In a mad panic, I woke up to Sara's alarm singing a sweet tune. I am so glad that I told Sara to also set her alarm because for some reason my phone was set for an hour earlier than it really was so when I went to set my alarm last night I a. forgot to change the time on my phone and b. set my alarm for 5:30. I managed to drag my over-weight, over packed, about to explode bags down two flights of stairs, through a rotating gate, into a cab in Florence, on to a train in Florence heading southbound toward Rome and then into another cab in Rome. This many not seem like that hard of a task considering I was a cab or train 90 percent of the time, but have you ever tried to carry not just one but two body bags (stuffed with multiple bodies) through the Rome train station. Thats what I thought. I was originally supposed to bring my luggage down to Rome tomorrow but I received an URGENT email from the lady who was helping me, that tomorrow there is going to be an "all transportation" strike through out Italy, which means no trains, no buses, no taxi's, no nothing. They even cancel school because the little Italian chillin can't get there. I successfully made it on my 6:40 train, arriving at the train station 30 minutes before departure. Now that the Gorilla is gone, I decided that I can not participate in Gorilla and sidekick adventures, like running to the train station 4 or 5 minutes for take off. Without the Gorilla, it is just not the same. I had to take a taxi from the train station in Rome to the JDC office. I always manage to choose the wrong cab, and by wrong I mean I always choose a cab driver that is extremely creepy. But now that I think about it, it isn't me, all Italian men are creepy. Paolo seemed like a nice guy. He asked me where I was from (all cab drivers love to do that) and then he asked me what my name is, I confessed. And then he asked if the place that I was going to was an apartment or hotel. I told him it was a business. For some reason he interpreted my response as me being a business person. I tried to tell him that I was a student studying in Florence but for reason he seemed to ignore that part of my story and kept asking me what kind of business I was in. I again dropped that I was a student studying art but then he asked how long I have been doing business and how long my meeting was today. I ended up caving into his questions and told him that I had been doing business for three years (hey, being a student is like being a full time business person, you just don't make any money) He then asked again how long my meeting was, I told him that I wasn't sure, probably an hour. I thought it would most likely take an hour for me to drag with sweat and pain my luggage up to the JDC office. He then proceeded to tell me that he was going to give me his cell phone number that I could call him after. I being the naive American girl, thought "oh, he wants to take me back to the train station, how nice" but no no no, but no, he told me that he wanted to take me to coffee and show the real side of Rome. All along he had this scheming plan. I threw up in my mouth and swallowed and didn't say anything until we arrived at the office. 22 euros later, I realized that I truly a. hate Italian men b. taxi's are ridiculous, we were only driving for 10 minutes. Not to mention, I think he ripped me off because he didn't have one of those typical meters, and I am pretty sure he just made up a number. I met with the two wonderful women that would be storing my bag and then headed back to the train station, however this time, the 1 euro underground ticket to the train station was a much better idea. No creeps. No damage to the bank account. I am not sitting on the train taking in the glorious country side. I just realized this is my last train ride in Italy. How how I love thee. I am sitting across from a man, 35,40 if had to guess from the grey hair, discolored, angled coffee teeth and dirty brown jacket. I thought he was American because his cell kept ringing and he was speaking English but the call would never connect. I again being the nice, naive American girl thought I might lend him my phone. I can only think of the number of times when I have desperately needed to borrow some ones cell phone because mine was dead or wasn't working. He declined but then with the decline came the questions. He is from Quiat, living in Rome. I haven't been able to figure him out yet but here are the following clues he has given me and I quote: "I was suspended from my job for 10 days so I have been taking it easy", and "I am so tired, I have been going out every night the past three nights. I am not used to the clubs" and "Have you met any Italian men?" and "You Americans are so different from Italians. We use text messaging like you use e-mail or instant messaging (whatever that means). A text message is a like a confession of love, it can get pretty intimate if you know what I mean." And just a second ago he just asked me if I didn't mind he put his head phones on. Maybe he thinks we are on a date. I still have an hour and a half to go. What to do, what to do. Yes, please put your head phones on and I will do the same. I am just going to continue typing, pretending that I am very into what ever I am doing on my computer. Blogging is pretty intense. The Gorilla calls me Allison Blogenberg. As for the rest of my day. I should be back in Florence around 11:30 and then I have a lot to do before heading to Cannes on Saturday. I finally found a "red carpet" dress. We were informed that we would possibly have the chance to attend one red carpet event, and I wouldn't want to be unprepared. I found a pretty cute dress at Zara for only 39.00 euro and I say only because for Florence, that ain't too shabby. I still need to do a couple of things around town, send out a million more emails, finish packing. Tomorrow I hope to enjoy my day, not stuck inside being an internet freak. Well I am off to take a nap. 5:30 wake equals 10:30 narco narco on the train. Ciao Ciao!
may 8, 2008. 8 8 8 8 8