Monday, June 7, 2010

Train to Parma

Sent from my iPod

Begin forwarded message:

From: Jake Nacheman <>
Date: June 6, 2010 4:18:13 PM GMT+02:00

So now I'm on the train from Bologna to Parma, two towns which sound delicious. Here's what you missed:

Yesterday I finished out the day on the cruise from Barcellona to Rome. The rest of the ride was fine but I didnt really speak to anyone at all on the trip... It just seemed to be full of old people returning from vacation. Also it would have been nice to have payed out on the deck of the boat, but mh sunburn was too bad for that, so I had to stick to the dark corners of the boat lest my skin begin to glitter.

I had just bought a new vaunnegut book however, so I devoured that during the course of the ride. So far I have read two, I'd like to read his whole collection this summer... I couldn't find any English books before today's trains, however, so I setteled fir an italian graphic novel called "Dylan Dog; terrore dall'infinito" ...the infinite terror! It's basically pulp but it's keeping me occupied.

Anyway, I got off the boat at Chivittavecchia (port of Rome) and was immidiatly inspected for drugs, which was kind of terrorifying but over quickly, and then hustled onto a free shuttle to the main trainstation which would take me to Rome. I grabbed my ticked just in time to get on the train ( which was actually quite a feat because there were a dozen tourists in front of me who couldn't seem to get the simple ticket machine to work--- but, that train never came and I was stuck waiting at the port for an hour before the next train was to arrive. That ordanarily would have been fine, but it was already 7:30 and it was an hr and a half long train and I needed to wanderthe streets a bit once j got to Rome to find my accomadations. ACLE (see had given me use of a reserve flat they keep in Rome for the night, but it was out in the sticks and I was not quite sure how to get there. Needless to say I was hoping to get in before sundown. Anyway, this is what it was and I dealt. In the meantime I had some nice conversation with a American hairdresser and her MRI technition friend ( they are from atlanta) while we were wAiting-- also, it gave me time to eat something which was amzing because all I had to eas on the boat was a baguette which I brought on board with me, assuming that the price on the ferry would be outrageous--- which it was. Anyway, we got on the 830 train and arrived in Rome at 10:00. I decided that I didn't want to be murder that night, so I manned up and took a cab which dropped me off right at the door.

Unfortunately, they hadn't given me a key or a passcode or anything and when I emailed them for this information, all I got was a repeat of the address. I was hoping that when I arrived there would either be instructions for me on the door or there would be another teacher staying there already who would buzz me up. Nope...

45 minutes of wandering around looking for a phone later I was on the phone with the ACLE organizer (thank god I had written her number down) thanks to a friendly stranger who lent me his cell--- although he was the first to do so after I asked about 20 others where the nearest payphone was and they all said "umm there is none for miles...". Only this guy caught on that he had a phone in his pocked and the human thing to do was lend it to me...

So anyway, I got through to the organizer and she got through to the caretaker who met me at the flat with the key. After that sage ended I was pleased to find that the last teachers who had stayed there had left a decent supply of food in the cupboards and freezer with notes saying it was up for grabs. I ate, and made some extra food for me to take with me on the trains today, and I slept. I really slept.

I woke up early, drank some tea and headed into Rome to catch my first train to Bologna. U didnt want to be late. Previous teachers in the flat had warned the readers of their notes to take more time than they thought they would need to get to Roma Termini. So I took their advice (they also told me which buses to take--- so no more cabs!) and went to the center. I bought my tickets and had some time to spare so I hopped on the metro, checked our the colesseum (it's still there where I left it) and returned in time to buy my "Dylan Dog" and hop on the train. On the ride to Bologna I talked with a lady who was traveling with her grandson (abt 20-25)--- it was the first time that she had ever traveled outside of the country (they are from California). She was very nice, and it was sweet of him to take his little grandma on a trip, but I couldn't help but wonder if he want to sleep at 5pm at the same time as her, or if he went out in the evenings ans returned before she woke up... Did he have to sneak out? Did he ever return after she woke up? Very ineresting traveling partner...

Anyway, I left that train and am now on my final train to Parma where I will hopefully be greeted by my camp director and host family... I'll be arriving shortly, actually I think we are arriving now! g2g...

Sent from my iPod

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