For anyone reading this, a daily temperature in the early to mid twenties is normal - it's summer in New Zealand, for goodness sake! For me, sitting in a hotel in Dubai, this is a twenty degree difference and it all happened in one day. One moment I was sitting in chilly Turin, then I had eight hours in even chillier Rome, and now I'm here, I'm back with my family, and I'm boiling.Don't get me wrong, it's a nice change. It just feels so weird going out wearing just a t-shirt, or knowing that in actual fact wearing a thermal is an actively bad idea!
Leaving Turin, although I had been leaping with excitement to get some sun and see Mum and Dad, was a wrench. No, Meredith's baby didn't come (I think she probably held on just to spite me), but that wasn't it. This family took in someone who could only really speak to a quarter of the family. Not only this, they did it over Christmas and while a significant member of the family was eight months pregnant. I know that at some point you (Meredith and Amedeo) will read this, so I just wanted to say thank you again for everything that you did for me while I was with you and for leaving your daily routines in the dust so that I could see the sights. To the boys as well, thank you to Alessandro for giving up his lovey room for me and enduring the floor of your parents room, and thank you to Gabri for keeping me constantly amused with your flirtacious looks and hair twiddling and cuddles. And to all three of the Cistaro boys/men, thank you for speaking english, and for teaching me pieces of italian (I will never forget how to say 'pig' now, because it is said my-ale and it will always make me think of Alessandro), and for keeping me fit (sort of) by playing on the Wii with me. I truly had the best time, and it couldn't have happened without your help! xoxox
The airport in Turin was a calamity that I hadn't forseen. For those of you who don't know, I'm quite a heavy packer and when you have to accommodate lots of winter woolies then it gets even worse. My case was blatantly going to heavy once I added all the books (educational Ancient Rome type ones) and gifts that I've bought for everyone. Solution? A spot of genius on Meredith's part - to go and buy a suitcase that would be small enough to fit into the carry on bag category, but would fit al the stuff that my main case wouldn't. So we did that and all was good, but my new carry on was 17kg rather than the limit of 8kg... I figured that they wouldn't notice because no one but me would be lifting it. Even still, Amedeo told me to hide it while I checked in and so I did and it was all good! Typically, just when you think you've gotten away with something you'll get caught, and that's exactly what happened. At he xray machine they pulled my aside, took me back to the checkin desk, and tried to convince me to pay an extra 55 euros to check it on. All good, except that this is basically the end of my holiday and I didn't have that much money left! Long story short I got the bag checked on, minus a stack of books which had to be left at Turin airport to be picked up later... And so sobbing and sprinting, I was one of the last passengers on the plane which was only five minutes away from leaving without me. Then when I got to Rome, and everything felt okay again, I went to the baggage claim, collected my big main bag, and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally went to the customer service desk, and found out that my brand spanking new suitcase full of British chocolate for my brother and gifts for my friends at home is now lost. Actually at that point I found it all quite funny, and it was a bonus to not have to carry it around with me for the eight hours that I had to wait at Rome airport for my next flight, but still. LOST. Fingers crossed it'll find its way back quickly so that I can actually give people the stuff I bought them.
Anyway, that is all behind us and I'm back with my family. It's really great to see them again and to have someone else take the reins on the holiday front. I don't know how we'll all respond to the new powers of authority (given that I have essentially done what I felt like doing for the past almost two months), but we'll figure that out - compromise is the key. Last night we went on a boat cruise that included dinner and ate surprisingly good food, and then still on the boat watched this mad Egyptian inspired show that involved a lot of audience participation, blushing (on my part), shrieking (also on my part), and my father snogging a horse costume. Awkward and a bit too-far-crab, but still fun. This afternoon we're going on a desert safari type thing, including wadibashing and bellydancing and hopefully a camel or two!
Time for me to go and strip off another layer, but I will write again soon.