it’s hard to communicate through this journal the speed of our travels. on sunday we went from chicago to korea, landing there monday afternoon. tuesday, we glided into taiwan, then the next day the philippines. from the philippines to mumbai, where we spent a leisurely day and a half before hopscotching over to dubai. less than twenty four hours later we were in rome. but we often had internet connection troubles (damn that holiday inn express in dubai!) and my phone has given out. my hotmail account is frozen for reasons i can’t fathom and frankly, we’re in such motion that sitting down to write an account of our f2fb adventure has been a bit difficult.
in rome, i couldn’t help myself. i wanted to see the city of seven hills, the birthplace of romulus, remus, and pizza. i read the newspaper accounts at breakfast in the hotel siviglia of the european economic crisis. thinking on this, i went with joseph to the colisseum and the forum. looking out at the ruins, i had an idea of a jobs project–mr. obama, are you onboard?
then there are the gladiators. they accost tourists. they wear full regalia, often with black socks under their sandals. that surprised me as i don’t remember julius ceasar having an account with brooks brothers. i asked about what i would see in the colisseum.
then it was time to dress for dinner with f2fb friend # 247 federico cenci and his beloved girlfriend marina. at the hotel i logged onto facebook to confirm the next day’s meeting with claudia, a facebook friend in dortmund, germany. oddly enough, on a per leg basis, the dortmund trip was the most expensive and intricate of the magellan round the world facebook trip: an early morning train to the airport in rome, a two hour flight to vienna, a change over to a one hour flight to dusseldorf, a two hour train ride into dortmund in order to meet her at seven p.m.
i tried to message her. impossible. facebook wouldn’t let me. i checked her profile. she had defriended me. she also now has a limited profile so that i can’t message her or write on her wall. joseph suggested we stay an extra day in rome. but i refused to accept that somebody would have agreed just three weeks before to see me, knowing i would be paying out benjamins and even telling me time and place–someone couldn’t stand me up that way. besides, changing the arrangments would cost . . . . much more.
we went to dinner with fede. his girlfriend marina is truly gorgeous. i noticed that when italian women wear a scarf it is an effortless expression of chic. when i wear a scarf it looks like i have stolen a table runner. she also has the greatest hair. and perfect skin. everythng to make a dowdy over the hill fifty one year old get a little grumpy. but she’s so adorable and so kind that i fell in love with her. just not in that “go to vermont” way.
fede had made dough for a pizza fest at their apartment but we decided on a real italian restaurant so we could be surrounded by real italians doing what they do best–drinking red wine, gesturing, eating, enjoying!
“you will find out that you were meant to go to dortmund for a reason,” marina said. “it’s just not claudia.”
and i had to remember that as i got up the next morning dashing for the train to the airport. . . . there are days i do not want to continued this project, days when i think this is absolutely ridiculous, days when i want to pull the covers over the head and stay . . . in rome!
November 5th, 2011 at 11:19 am
I know how you feel. I sooooo did not want to leave Tanzania two years ago. I’m feeling like that may be the case with India as well. We just got back to the hotel from the final day of the conference. Tomorrow we do church Indian style, then Monday on to Rajahmundry and the second conference.
I pray that there has just been some sort of glitch and your meeting in Dortmund goes without another hitch. If not, you and Joseph will find something or someone to see or talk to. After all, how many people can say that they traveled from Winnetka to Dortmund for no particular reason? You can be the only one!
November 6th, 2011 at 8:38 am
bonnie, i am so happy that you love india! it’s beautiful and terrifying and dramatic and comedic all at once! somehow i think you and i have hit the age when naperville and winnetka are not quite big enough to encompass our souls. but what we’ve learned from these towns will be great to take with us! you know, i love that comment about dortmund–no particular reason except to play roulette with a mouse–which is exactly what i did! much love and admiration, arlynn
November 6th, 2011 at 4:18 pm
I am impressed at your “stick-to-it-iveness” with this project, and am looking forward to sitting down with you and listening in-person about your travels while slogging down a cup of coffee and sticky buns at Jerry’s in Winnetka.