In an interesting twist on the hobo, they have gypsies here. I regard that as far more visually acceptable, as gypsies, while beggars, tend to wear colorful costumes and bizarre hats.
I couldn't sleep at all last night, suffering from the worst case of jet lag in recorded history. From 2:30am until 6am, I read my book and convinced myself our ancient apartment was haunted, which it probably is. At around 5, I believe I heard a murder committed upstairs, or perhaps the murder was committed hundreds of years ago and it's re-enacted every night by the specters who suffer in limbo, unable to rest in peace because of their many gruesome atrocities. Either way, it freaked the shit out of me, and I lay in terror for hours, debating whether to wake Alex so I didn't have to suffer alone. I chose to let the boy sleep, finally falling into slumber myself just as the sun rose. I'm on a mission not to nap today, and thus, perhaps tonight, I'll actually sleep.
Because God has always made it clear that I can never have my cake and actually eat it too, I'm sick. Coughing and sniffling, with headaches and body aches, I don't feel like eating or drinking. I know, I know. That's the whole point of Italy. We're going out to these fabulous restaurants and all I feel like ordering is zuppe and tea. But Dad and I visited La Farmacia today, where I procured some curious syrup which will apparently cure me instantly. We shall see.
Mother and I headed back to our favorite outdoor market, where I bought Bonnie some crazy and fabulous jewelry and got Dad a man-pashmina, as I'm unable to visually tolerate the unfortunate plaid monstrosity he brought from home. He now looks like The Godfather or a similar Italian patriach, and I'm quite pleased with myself. Tonight, it's dinner someone along our piazza, and then heated games of SET back at the apartment.
We're all quite excited for The Ryken's to arrive tomorrow, as Alex and I have discovered several bars we plan to frequent with them. It's still terribly freezing, and I hope Kate and Dori received my e-mails encouraging them to bring long johns and mink coats. Speaking of which, many, many women wear full fur coats here. While, yes, I think animals are great and cute and everything, I've always maintained that they make better apparel than pets. Thus, as soon as I get home, I'm pulling out my grandmother's old furs and bringing back the 80's. Throw red paint on me, call me a puppy killer, I don't care. I dig the fur and the confidence that these women seem to have wearing it.
I'm currently surrounded by a bunch of too-cool-for-school American's who are bitching about someone named Heather while wearing Dolce and Gabana head scarves and planning mini-breaks to Lisbon. I feel as if I'm the loser in the background on a European season of the Real World. Now, making me look like an even bigger tool, my father has just approached, frustrated and disheveled, and asked me how one "forwards" an e-mail. Good lord...