Thursday, February 09, 2006

Brian's Turn

Hello, All!

There will be a jump in the time line, because of the lack of internet connection at the hotel my father and mother have been writing their blog entries on another computer, and my father has been transferring them as fast as he can. But, I wanted to get some of my thoughts and observations done, before I forget. (Also, I figured something that was actually daily might be more interesting.....)

First of all, driving in Italy is very interesting. As there was a possibility that I might need to drive to a venue or the field shop, I had to get my International Driver's Permit. When driving in Italy drive poorly, and you'll be just fine. On the switchbacks (Very sharp turns built onto the side of the mountian) close your eyes, don't worry if someone passes you on a curve, and whatever you do (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!!) Don't Look DOWN! It's not recommended, and frankly bad for your health.

Second, typing on a European keyboard is different, as they have symbols used in other languages like ò à ù è ì to show accents. Well, if you receive an e-mail or as part of the blog, and you see something like ° instead of a " donàt panic, as some of the keys are moved around.

Third, the Italians running the hotel are very nice. They've been very kind to the crew, especially for those that don't speak a lot of Italian (like my mother). I've learned the basics, but can get by with the French I learned in High School and the Spanish I learned in College. The funniest incident occured last night at dinner, when my mother wanted a hot tea with milk. She asked for a "Hot tè, with cold latte", the waitress heard cold tè, and my mother received an iced tea. Oops. When we tried explaining again, with hand gestures and broken Italian from my phrase book, we had success. So much so, when the server returned (the same woman we get everynight, basically) I clapped and she took a bow.

Well, I'm sure there is plenty more to discuss, but there are many days between now and when we return. I can't run out of things to talk about next week.



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