Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ruins, the Mafia, and the beach.

Dear life,

We are now done with Rome and are moving on to bigger and better things! Is there anything bigger and better than Rome? We got on a bus today at 7 am, left the angry Nardizzi family, and headed for Napoli, Herculaneum, Pompeii, and Salerno. Napoli is apparently the Mafia CaPITOL OF THE WEHRLD so we got off, went into the archeological museum there, and got right back on the bus. I got some AWESOME dirty statue postcards there, but other than that, I'm getting really sick of statues. Isn't that the worst? I should be grateful I just get to SEE them! BUH.

Herculaneum is a city that got destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius like a million years ago. It's super ancient and awesome. Pompeii was the one destroyed by all the ash from the eruption, and like ten times bigger than Herculaneum. We had a private tour with a man named Gaetano. He was 45, tan, awesome, and legit. And so stylish. He was the most interesting guide I've ever had. He took us around for two hours and told us so much about the lifestyle before the eruption. I have some videos that I'll post later.

The only problem was that I had to pee about 45 minutes before we even got to Pompeii. In a group of 30 people it's hard to stop them to let one person pee. And the bathroom was being cleaned! So I had to suck it up...for almost four hours!!!!! I was SO close to peeing my pants, and couldn't do anything about it. We were in the middle of an ancient abandoned city monument!!! It was traumatic, but the city was so cool. Man, the Romans knew how to live back then. They had even better and more planned out cities than we did. Our guide made a lot of jokes about sex. Pompeii was a sea port town, so there were lots of naval men who came to town looking for sex. They had so many brothels! One of the brothels even had existing paintings on the walls showing what sex positions were offered. It was awesome. 

After another bus ride, we are finally in Salerno. It's a beach town, and our hotel is SUPER modern and nice, and right on the water. We had no time to go to the beach, but the weather here is so nice with the wind and whatnot. I'm really surprised by the towns outside of Rome. I knew my vision of Italy wouldn't be what I expected, but I'm surprised at how run down some of these cities are! They're more like ghetto American towns that picturesque Italian towns I expected. A guy on our study abroad, Robert, says that Florence, the place I will be living for a month, is more like what we expected. I hope so. I'm really glad that we will be all over the country. I think it gives you a better overall picture of what the country is really like.

Still no luck on the phone. Amber found one today, but I wasn't with her and the store closed.

Today was a weird day emotionally. I keep having bouts of homesickness and missing my loved ones. I know I am having the experience of a lifetime, but it's hard to do it without you guys by my side. I am making great friends, though. Each day we get closer, and I am feeling like I can be more of my true self around more people. It's really nice. Amber and I had a good talk today about missin our boyfriends. We feel like people get sick of it because a lot of people don't have one, so that's kind of annoying for them. It felt good to get those feelings out. 

Anyway, tomorrow is Sunday but we're not going to church. We will be traveling on the bus tomorrow and will probably stop at a beach to chill and read scriptures for a while or whatnot.

Oh, funny story. We left two girls at Herculaneum today. It was right outside Napoli, which has teeny teeny streets. All the cars here are Smart cars, which are like 1/5 the size of an SUV. Well the bus driver kept driving for like two miles before he could turn around. We held up traffic for ten minutes while he did a 50-point turn to turn around. Everyone was so pissed at the girls for leaving. Actually, maybe not. Only because we had to be somewhere soon and were already late. It was just funny because those girls are off in their own worlds all the time and it is so typical of them to wander off and get lost. Ok so maybe that's not the best story but it made me laugh.

Missin you.

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