Thats What She Said

I'm supposed to be doing something else right now.

This Was Incredible January 27, 2010

Filed under: *Daily — thats what she said @ 7:20 am

I highly recommend you take a hot air balloon ride in Goreme, Turkey, even if you are afraid of heights and prone to nausea.

I also highly recommend being ticketed by Neapolitan Subway Police.

And watching Jess try to fit her ENORMOUS backpack through the smallest door ever made.

We’re leaving Turkey tonight. Well, we’re leaving Goreme tonight. We will get to Istanbul at 6am tomorrow, hang around doing God knows what until 2:30, then fly to London, then switch airports, then fly to Dublin, and finally arrive at our hostel at about 11pm. I plan to be cranky. I also plan to have at least one Guinness before retiring, because dammit, I’ll have earned it.

I will be sad to leave the land of the prayer call, but happy to arrive in the land of fish and chips. And boys with Irish accents. Jesus, Mary, and Joesph.

In closing, here is a series of photos in which Jess and I make asses of ourselves.


Here is a brief summary of things that have happend since Italy. January 21, 2010

Filed under: *Daily — thats what she said @ 1:13 am

So we’re sitting at this lovely couch surfing dinner in Berlin, listening to a charming Irishman (how are they all charming?) tell a hilarious tale of missing his flight to Paris by twelve hours because he didn’t realize the time on his ticket was in the 24 hr clock format, showing up at the airport 10 hours after his flight has left, and as a result ending up going to Amsterdam–although from there the story took a different, but no less charming, turn. La di da. The point is, we all got a good guffaw out of the fact that this silly Irish bastard can’t read time.

Fast forward one week. Jess and I check and double-check our little flight print out. We know exactly when we’re leaving Berlin, and as a result , show up at the ghetto airport for our ghetto flight a very responsible 2.5 hours early.  What good little American tourists! Oddly enough though, our flight number isn’t on the little board. Huh, we said.  Remember that charming Irishman? And his charming little story? Balls. And that’s how we ended  up seeing Heath Ledgers very strange last film. And possibly how I ended up drinking a Long Island Iced Tea at a bar in a mall , which is pretty much the classiest thing it is possible to do on a Wednesday.

So we arrived in Turkey, slightly late, and still slightly confused by Heath Ledger’s movie. Since then we’ve proceeded to eat way too many kebabs (me) and way too much baklava (Jess), stay up past my bedtime on numerous occasions, been asked where we’re from 23958367 times,  gotten lost in a bazar one time (although Jess claims she ‘always knew exactly where we were’), and went to a night club where I began to realize the full extent of my residual Cameroonian rage when I starting throwing elbows at the rather insistent Turkish man dancing behind me. Although I maintain that that is the appropriate response.

Oh, and lest I forget the highlight of the trip thus far…Jess really wanted to see belly dancing so, in spite of being informed that we could see better dancing by watching ‘Turkish college girls who’ve had a few dance on their own bar stools’,  we paid way too much to be shuttled to an ‘authentic’ show–pleasantly located in what appeared to be a turkish strip mall–and watched women who are clearly experienced in several ‘kinds’ of dance perform. And we got to eat mediocre chicken!  The evening was capped off when we were invited on stage to ‘wash the chosen harem slave’ before she could be presented to the awkwardly endearing ‘Sultan of the Night’–otherwise known as the Japanese guy from table  4.  It was the best $50 I’ve ever spent. And we got a ride home! The bus left just as they were turning off the lights on the  sign that read ‘Authentic Turkish Belly Dancing Nights!’ and turning on the lights that said ‘Regina Review Crazy Horse Night Club’.

Tonight, it’s the bus to Bodrum, which–like the rest of Europe–is apparently just lovely in the summer time.


Red Red Wine January 2, 2010

Filed under: *Daily — thats what she said @ 2:46 am

Greetings from Napoli, and 2010. I need you all to know that I wrote about half of a stunningly articulate and poignant piece that really summed up my Peace Corps experience, but that due to technical difficulties involving flashes (and not flashing) my musings are now gone for ever. Sorry about that. I’ll try again from the States, as I think it’s probably a good idea to write about the Peace Corps craziness while I can still remember said craziness.

But for now, Jess and I are in Italy, and having  a wonderful time. Except for the fact that our bags weigh approximately 749 kg, and that buses don’t run on the day after Christmas OR Sundays, and that the piercing guy was too sick to work, things are really going remarkably well. We leave Napoli today for Caserta, which apparently has a huge, Versailles-esque castle, and not much else. This is based on the guy working the desk at our hostel, who is apparently from there and laughed sort of ominously when we said that’s where we’re headed next. So it’s possible we are headed to the Tacoma of Italy. But you know what? There will still be cheese there, so it doesn’t even matter.

Right. Here are my random observations on Italy:

  • Purple puffy jackets. On everyone. Is this happening in America too? Why is it being allowed? Although, I have to say, the Italians almost pull it off.  Or maybe I’m just distracted from it by all of the amazing eyewear. Thank god I have purple glasses.
  • Lack of personal space. Which I think would probably be more uncomfortable for me if I hadn’t just come from the land of NO PERSONAL SPACE.
  • No one sits. And this doesn’t seem to be a problem for any one but us. Would you like a lovely cappuccino? Great. Go stand at the bar and enjoy. Sucker. Of course its possible everyone else is wearing shoes manufactured outside of China that cost less then$7.
  • Dinner. At 9pm. Quoi? Everyday Jess and I say we’re gonna do it right. We’re going to eat lunch at the right time, and nap, and be both rested and hungry at 9pm. And we’ve done it! About twice. Somehow we always end up skipping a meal somewhere. Somehow we always seem to be famished at about 5pm. Just in time for the early bird special. IF YOU ARE IN AMERICA. Instead we accidentally sort of eat something delicious and small(ish! Or at least that is our intention!) at 5 and then we just aren’t hungry enough at 9. Because Italians? THEY KNOW HOW TO EAT. God Bless ’em. We leave the country in 4 days, and we’re going to do dinner right at least one more time before then.

Also, here are some awesome things about Italy, or maybe Europe, or maybe the Western world:

  • On trains and buses, YOU GET A WHOLE SEAT ENTIRELY TO YOURSELF. Like, for the whole trip. Jess and I keep purposely taking the slowest, local trains possible because we are thrilled with this. The Italians think maybe we’re a little slow, but we’re too busy napping comfortably to notice.
  • Art. Old. New. Graffiti. In public spaces. It’s fantastic. EVERYTHING HERE IS BEAUTIFUL.
  • Gelato. If you need an explanation we are not friends. Or related.

Ok, we’re off to catch a train. Yea! Can you believe our luck? Too bad it’s only for an hour or so.

Best wishes to everyone, and I’ll see you all soon! You’ll know it’s me because I won’t be wearing a puffy purple jacket.