Walking along the Arno River today, a foreign man in Pumas and a track jacket grabbed my sister's butt and said, "Hey, where you goin' -- McDonalds?"
That's when we realized... we're not in America anymore.
Sruthi and I (2/3 of the Snap Crackle Pop Trio from MoCo) traveled through the Inferno (i.e. an 85 degree Lufthansa 747) to Italy today, via Frankfurt, where we were walking-zombies and I was mistaken for a German multiple times.
Pros and Cons of International Travel on Lufthansa:
Free Baileys and Cognac (which we passed on, thank you very much)
Ben Stiller movies
Cute baby with 'fro
No air conditioning
Broken seats that didn't recline
Cute baby who's mother changed him on the plane (poo!)
Teenager who listened to music louder than me
So all in all, not terrible... not great, definitely sweaty... and very long.
Now we are in Firenze, where my sister is studying. After some more walking-zombie moves around town, we ended up at the Duomo, where we ran into the Thorpedo herself -- Mrs. Thorpe, a huge Penn State fan who was kind enough to chaperone our high school trips to Europe. Also there was her daughter, Julie (who I used to travel with on those high school trips), and her husband. Always comforting (though baffling) to see familiar faces in foreign places.
I've tried to use as much Italian as I know (ex: "Calme!" = "Easy, tiger!"), but I really prefer using my newly-acquired French skills (ex. "C'est une voiture!" = "It is a car!"). I will also spend an entire day using a British accent as a sociology experiment... who gets harassed worse? British girls or American girls? I think I know the answer: the Indian-American I'm traveling with. (They don't know what to make of her)
Tomorrow my sister has assured us that we will walk the 490 steps to the top of the Duomo... take that, Stairmaster... we've got a nice view from here.
Ciao for now.
CK, Sruthi and the Tron