2:57 PM, Monday, June 29th, 2009:
See, you thought I was gonna go all "Romandoms" or "Italiandoms" but I threw in the train. :-) Basically because I need a universal Randoms to end the whole trip and Italy by itself I don't believe can cover enough for one entry. Though I am techincally starting this in Rome so I can use what may be my favorite "entry bar" design of the trip. May have to use something like that next year.
1) The Romantic Train...
...is kinda horseshit. Maybe if it's at night, in a sleeper train - at the bar traincar... with Maddie Hayes (sorry, just had a Moonlighting flashback) but in reality, trains are slow, kinda uncomfortable and when you're on one for 12 hours in 3 days - you've seen all you're gonna see. Didn't stop me from making a video on one... just 'cause being on a train to Venice just seems noteworthy.
2) Jaaaaaaaaaaaaames
Alas! A story about another male! Ha.
So my first night in Rome I shared a room with this cool cat from Taiwan named James. He's been doing Europe for 2 years so he's got me beat by a long shot. This too was the end of his trip and we had a chance to talk a bit. Funniest thing though - every word the man utters sounds like it's dripping with sarcasm. Like I asked him about taking the city bus as opposed to the shuttle and he replies: "Well if you want to do that, gooooooooo ahead, but I don't knowwwwwwwwwwww...." I looked at him strange and moved on. Then as we talked I realized every sentence was spoken to me like I was mildly retarded for saying my previous few words. And then it just occured to me that's just how he speaks english - or he is a complete prick and thinks I'm a moron. Either way, it was such a strange thing to try and ignore when talking to him. If the guy you were talking to was American - at some point you'd have to throwdown. Ha. No wonder I spend more time with women. I have issues. :-)
I'm gonna get punched for this. So I was tellin' Paddy online that I was really ready to get back. Missed the house, the pups, my bed, etc. He goes, "Thanks fucker, you don't miss me?" To which I called him a raging pussy. Then the gay epithets ensued. I however win because I've now made it a Random and you can all giggle at him. Ugh. Unlike Alom, he always wants to cuddle with me after sex. What a homo.
4) Love, Italian style
Speaking of the wonder of gay love... I got straight-up molested at the airport in Venice. Guy was wandin' me at security which in Italy apparently it means he felt every single curve of my body in a way I'm not sure even a woman has ever done. Like we were slow dancing and I was the woman. I started to laugh 'cause I was really wondering just how far he was gonna go. It ended with a nice carress on my lower back and I was on my way.
5) Tipping Makes a Difference
I used to think the countries where you're not supposed to tip were kinda cool, because you didn't have to play that game - you just knew how much it was and it took some grey out of life. After the bad service I've received in those countries however - I'm looking forward to home where there's some incentive for the waitstaff to give a shit. In Greece and Italy I actually did tip a bit because it didn't say "gratuituy included" like it did in Paris, but the service was laughable in most places. Never getting your food, never getting your check... just annoying. My last night in Rome I went to a small little pub to watch the USA vs. Brazil match and ordered some food. They brought me the wrong thing, and then I watched 4 other tables get served and finally said something. She said: "The kitchen is really busy." I didn't have bread or anything and I sat for nearly 45 minutes after the first plate arrived (which she just put on the counter within my view while I salivated over it). Never an apology, a drink on the house... anything. It finally came out cold. Then after I paid I noticed she was going to throw out the original food and I said:  "Can I get that to go if you're throwing it out anyway?" Longshot, but I figured it was the least they could do after everything. She packaged it up and then charged me for it. LMAO. I laughed and just got up to leave and said I wasn't going to pay - just thought it was a way to make up for the service. To which she smiled, and threw out the bag in front of me. HAAAAAAAAAAAA. I have to admit. That was kind of a pimp move had I been an asshole or seomthing. I wasn't, but still - seeing that happen was pretty cool. The inner-waiter in me cheered for her a bit, but again, I wasn't a dick in the least - and the service and food was horrible.
Man, I was really getting concerned. The pizza I had was alright, but nothin' better than I could get in Manhattan. I dig all the crazy ingredients here and the raw meat, so it wasn't that - it just wasn't that good, ya know? And then I found this place:
Can't believe I didn't mention this in the last entry. It was on your way to the vatican and I saw all these people sitting on the curb around it (on little matts) and I figured someone knows something, 'cause the place was packed. It was up there with some of the best pizza I'd ever had. They sold it by the gram and you kinda get whatever is made at the time because shit moves FAST. You wait in line forever, so you just kinda hope one of the 7 pans of pizza are something you like - 'cause there's no ordering off a menu here. I got 4 squares and sat down and after 2 pieces, I stood in line to eat the rest so I could get 2 more. If you're ever in Rome, when you get of fthe subway, it's a couple blocks down to the left on your way towards the Vatican. MMMMMMM.
7) Find the Backstreets
Big tip for anyone in Rome, or probably any big city - just go like a block out of your way, to backstreets and you'll find little grocery/convenience stores with the same bottle of water or drink that are a 1/4 of the price as the street. They just assume (quite correctly) you're never gonna veer from the beaten path. Always veer. You find the world off-the beaten path.
8) Rings Around the World
I may not have gotten the shirt, but one thing I made certain to do was buy $10 silver rings in nearly every city I went. Shall we have a look:
The thing is, silver rings are silver rings. The one in Athens I could've gotten in NY, but I know I got it there so it makes all the difference. The one from Agistri Island however was unlike anything I had seen so I had to grab that up. Oh and the one from Paris is a spinner. THOSE ARE FUN. But in general, it's not like there's some drastic difference in silver ring selection from one country to the next. Damn look at how hairy my arms look. Lookin' down at them now they don't seem as Robin Williams as they do in the pic. Heh.
9) Perfect Weather
I really can't believe this, but other than one day in Paris (which was actually kind of nice) it has never rained except for days when I'm on a train or a plane traveling. Isn't that... unbelieveable?
I mean, once for 30 seconds in Nairobi. LOL. Even when I was in London, nothing. I mean, perfect. From Africa to France to Greece to Italy... perfect. I was talking with someone in Venice whose entire trip was rain, simply because she went to the same places I did... a few days after me. So, so, so fortunate. It's funny - it didn't even occur to me because that's how weather is in LA. Wow, do you all hate me yet? Jesus Adam, shut up.
10) Generation Gap
Here's an anomally - no tourists my age anywhere I went. Everyone's either high school/college or much older. I just never noticed anyone in their 30s. I really am an alien. No one does this shit at 33. They have families, responsibilities. Come to think of it - what am I doing?!!? LOL. Having all this fun!?? Who am I to be so reckless?
Adam fuggin K bitches. HAAAAAAAA. Alright, this train is making me loopy. Have to end this now.