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Sick Day Observations

by Tara

Though I woke up feeling a lot better than I had last night, Tyler insisted we take a day of rest so I could fully recover. We passed the morning and afternoon laying together in our tiny, smaller-than-twin bed.

Tyler spent the time programming for his clients while I worked on a knitted hat for his coming birthday. Our constant quiet activity was interspersed with a few episodes of Star Trek. Being bed ridden and knit-happy all day long gave me a lot of time to think about things. Here are a few observations about the past week:

  1. People are shrinking.

    Tyler and I are both little people (I'm average/short and he's short/short) and yet we seem to tower over many of the Italians we've seen lately. Old people especially are five feet or smaller. Almost everyone here is height challenged, and Tricarico seems to be inhabited by hobbits!

  2. Not all towns are equal.

    Each mountain city we pass through has a distinctly different atmosphere. While we both loved the charming oldness of Potenza, we think Tricarico is weird and creepy. Everything is dark, people walk around in what seems like a zombie-like daze, and the town feels like it is dying a slow, painful death.

  3. Stores have weird hours.

    Shopping at a large grocery store at 2:30PM on a Thursday afternoon? Nope, it's closed. A small old lady's shop filled with panty hose and buttons and yarn? Open on a Wednesday night at 9PM. We've been trying to figure out what rhyme or reason guides shop hours, but we've come up empty. In general, we think that shops are closed between 3:00 and 5:00. Other than that, we're at a loss!

  4. We are bad hotel guests/tenents.

    While in "real life" we are respectful hotel-goers, on this trip we've become the sort of people that should probably be turned away. At hotel Grande Albergo, we used the bathroom as a laundrette and barber shop. We ran the hair dryer for so long (drying our clothes) that it overheated and stopped working. It was fine when it cooled down though! Tyler wanted to add, in our defense, that he dutifully cleaned up our mess.

    At our marble-floored establishment, we boiled water on our whisperlite IN the room. Twice. Tonight was especially exciting because the stove flared up, sending a two-foot flame complete with lots of smoke into the air (we had it in an open space with plenty of water on hand; we're not totally irresponsible!). We opened the window, furiously waving and wafting the smoke out as best we could. Tyler did a smell-check in the hallway (smelled okay—phew!).

    As soon as our pasta with pesto and parmesan was done, we quickly stowed our cooking kit and began eating dinner as if a hot meal had appeared out of nowhere. It was really good. Total cost to completely stuff both of us: roughly 3 euro. It was worth it, but we'll cook outside in the future :p

I'm feeling much better. Tomorrow we're back on the road and (hopefully) out of the mountains!

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I lived in Italy for six months and I never was able to figure it out. I learned to accept that the gelateria on the corner was open all night and no other times and be grateful for my midnight gelato.

I can't believe I've never commented on here before! I'm a friend of Julia Hood's and have been reading your blog since she told me about it, months and months ago! I especially like your photos of doors, which show up on my blog from time to time!
Posted by Kelly Anne on January 30th, 2010 at 9:58 AM
I love you guys! Way to (as safely as possible) push all the boundaries of traditional hotel guest protocol. Keep up the awesomeness.

PS On your calendar, I chronicle my own daily adventures and feelings. Right next to your beautiful faces.

Karina Beana
Posted by Karina on January 30th, 2010 at 11:27 AM
Stay warm and dry, sounds like its "slow going..." hehe

but we love you!

also love the new interface that pops up when you click on a pic, i was always accidently clicking pics and then getting sent to flickr so that rules... nice

Posted by lian on January 30th, 2010 at 7:55 PM
Kelly Anne-- Glad to hear we aren't the only ones baffled by the system. :-) Thanks for commenting! What's your blog?

Karina-- We love you too! We're so happy that you can use the calendar for your own personal explorations! Also, remember when I didn't ever like to do anything that might get me into trouble? And now look at me, lighting fires in hotel rooms... :-)

Lian-- I like it too. Tyler does such a great job adding cool things to our site! Anyway, we love you too, and yes, sometimes it is very "slow going..." :-)
Posted by Tara on January 31st, 2010 at 8:03 AM
Oh, it's http://havedegreewilltravel.blogspot.com. I do a "door of the day" feature M-F, and your photos have shown up a few times! With credit, of course.
Posted by Kelly Anne on January 31st, 2010 at 9:37 AM
Hello? Do you remember the permanent marks left on the porch and garage steps during your cooking R & D before you left? Umm hmm...seems you have not yet learned your lesson about appropriate cooking locations!


Oh yes....one other thing. I read the word wife again. Did I miss an important blog?
Posted by Jodi on February 2nd, 2010 at 11:01 PM
What do you mean you're going to start cooking outside again? You're just getting to parts of the world where there are no smoke alarms in hotels. The bathroom is the perfect kitchen.
Posted by Friedel on February 2nd, 2010 at 11:13 PM

That was with our oven, which is totally different :p

Despite what Merriam Webster might have to say, marriage has nothing whatsoever to do with legal documents to me. I don't care if any government recognizes it, Tara is my wife :)


hahahaha! it is so good to know we're not alone with our indoor fire-starting antics.
Posted by Tyler on February 9th, 2010 at 9:24 AM