Thoughts on a Land Called ‘Narni’

May 24th, 2010

Somewhere in the center of Italy, there is a magical place called Narni.

No, seriously. TPK has a friend who is an artist in the city. She is part of an art co-op or something, which means there is a living/work space within a castle villa. Which means we are staying at the complex.

Yes; I am staying in a castle in Narni. There are unicorns everywhere! (And by “unicorns,” I of course mean olive trees.)

We got into town on Sunday night, and spent earlier today poking around the sleepy town. I was able to get an espresso and breakfast pastry on the main road, and then we met up with TPK’s friend. She and her boyfriend fixed us a fabulous lunch of pasta, quinoa salad, cabbage, and blood oranges & chocolate. We talked a bit about our experiences in Italy, as well as how awesome Seattle is. (TPK’s friend lived in Seattle and will be returning there in the near future.)

There is a real castle in the city, too. We hiked through the hilly town to get to it; unfortunately, it is only open Friday-Sunday during April and May, as well as most of the summer. Luckily, the woods begin right by the castle, so there was a small clearing with benches everywhere. I plopped myself down on a bench near several Italian men enjoying a mid-day break. Nothing too notable happened; TPK and I just BS’ed for awhile to kill time. I decided it was time to walk back into the center of town when a looming rain cloud blocked the sun.

Back in Narni’s center, we grabbed some gelato. Today, I went for pistacho, crema, and straccalia. Delicious, and I figured walking uphill for most of the day was good enough reason to get three scoops.

Tomorrow, we plan to take the train into Rome so we can hit up some historical sites.

As far as life lessons go, I am realizing how much I value, as TPK’s friend put it, “time to just be.” I originally planned to find a summer job in Seattle when I got home, but more and more, I am leaning towards spending the summer willfully unemployed. Not an American ideal at all, but I think after seventeen years of school followed by two years of full-time work, I deserve some play time. Yes, the past two months have sort of been play time, too, but I don’t think I’m ready to give that up. This will be the summer that I cross off “Have a Seattle summer” on my 30 Before 30 list, I guess. After all, once September rolls around, I will basically be tied up with grad school for the next two years. And after that, possibly a career and/or, yikes, a family.

I have a good enough head on my shoulders that I can balance adventure and work; this trip has shown me that there is a whole world (literally) of opportunity out there in student affairs. I just have to want it bad enough to make my dreams happen.

Also, I am adding Rome and the central area of Italy to possible internship lists. I am not going to back down on this; I may need you all to keep dogging me to pursue an international internship since I can be prone to settling if I am not proactive enough.

Dang it, I just have to keep believing in the impossible.

Now, onto a cup of tea.

May 26th, 2010

I am at the Rome airport, battling flight anxiety. It’s to the point where I start getting worried about my flights a day or two in advance. I’m not sure what it is that causes me to do this, but it’s troublesome. (And yes, Mom, I’ve tried thinking happy, relaxing thoughts.) Regardless, I am heading to London tonight.

Narni and Rome were both great. Rome is a tad too packed with tourists, however, and I may have stared at the crowds seated in front of the Fontana di Trevi and the Pantheon. I never once saw anything like that in Madrid, but then again, Madrid isn’t really home to many ancient ruins. Don’t try to count the Templo de Debod, either; even if you did, the crowds did not park their fannies down on the site.

I find it hard to believe that in just a few days, I will be heading back to Seattle. I also find it hard to believe that I have yet to figure out how I am getting to Wenatchee for the 30th and 31st, since I technically can’t move back in to my apartment until the 1st of June. Either way, I am ready for summer to be here. I can almost taste those delicious Cuban-style sandwiches from Paseo’s, and I’m looking forward to BBQs and bonfires and lots of good times.

I am, naturally, a bit disappointed Super Ninja and I couldn’t coordinate schedules for one more Europe meet-up, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. It would have been difficult and expensive to do so, and let’s just say I’m running low on the euros. For now, Super Ninja will continue living it up in Europe while I park myself in the rainy Pacific Northwest.

Anyway, I have one more city to explore and evaluate. London, bring it on.

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