Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Arrivederci, Italia

What can you say about a long day of travel?

At the train station in Rome, a pair of white-robed nuns stand in front of a huge sign covered in young models in sexy bras.

It is the ideal metaphor for the duality of this country.

At the airport in Rome, we find a clusterf*ck at the Alitalia check-in, so typical of the lack of organization here.

On the bright side, everybody knows that and accepts it.

At Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, we see little of the romance that was so evident when we came through here en route at midnight in a light drizzle.

On board Air France to come home, one of our dinner choices is duck, a seemingly exotic offering for an airline, but not to the French.

When we are asked to take a survey, it questions how attractive we find the containers and cutlery of our in-flight meals.

Only in Europe.

As I read my book "East Hill Farm: Seasons with Allen Ginsberg," filled with tales of sex and drugs in the '60s, it's hard to believe that our fortnight of holiday is finally winding down.

It's been everything it could have been: exciting for this first-timer, enervating at times for the other, filling, awe-inspiring, tipsy, surprising, melancholy, exhilarating and above all, just plain amazing.

I sure am lucky.

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