Tuesday, October 30, 2012

So I'm in Italy

So much for finishing talking about Montana before my next trip. The highlights of the last portion can be summarized as follows: Had breakfast at Perkins. Hung out in hotel lobby between checkout and bus trip watching To Boldly Flee and other net shows -- brief interruption when a random friendly dog ran into the lobby and was ushered back out. Trouble with the bus, stopped at Miles City and we played Musical Buses for a bit so our bus could take the short route back and get fixed up. Discovered most comfortable sleeping position was laying with front to back of seats, leaving me vulnerable to sudden brakes and whatnot, but whatevs. Brief but rather intense and unpleasant dream involving discovering that I had some kind of neurological condition. Adorable young les couple across the aisle from me. Got home, mobbed by cats, crashed for several hours.

Okay, that's not much of a summary, few too many extraneous details. Oh well. I thought they were important.

Anyway, onto more immediate subjects. (After the cut, since there are pictures now.)

I got home from Montana to this. Squeee~
It looks like I need to seriously curb superfluous spending for awhile, since between the four of them (two growing kittens, a nursing mother, and Clyde who's just fat), these cats managed to go through an $11 bag of food in about ten days. To say nothing of their cat litter (how can such little animals produce so much waste in one day?) and medical costs. I'm definitely getting Molly fixed once she's done nursing, and probably both kittens.

Clyde (and stalker)

I'm considering looking for a new home for one of the kittens. I've gotten attached to Skittles, but Bitsy not as much, and three cats will be much easier to care for and eventually relocate than four. And now is the best time to find a new home, since she's still little and cute. I'm kind of hoping the stepdad will want to keep her, though.

Skittles is better at being adorable than Bitsy.

'Immediate subjects' turns out to be the cats I haven't seen for a couple days. Psh. I'm good at this.

I miss my kitties. The cord to my headphones was hanging over the edge of the other bed in my hotel room and I thought that I should adjust it so that the Skittles wouldn't try to play with it. Then I remembered I didn't have any cats with me and I was sad.

Lucio and Elena have a cat. Her name is Amelia. I have never seen a cat that fat. She's grey and vaguely tabby with some white marks (paws, belly, and a little on the face, if memory serves), and she's apparently around 16 pounds and has to waddle everywhere. And here I thought Clyde was a fat kitty, he's downright svelte in comparison.

Fat kitty!
But I get ahead of myself.

I am, in fact, now in Italy. By the time I get this posted I will probably be in Pontremoli, unless I decide to go over and bother Lucio for his wifi password, but at the time of writing (that being Sunday at 9:37 in Italy, which is around 7 hours removed from Minnesota) I'm in a hotel room in Bologna. There's wifi here, but it costs money and I've always been adverse to paying for wifi, not to mention the previous note to cut excess spending.

Although I managed to completely forget about that resolution while I was in the Amsterdam terminal. My bank is probably having a panic attack about me using my card overseas. (Amusing sidenote: I keep miswriting Amsterdam as 'Amsterdamn'. Silly mental autocorrect.)

And I continue to get ahead of myself.


So I got to the terminal just barely in time on Friday, since according to the baggage check clerk I just caught the checking cutoff for my flight. In turn, I reached my gate just in time to start boarding, which meant I didn't have any time to stop at a shop and grab a soda.

This became particularly vexing when the flight taxied out, then returned to the gate due to some kind of computer problem that took them around forty minutes to fix and do paperwork and get refueled and all that BS. The captain at least was pretty cool, commented about the fueling folk that "We just called them, they said they'd be here shortly... they lie."

I then proceeded to use up all my power listening to music, figuring that I would recharge in the terminal during my layover. It was only once I'd reached the terminal that I recalled that I was in Amsterdam and that other countries use different outlets so my power cord was useless. FFFF--

So instead I wandered around being a dumb American. Stupid American Traveller passes half a dozen Dutch chocolate shops only to impulse-buy an extra-large Twix. -facepalm- Also a Coke, because of course this terminal had to be sponsored by Coke and not Pepsi, and for some ungodly reason they didn't carry bottled Sprite anywhere, just Fanta and variations of Coke. Also vitamin water but I don't drink that. Suppose I could have, it's not like it's terrible or like I'm particularly fond of Coke or even wanted caffeine, but you know what they say about hindsight. Bah. (At the time I found it amusing that my nerd stereotype was forced to revert to American stereotype due to airport offering Coke and no Dew.)

There was a little cafe/bar thing near my gate in Amsterdam and I had a pretty good layover, and for some reason (possibly sleep deprivation) my nerves were on the fritz and I was shaking liek whoa, so I hit them up hoping for a margharita. It turned out that they didn't have the materials so instead I ordered a coffee. Because that makes sense. I wasn't thinking too clearly at the time, I hadn't slept so well on the six-hour flight over, and I didn't want to make the barista wait while I figured out what I was willing to drink. I also ordered an egg-and-salmon sandwich, which made more sense, and turned out to be just as good as it sounded at the time. The bread was dry and kind of meh, so I just ate the salmon (nice red strips, rather than the may-as-well-be-tuna-salad-with-red-coloring that I got last time I ordered a salmon sandwich) and the egg salad (which had capers, which were really good).

Once I was done with those I was still nervous and shaky, so I went to one of the little shops and bought a couple little bottles of 'Rosé' wine (they had that and white) and drank most of one of those. That did a little more to quiet my nerves than the coffee and Coke, no surprise there.

Although it's possible that mixing caffeine and wine (and/or jet lag) makes me more susceptible to motion sickness. I had some issues with it on the flight from AMS and on subsequent car rides, and then it flared up again after lunch today, when I had a little wine with the meal and a shot of espresso after. It's also entirely possible that it's just jet lag, or it's being exacerbated by the heat/cold shock, and the wine and caffeine have nothing to do with anything, since I experienced some of it on the way to lunch, too.

Heat and cold: It's kind of coolish and rainy out. Reasonable late-autumn/early-winter (so, October) levels by Minnesota standards. Apparently by Bolognese standards it is ZOMGCOLD and so they insist on cranking the heat friggin' everywhere, which means some fun system shock when I go out bundled and prepared for the cold and then ride in a car/bus or hang out in a café or restaurant. Eurgh. They do that in Minnesota, too, but it's usually more of a problem in the summer with places air conditioning you to death. I took a summer semester at MCTC once and I seriously had to bring a sweater along because otherwise I would freeze in class.

And... this is a really long, rambling entry about nothing in particular. Mostly cats. I think I'm going to cut it here and write more later about what's actually happening. For the moment I think I'm going to crash for the third time in the day and a half I've been here. Sidenote: Based on my experiences, Italian beds are really, really hard, and so are their pillows. D:

To come: Fun with romance languages, green hats, graffiti, squishy babies, shmancy houses, Sundays, way too many appetizers, who the heck Lucio and Elena are, mountains, and 'the City of Used Books'. In other words, actually talking about being in Italy rather than rambling about cats and airports.

One more picture of kitties. You can never have too many pictures of kitties.

1 comment:

  1. To be fair, cats and airports are awesome.
    Also the capcha code to post this was "nedsxx" Which I read as Nerd Sex. Things you wanted to know about me posting comments.


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