Heh here I am, at the airport in Rome. It's 10pm local. I couldn't get a hotel room near the aiport for the night, and since my flight out is bright and early, I'll just sleep here. Oh, I've done it before, with more luggage than what I have now. And while I had talked people into thinking that I was very comfortable with this, the truth is that I'm only relatively comfortable with this. In some way, I hope that a repeat of 2003 doesn't happen.
**flashing back to 31 July 2003**
I had taken the train from Alicante to Madrid the night before my flight--same situation as now--and camped out in the Madrid airport near the Delta international desk. This woman was sitting next to me, and we started what I then thought would be a short conversation. She said she was from a very small town outside of Grenada, on the coast, and was on a trip to the US. How nice, you say. But there's more, of course. This woman had never been to Seville, let alone Madrid...and she's on her way, alone, to Los Angeles. Um. Yeah. Turns out her husband of 22 years gave her a trip to LA for her 40th birthday, so that she could visit a gentleman friend she made online...who lives in the San Fernando Valley and worked as an actor. Alone.
(For those of who you do not know the area, when someone (especially under the age of 25) says they live in the San Fernando Valley and is an actor, you can pretty much bet that they are in the type of films that require very little clothing and a whole lot of lubrication.)
At any rate, this woman kept me up *all night long* talking about herself, her life, her trip, etc. I did impart wisdom on her--mostly about how while there are Spanish-speakers in the area, don't count on everyone speaking the language, and other important information that one should have when visiting SoCal. But by the time I finally got on the plane the next morning, I was so exhausted that I passed out in my chair, despite sitting in the middle seat of the row. I don't remember much from that flight home.
**returning to the present**
Anyway, hopefully I'll be writing next from my apartment. It's a long day tomorrow: 1 hour flight from Rome to Zurich, 2 hour layover, then a 10 hour flight from Zurich to San Francisco, followed by a 2 hour public transit ride home. But I will be home. And with so very many stories to tell and pictures to show.
Ci vediamo pronto!