Starting in Rome

Sunday, October 2, 2005

I arrived in Rome this morning by 10:30 AM and found my hotel much more easily than I did in Paris. I am more experienced in getting around now. By 1 PM I had even purchased a ticket on the EuroStar for Florence. I will go there on Tuesday. I do not know if I will find any internet connection here. No one seems to know how to do it. I found two internet access points, but they do not allow me to use my own computer. It is strange that they want to see my passport before they allow me to use their machines. They also want to track my use of the Net. I do not care about the passport or surveillance, but I do need to use my own machine because I have so many files to send. France and Italy, and I suspect most of Europe, are just not developed in terms of the Net yet. I can see just how much the internet has become a part of my life in America.

As strange as it may seem I am using French here. I could use English, but I am in a French mood and it matters little whether I speak in English or French. The same amount of information is exchanged. I am very happy to see how useful my French is. Even in France, though I was limited in what I could do with it, I did have enough grasp of the language to allow me to feel comfortable. I felt home there. I enjoyed France and Paris immensely.

Now in Italy I feel that I am in a foreign country. Ah I miss the food of France already. I know absolutely no Italian and I feel out of place. So now I am getting what I wanted, a complete immersion in Europe. France was just the warm up.

Rome and Italy are ethnic to me. What I mean by that is that the mind set in not Northern European. I consider Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, the Nordic regions and similar northern countries to be within my cultural realm. Southern Europe including Italy, Greece, and Spain are outside of that realm. Since I put all my mental energy into preparing for France, I am not psyched up for Italy. However, now that I am in Rome I must make the most of it. My trip to Rome and now Florence are a part of gaining travel experience. Tomorrow I will see the Vatican.

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