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:
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!
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.
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!
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!