Monday, February 17, 2014
Wow, been a while since I posted. And I've been to quit a few places. Five countries to be precise.
In Barcelona, Spain, I met this cool girl from Argentina and she joined me on my drive back north to Paris, France. We stopped in Castres to pick up my suitcase, and then stayed in Limoge for one night, and then made our way finally to Paris where we stayed in St. Christopher's hostel for three nights. Paris is definitely a nice city, but I still think I like Barcelona more.
On the 12th, I drove Elena to the bus station (she was heading back to Spain, and then Argentina), and I dropped the rental car off at the airport. I then flew down to Rome. A short two hour flight. I was gonna take the train and subway to my friend Roberto's apartment, but I had three bags and my guitar. Just too much. So I hired a shuttle for about $30 to take me there. Oddly, I met two more Argentinians in the shuttle: a businessman/banker and his daughter. We exchanged info.
I spent the night at Roberto's apartment. Helen is there too. Engaged finally to one another. I went to law school with both of them. They were getting their LLM though. Me my JD. He from Rome; she from Bulgaria. But she's black. So she's not the typical Bulgarian. Anyway, SO good to see them. I felt at home immediately, and could relax. Sort of like my base camp for this trip. I didn't think just one night there would refresh me enough for the journey ahead of me, but it did. A nice shower. They cooked me dinner. Introduced me to this awesome guy Ralph, from Poland. This staunch anti-communist/anti-socialist who reveled with me in bashing the foolish social policies in America. It pains him as it does me to see what so many Americans do not: that the country is on a path towards too much government power. Power that can only lead to things going from bad to worse. He loved me "Reagan for President" t-shirt, and agreed with me that most Americans just don't understand what too much government power can do. He grew up in a Poland under the USSR. So did his parents. They know firsthand (like Ayn Rand) the horrors of government oppression; most Americans are either uneducated in history or so ensconced in the bubble of America and so poorly-traveled that they are just ignorant parrots, echoing the sentiments of the media.
Anyway, I had a great time there, did some laundry, and in the morning, I head off onto the subway, and then the train (I just had one bad now, for travel, one that I bought in Paris because a) I had too much stuff and b) the wheels on my other small one broke so I needed a new one) to the airport. Leonardo's Express. So glad I speak Italian well. Most of those I spoke with didn't speak English (unlike here in Scandinavia, where everyone--EVERYONE (virtually)--speaks English).
So from Rome, I took a flight to Oslo, Norway. And I'm so tired that I need to take a nap on this train. I will continue this story shortly. :)