The Girl is Back in Town - Part 1
Yes, that's right. It's not a slip of the fingers (although I am still reacclamating to the standard US keyboard). I really am back here, in the good ol' U.S. of A. Although the blog didn't provide any stock photos of Baltimore and I therefore was forced to choose the least distinctive, most B-More like photo of downtown Alabama for this entry, I'm home. And I feel like I should start by apologizing for leaving you all hanging for such a long time. You have been wonderful and supportive with all of your comments and messages and e-mails and the last thing I wanted to do was go almost two months without updating you as to where I was. So I'm sorry that I left you with a photo album of Sweden that still has pictures sideways, but if you'll let me, I'll try and explain here.
Ok, so first of all, my time in Valencia really ended with a bang. I could not have asked fora better five months. I spent the last month working as a translator until I got worked over by the company. And then after that it was really just a lot of relaxing , spending time with friends and getting ready for the next big move - Italy!
Now anyone who knows me knows that I love this little boot-shaped country. And I was stoked to be spending the summer there, teaching English and living off the impeccably prepared fat of the land. I even bought a computer in Spain that I had every intention of using to keep up with this very blog and well, the rest of my life. If only it had been remotely that simlpe.
I cannot possibly go into all the details here and as I have to once again don my scrubs and head out to work in a half hour or so, it's going to be a brief recap. And you know that for me, brief is hard. So let's see what I can say....
The first day traveling down was bad enough in and of itself. I fell victim to the ridiculous rail system of Italy and ended up being stuck by myself in the Naples terminal at 9 o'clock at night. I always warn my friends about traveling in Naples: never do it alone, always be on guard. And there I was jumping from one unhelpful counter to another, trying to figure out a way to get out to the mountains and not have to stay in the station. Well, instead of finding a way out, I somehow attracted a crazy man who got angry when I ignored him and started following me once I moved away. The details would make a great climactic scene in a movie, but we don't have the time so just imagine me on the brink of hysterics and trying not to lose it while running into sliding doors that didn't open and circling pillars where other homeless or other crazy people were hanging out. Eventually one of the conductors interceded and brought me to the police station where they were about as helpful as the wad of gum stuck to my shoe. I was at my wits end and so I called my employer to see what he wanted me to do. That day cost me about $100 in a roaming cell phone bill and another $125 in a hotel room that I finally reached after dragging myself and my luggage through junkie and prostitute lined streets. Really guys, if you are going to travel to this city, please, please, PLEASE be smart about it. So I cried myself to sleep and started again the following morning.
Let's skip all kinds of stories and cut to the arrival where I was told I wouldn't start working until the following Friday. I tried not to cry, thinking of all the friends and good times I left in Valencia, and slowly asked him what I was supposed to do for a week. He smiled and slapped me on the back and told me I had vacation. Vacation. By myself. Perfect! That way I would have time to think about what my Spanish counterparts were all doing more or less on vacation as well. By the time I got a chance to call my parents, I couldn't hold back the tears. They were rational and wonderful and just thankful to finally hear from me. But I hung up the phone with some serious doubts.
Aaaaand, apparently this is going to be a several-part series because I have run out of time for today. But stay tuned because there really is no reason anymore for me to not finish the story as I have an internet connection and chunks of free time. There's a lot to it, more than I can put up on a blog and I'm really thinking about using the blogs as springboards for other ideas including, perchance a book. But for now a very familiar chiropractic office awaits my presence.
It feels good to write again and feel free to contact me by blog, e-mail or cell since I'm back. Thanks for your support again and get ready for some crazy stories!!!
All my love,