Today’s beautiful weather (and my first jacket-less day in a while) had me inspired. My site seemed a little wintery and dark. So: a new style. Unfortunately everything about it isn’t customizable, but the top is… I’m using a (bad) scan of a photograph I took in London in 2002 — crazy that it’s been five years since I was there. Five years ago I was probably obsessing over my final paper for the Shakespeare class I was taking (which I can’t even remember now… what the hell did I write about?), and just beginning to stress out a little over the trip I would embark upon on March 15. That trip changed my life, I think.
I wrote about Venus and Adonis. I don’t know what I wrote about, but given the pattern, it was probably a little autobiographical. I really should have worked harder there.
Anyway. The trip. I bought a ticket from London-Stansted to Venice for 16 GBP and a rail pass. I didn’t make any reservations until right before I left, which ended up being kind of a pain in the ass (I would have been better off without reservations, I think). The plane ended up circling Venice for a while, then landing in Verona because of fog, putting me in Venice (via bus) about four hours later than I was supposed to be there. We were dropped off at a sort of bus depot instead of at the airport, so taking the shuttle to my hotel (which I’d overpaid for so I could be comfortable on my first night) was not an option. Another bus dropped me off 1km away from the hotel, and I started to walk down the dark road along the railroad by myself. Awesome. Then: a car with three teenagers slowed down. I asked if I was heading in the right direction (I seriously only knew how to say “where” and “thank you” in Italian, but they understood and said yes). They left, and then came back and offered me a ride to the hotel, which is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me, ever — not necessarily because it was a huge act, but because it was exactly what I needed when I needed it.
The 10 minute phone call to my dad that night cost about $40, and we talked about how I could just skip the trip and go straight back to England, but I didn’t. I discovered the next day that Venice is much more beautiful by day than by night (it’s really scary at night, I have to say — spookily quiet). I lasted the five weeks, spent more on postcards than on food (because my diet consisted primarily of fruit, gelato, and pretzels), and never stayed at another place where I had my own room again on that trip.