ancient roads, and monuments oh my! The original roads are now bumby and uneven, but 2000 years ago they were flat. Thinking that the Romans had such amazing engineering is ridiculous. On top of that they had a sewer system that has been in use up until about 20 years ago. How much of what we have now will still be used in 2000 years?!

Following climbing the hill we walked to the edge and looked down at the Circus Maximus. It was nice to start to get a feel for how close everything was and exactly where it was all in proximity to other places. I could also see the Colliseum from the hill. I wish I could put into words the experience of standing on a place where a palace was, where Augustus tried to connect himself to the divine lineage of Romulus, where so many people watched the Circus Maximus, where centuries of history happened, but unfortunately my vocabulary and my brain do not have the capacity to do so.

The tour ended here and the group headed down for some food. Amy, Lily and I broke away from the main group who went and ate at a nicer restaurant to find something cheaper. As we were walking down the street I picked up a pair of 5 Euro sunglasses and we saw a parade, or a protest, or a march of some sort by the communications department. After finding a place to sit and eat Lily and Amy had to go to Italian. I walked with them back, but we ended up getting completely lost. We didn't get lost exactly, we were just confused by the small alleys that weren't on the map. The heat and lack of sleep made us a bit irritable, but as soon as we realized that we calmed down and found our way to the classroom. I then headed back to the Candia on a bus by myself, grabbed some eggs, bread, jam, and soda.

Now I've posted pictures of Rome on Facebook and some of the girls are preparing a dinner for everyone!


First Tour

Starting pretty much from where the last post left off...

That night many people were tired and decided to do some of the reading. I read a bit of Livy, regrettably. After finishing about half of the reading due for the paper next Friday I decided to relax as much as I could while continuing to figure out the subletter problem which has been solved... for now. During this stressful time my roommates and a couple others decided it would be a good idea to start drinking and go nowhere... I moved up to my bunk to at least separate myself somewhat while still being able to participate in the conversation. Walking the line between alone time and not alienating myself at times has been a learning process which I feel I'm beginning to find the balance for. A group of approximately 20 has its pros and cons. Our group dynamic needs to be fixed, while individually everyone is unique, interesting and fun.

After going to bed and waking up approximately 6 hours later, which, if you've even met me you know is no where near enough sleep for me to function on, I jumped into the shower and revitalized myself for our first walk! Unfortunately for our first trip I had neither water nor sunglasses. This proved to be tiresome when sitting at the Circus Maximus listening to Crispin, one of my absolutely ridiculously amazing professors specialized in Greek and Roman Art and Architecture. Cris explained the aesthetic and chronological differences between the Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite columns. Unfortunately the Circus Maximus is nothing more than a beaten path where it used to be, but the space is completely empty making it easier to picture just exactly how grand it once was. However, actually learning about Classical architecture while sitting on such a historical site is honestly still unfathomable to me.

After that we headed to the foot of the Capitaline hill where we went to a church displaying La Bocca della Verita (The Mouth of Truth). Allegedly if you stick your hand in the mouth and tell a lie it will cut your hand off, so clearly we all took pictures with our hands in it. (Also, keep in mind that there are pictures on facebook of all of these places and I'm going to try get some up here as well as a kind of visual guide.) Inside the church we observed columns that were taken from ruins and put into this church. This was to show us that people both used ancient columns in modern buildings (at the time) and to "test" us on the different types of columns.

Following this we crossed the street to take a look at two different temples, both victory temples, or temples built after a general came back victorious from a battle, which victory had to be approved by the Senate. The first temple we saw was a victory temple with the patron god Heracles. The temple was Greek in nature and possessed columns of a nature which I cannot recall right now, but could definitely tell you if I saw them in person again, but they surrounded the cella, or main room. The other temple consisted of engaged ionic (I'm pretty positive...) columns, but we weren't sure exactly who was the patron god.

After walking not that far we stopped at *edit* Theater of Marcellus *edit*, and if I remember correclty there was a temple to Apollo near it as well. I regret not posting last night when it was a little fresher in my memory. After observing the architecture here we went to the library of Octavia (I believe... again, should have posted yesterday.) Apparently at this place there were works of Ovid that were burned after he was banned from the city.

End the Tour.

Sara, Jeff, and I grabbed a sandwich and headed back to the Candia since we don't have to take the Italian class, which is amazing because it gives us an extra two hours of free time, which I used to come back, relax, and stay out of the intense sun.

I also discovered where to find cheap soda during this time. Heaven.

Later that night people had the intention of going out, however, it turned into many people drinking a little too much, myself not included, and us trying to find a place to go chill, but instead we ended up outside the Vatican around 12:30-1:00 am. Seeing the Vatican at night was a completely 180 from the daytime (I mean... obviously I guess, night and day being opposites and all...). What I mean though is that it has just gorgeous lighting, I don't think I got a picture of it last night, but I will certainly be getting one soon.

2 am. Sleep.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

First Night Out

So, after the last entry...

I ended up having some drinks with the roommates waiting for all others to get ready and come over as we prepared to head out to a restaurant as a group, although 4 girls stayed behind and cooked. It was interesting watching, or more accurately listening to people from my room interact as everyone got to know each other. I usually don't find it difficult relating to guys at all. I mean, come on, lets be real. Most of my friends are guys, but I was dying for the girls to finally come down to our place. When they did we were finally joined together as our full group since the last girl finally got in after waiting an extra day so she could take the LSAT. I'm pretty glad she got here too, I definitely felt a connection right away. :)

Anyway, once everyone was there and had some sufficient liquid jackets on, which are clearly completely unnecessary in Rome, we headed towards a restaurant. We really only had an area we were heading for without an idea of an exact restaurant. One of the guys seemed to know where he was going, so we all followed, and then we ended up goign further than we needed to I'm pretty sure because we ended up around where our class was and it shouldn't have taken as long as it did to get there.

We finally found a restaurant with lots of seating outside for all of us. We ordered the cheapest wine and I split gnocchi gorgonzola with my new friend, Sarah from Columbia. :) It was amazing. We all started to bond. (The alchy clearly helped with that). One of the guys slammed down his wine glass and broke it... slightly embarrassing...

After we walked home and all headed to bed to get up at 7:45 the next morning for class... It was about 1 at this point... yuck.

Class today was less than intriguing for me, minus the part about Art History. I'm really enjoying learning the differences between the different time periods, but the review of Roman religion and the gods was less than thrilling being a Religious Studies and Classics major, but I mean, I expected that coming into this anyway. :) Later most of the group had to stay for an Italian class, but thankfuly I've taken a year of it so I didn't have to go, and instead had to head home to figure out a subletting problem. :/ After that I walked all the way back to the classroom to figure our phone stuff out only to walk all the way back to the hotel after finding a cheap place for soda, thank God.

Now I'm just relaxing and doing some work before I sleep. Tomorrow we go on our first archeological walk!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Roma Arrival

So, waking up on the 8th at 7 am I snuck out of the apartment as to not wake Ingrid or her host mother. I walked to the metro and thought I was clear on my way to getting to the airport.

I was a little off on that thought...

There is a stop in the metro in Paris called Charles De Gaulle and so Ingrid and I both assumed that was the stop for the airport... which... looking back now was a pretty stupid idea since this stop wasn't anywhere near out of the city limits... Luckily the first person I talked to spoke English and directed me to the actual stop which was two transfers and about 45-60 minutes away... I was getting nervous. However I made it in time and arrived in Rome safely after a layover in London.

After arriving in Rome I took a shuttle (for 50 Euros) to the metro and eventually ended up at the Residence Candia where I'll be now for a few weeks. Its finally nice to have some stability. By the time I arrived though the group had already gone out for dinner and touring. I was happy staying in though and figuring out my life without any real distractions.

The place I'm living in has a kitchen, a bathroom, and two bedrooms. My room has three beds and the other two. I have the top bunk... I'm afraid I'm going to have some really warm nights that I'm not really looking forward to... but all in all it should be a pretty nice place. Hopefully won't be spending too much time here besides doing work... which I don't have a whole lot of anyway.... 2 papers. a 45 minute presentation. and a journal... which I've already been doing clearly since I can use this!

Today, June 9th, we had our first class. The professors are amazing and one of them is from Bismarck, ND! We went over some art history and terminology as well as a brief overview of Roman history. After that we attempted to get our phones activicated but the phone company didn't have enough SIM cards or something. Then 3 others and I walked around until we found this place in the wall with sandwiches. We grabbed some and ended up eating them in this farmers market. Afterwards I grabbed some mixed berry gellatto and ended up getting a little on my shirt... a white polo which I had just worn for the first time.. :/ luckily one of the girls had a bleach pen!

Now I'm getting ready to adventure the rest of the day....

Monday, June 8, 2009

Paris: Day 2

Wake up at 11:00 am. Get ready.

We headed to a wine shop and grabbed two bottles of 2.50 Euro wine again, one white and one red. We stopped at a sandwich place and grabbed ourselves a couple of sandwiches for the picnic we were about to go to with the kids from the Brown program and the kids from the French program. (Brown pilot program here consisted of Americans going to Europe and learning with the French students about the EU and in July the French students will go to Brown with the Americans to learn about American History.) We arrived at the Louvre and found the others sitting around talking and eating. Talking with the French students was amazing. I was telling the story about how earlier this guy came up to Ingrid and me and asked if we had lost this ring. We said no, but he started to walk off after leaving the ring with us. Then he promptly came back and asked for money for a Coca-Cola (which is way better in Europe than it is in America). I said no. He asked a few more times. Then apparently asked for part of my sandwich, and after he finally realized we weren’t going to give in, he snatched the ring away and ran off. One of the French students then said that they do that to people who really look like tourists. :P

After wining and dining we headed towards the Louvre. Pictures will be up on facebook soon, obviously. I didn’t know when watching The Da Vinci Code that this was the place with the big glass pyramid. The building was gigantic and the museum free on the first Sunday of the month (I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be here on this day). I had been told that you couldn’t cover the whole thing in a day, but I thought that was impossible. I was so wrong. So. Very. Wrong. We walked into the first exhibit of sculptures from Greece and Rome and I felt as though I were pregaming Rome. Even beyond the actual pieces in the building, the building itself was magnificent. The architecture and the aura the building effused was absolutely breathe taking. I honestly cannot even begin to describe what it was like, but everyone must visit this place once before they die. I saw the Mona Lisa, which, honestly, was probably the least exciting thing in that building. It was smaller than I thought, and a crowd of people was around it just taking pictures with their cell phones. Two regrets I have from this trip to the Louvre was not seeing the Venus de Milo, because the place was closing, and not running into Barack Obama, because, yes, he was there at the same time!

Now, I’m writing this on Microsoft Word in Ingrid’s room because my computer refused to connect to the internet. Her host mother has just ordered pizza and I’m looking forward to eating.

We had French Dominos. It was soooo different. There wasn’t any tomato sauce and I’m pretty sure one of the pizza’s had tuna on it, or at least some type of fish. After that we sat and Ingrid and her homestay mother talked to each in French as I tried to follow along as Ingrid would sometimes translate for me. We watched some of the debates around the election of the EU. I wish it had been in English because from what I could gather it seemed very interesting. Eventually we headed to bed around midnight and I prepared fro my travels the next day.

Rome tomorrow. Damn.

Paris: Day 1

Well, after a grueling few hours trying to figure out how to get a train ticket in the Hannover train station… I finally was able to get on a train at about 22:18. My cabin was already filled with 5 other people, none of whom spoke English, and all of whom spoke French. The lights were already off and they appeared as though they wanted to sleep, even though I had planned to finish Angels and Demons during the ride since I didn’t think I’d be able to sleep in such an awkward position. Luckily though the guy to my left moved and being in the middle seat I was able to take the seat next to me to give myself a wall to lean against since I was in the middle seat originally. Across from me was a really interesting couple. As the train took off the guy sitting in the middle seat with his girlfriend sitting next to the window, now across from me, tried to completely envelop the girl in his arms and legs to go to sleep. The woman however pushed him off and eventually he ended up with only a hand on her thigh as they slept. Watching this relationship dynamic was hilarious. I’d never seen a guy so eager and a woman so unwilling to cuddle.

After sitting for a couple hours I decided to watch out the window as we passed by nothing particular since it was pretty dark. This did however help me fall asleep and I generally slept the entire trip until about an hour before reaching Paris.

Stepping off the train I felt much more confident than in Germany, but that quickly changed as I realized I couldn’t really tell how to get on the metro system because all of the maps were so large and there were so many trains and it was all very confusing even though Ingrid had given me very solid directions (which I only realized AFTER I actually figured out how to get to Alesia, where she was staying). After about an hour of both standing around clueless looking at maps and wandering around the station looking for some kind of information kiosk, I walked outside to see a Holiday Inn with the British flag flying from it. I instantly went over there and asked one of the workers how to get to my destination. She pointed it out and I felt like the stupidest person ever. It was so obvious after the fact like everything in life. So, I go to the metro, wait in a line to talk to someone to buy a ticket because I couldn’t understand the machines to save my life with all the zones and trains and different prices. Finally I got on the subway and off at the right stop. Now I had to try find the right street… I picked a direction and started walking and completely by chance I had taken the right road. I found rue de Loing and found the number 7 next to a building. A woman walked out who didn’t speak English and she tried to help me figure out where 7 bis was. Then a man who did speak English also tried to help but to no avail, and in the middle of the conversation I heard Ingrid’s voice. I couldn’t have been happier. She had been outside waiting for me since I was about an hour late! We dropped my stuff off in her room, I met her wonderful host mother and we quickly went off to meet the other people from her program to head to Jeanne Monnet’s house. It was so wonderful being around a group of people who all spoke English and who all went to Brown, and it of course helped that they were all awesome individuals.

Around 13:40 we all boarded a train to go to the outskirts of Paris. After about a half hour we got off the train to find no signs of civilization except for the station and a small farmers market type area, which we found out later had THE best strawberries ever. EVER. Anyway, we were supposed to get a taxi to go this house which was about… 5 kilometers away. Unfortunately no taxi service was available. We were given the option of walking there or just taking the train back. 7 of us decided to walk it. We were up for the adventure. Little did we know just how far and long we were about to walk.

Ingrid grabbed the reigns and started leading us on where to go. After solving the problem of how to cross the highway (by going under it) we began walking down a not so busy street into a little town. After discovering that we had walked too far in one direction we had to turn around and backtrack. Ingrid finally pulled out her GPS and from there we never really lost our way.

2 hours later...

We reached the house after walking on streets that had no path for us to really walk on so at times we were forced to walk in some tall grass (which reminds me that I should probably check for ticks…).

The house was once owned by Monnet, not the artist, but a man who helped form the European Union and whose family created the Monnet Cognac. It was a quaint little house and we took an audio tour, which consisted of… 2 rooms. Liz, one of the girls in the program, began laughing and crying at the same time when she realized just how far we had walked for a two room tour. We had all gone a little crazy at this point from exhaustion and we were completely famished. We were all looking forward to the cab ride back… which never actually happened because again cabs were not available. The curator of the place helped us find a cab but to no avail and then offered us a ride back to the station herself. We found out that she actually lives in the house now upstairs away from the actual museum which is funded by the European parliament.

Since we didn’t have to spend money on the cab which Ingrid’s program had set aside funds for, we were able to use the money to go out to eat! The group was kind enough to include me in on this even though they didn’t have to. We ended up at a burger joint that looked like hole in the wall. The place was packed and we had to wait 30 minutes for a seat. In this 30 minutes 2 horrible events occurred.

First, we were standing on a corner and talking about nothing really when 4 of us watched in slow motion as this mother tried to move her stroller from the sidewalk to the street. She had forgotten to strap her less than 1 year old daughter into the stroller and the baby fell flat on her face onto the street. I’m sure the baby was in shock because it didn’t move or make a sound until the mother horrified realized what had just happened and swiftly picked up her daughter and started cradling her. The four of us who saw this happen were in utter shock. We stood there speechless praying that the child was okay. Eventually the mother strapped the child in and moved on but only after cradling her for 10 minutes.

The other event wasn’t as traumatizing as it was unlucky. Adam, a guy in the program was talking to a random French lady and he reported back to us that we had missed Obama’s entourage by 5 minutes. FIVE minutes.

After all of that chaos we were finally seated and presented with the best burgers I’ve ever had. I devoured it seeing as how I hadn’t eaten for a good 24 hours.

Now, the best part of the night was to come. We had 3 bottles of red wine for 5 of us. After discussing where we should go to drink it we were set on drinking it outside in a park right by the Eiffel Tower. We were sitting on the grass and finished the 2.50 Euro when at midnight the Eiffel Tower lit up. It didn’t just light up though, it was lights flashing all around it for 5 minutes. It was one of the most incredible and awe-inspiring things I had ever seen. I couldn’t have asked for a better night in Paris!!

After that we decided to head to a party Gan, another Brownie who was doing this program, had heard about. We jumped on the metro and headed that direction. Unfortunately the party had ended by the time we got there and we all decided to call it a night around 2 in the morning. Ingrid and I got back home after literally catching the last train to her stop!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Day 2 in Warsaw

Waking up.... my least favorite thing to do ever.

I woke up around noon. I needed water. So badly. Unfortunately in Europe the only kind of water they have is warm and bubbly. Not exactly the kind of thing you want to drink when you want to feel refreshed. Honestly, I have no idea how this continent survives on this kinda crap. yuck.

So, some bubbly water, bread, and a shower later Magda, her mother and I venture out into Poland. We started in a more political district with important buildings and whatnot. Magda's mother explains everything to me and I couldn't be more grateful. It was so interesting learning about the history of a country I really didn't know that much about except for the fact that my friend is from here.

We eventually ended up in this gorgeous park comparable to Central Park in NYC. Except better. Way better. Better in every way imaginable. It was prettier, cleaner, less people, and led us to many interesting places including a a center dedicated to Chopin and ultimately another palace. Before we took a tour of the palace though we ran into SO MANY WILD PEACOCKS! They were gorgeous and we took so many pictures. Eventually we found one that displayed his feathers and was shaking them violently at another bird who was trying to eat food near this peacock. Also, the sound they make is something you must look up. It was not appropriate with how beautiful they are externally.

Then we had ice cream...

now, I like my sweets and I love me some ice cream. But this stuff was orgasmic. It was THE best dessert I've had in my life. I had three scoops. One lemon, one blackberry, and one vanilla. Individually they were incredible and combined even better. I honestly cannot explain what a taste explosion this was. I never want to eat American ice cream again.

Finally we reached the palace where everything was authentic unless stated otherwise. It was so nice that they made us put on these slippers over our shoes so we didn't ruin the floors. I was incredibly impressed by how much Classical influence the palace displayed with sculptures and paintings of Classical mythological scenes.

After leaving this palace we took a bus to the center of town we were at before where we met Magda's father. We walked around for a bit and ended up eating at another restaurant outside. Where... it started raining again. :( This was a very polish place unlike the more Italian place we went the day before. I got some Beef Stroganaugh to see what it was like.... well... it made me a little nauseous and I definitely wanted the kind my mom made instead....

Magda and I walked around for a bit after that, but called it an early night because we were so exhausted from the night before and I was still trying to fix my internal clock... and now I'm posting this. :)

Warsaw, Poland Day 1

So... Poland.

Already on the plane to Poland from Dublin, I have to kick a girl out of my seat because she didn't understand that 17E was not the same as 7A... then while standing in the narrow aisle being courteous and waiting for her to move, this Polish man tells me to step out of the way and as I try to calmly explain what I'm doing by saying I was trying to get to my seat, pointing at mine, he harshly accuses me of trying to steal his seat... great first impression of Poland...

I land in Poland and get off the plane so tired and just ready to sleep...

and then I see Magda. Clearly, I'm not going to bed anytime soon even after traveling for 12 hours on pretty much no sleep. She and her parents pick me up and we drive to her parents' friend's place where we would be staying the next two nights. I get acquainted with the nice apartment and about an hour later Magda and I hit the town, Polish style, and let me tell you, these Polish people really know how to dress. I completely realized where Magda got her style from. We took a taxi after Magda asked to go to the "pancake" instead of the "palace."

Anyway... we went to Lazenki palace. It was unbelievable looking at just the building itself and its beauty and then we went inside and walked around giving ourselves a tour. (I should note now that clearly before we went we grabbed a beer. duh.) After that we went to a restaurant.

The restaurant, like all restaurants, was a gated place outside with tables and chairs and umbrellas covering it all, and for good reason. We ordered a pizza of some sort with a beer. We soon found out why there are umbrellas covering everything because it started to rain so we decided to sit there and just grab a few more beers. Now normally I would have downed about 3-4 pops during this time, but unfortunately in Europe soda is both expensive and packaged in small bottles, AND not unlimited refills... (One major thing I miss about the states already as well as text messaging...) We start trying to figure out where to go that night and the waitress comes over to help, another waitress then comes to help. and then two guys sitting a few tables away come to give their opinion. This was pretty much the first time someone from Poland was extremely nice.

After the rain ended we went around shopping for a bit looking at the Polish labels, nothing too special though. At this point though I'm fading fast. I'm almost falling asleep walking. Magda was trying something on at H&M and I literally almost fell over from being so exhausted, but I will not let myself go home yet on my first night in Europe. So we found an internet cafe, thank god because that was the longest time I had gone without the internet. As we were leaving I noticed they had redbull so i purchased one and that helped so much. This was also the first time I've ever used redbull to keep me awake and active.

After walking around trying to decide which bar/club to go to (this is around... 9 pm I'd say) we find an Irish pub and decide to just grab a drink there. We got two different kinds of beer and switched because we liked each others better and I also had a vodka/redbull and magda a whiskey and coke. There was karaoke going on. Polish karoake. Polish is defintiely not a language I want to hear in music....

After walking around a bit more we went to one of the clubs suggested to us by the people at the restaurant earlier. It was a darker place and we grabbed a huge booth for the two of us since no one was really there. Now we ordered a couple of beers and what we thought was going to be a nice apple drink... turned out.. we made a huge mistake. It was a shot... so, clearly we took it and then things get fuzzier.

We arrived home around 3 am after wandering the streets with Magda asking everyone where a good club to go would be. People kept directing us places, but nothing was actually open. Eventually we admitted defeat and moved onto dreamland.