My Italy Trip
November 9, 1999

Carlos was nice enough to meet me in front of my apartment so he could show me how to get to work. Driving is definitely an adventure out here. The roads are very narrow. People park on sides of these narrow roads and a lot of times they are parked at an angle so that they stick out into the street. A lot of times you barely miss the oncoming traffic. Some of the things they like to do here is if they are waiting at a stop sign and they need to turn left, they will pull out to block all traffic to their left and wait there for an opening in lane they're trying to get into. It was an uneventful day at work. I'm always trying to learn more Italian. It is definitely easier to learn a language when you are constantly surrounded by it. Whenever we go for coffee break in the morning, they always pay for my coffee. They have these blue keys that they credit with money and then they use these on the vending machines. Usually a group of about 5 of us go for coffee break. Someone will usually put their key in the vending machine and then offer coffee to the whole group. Anytime I try to put money in the vending machine, they tell me that they will take care of it. After work, Carlos asked if I was going to eat out that night. I decided that I would. He had me follow behind him so he could show me a restaurant in Celano. He talked with the owner and the owner was kind of apprehensive, because he did not know English. He told Carlos what the main menu was and Carlos interpreted it for me. This was all while we were standing in the lobby of the restaurant. While I was waiting for my first course I decided to call Jenny and tell her that it would be a little while before I could call her. I looked at my cell phone and it said "Bad SIM card". None of the buttons would work. I had dropped the phone in the parking lot just a few minutes ago. I tried disconnecting the battery and then connecting it and that seemed to work. The only problem was that whenever you turn the phone off and on, you have to put in the PIN number to activate it. I had left my PIN at work. I was bummed because I wasn't able to call her the previous day and I didn't want to go 2 days without calling her since she was expecting my call both nights. I ate rice and fagioli beans. Then for my main course I had lamb. It was all very good. Afterwards I drove back to work, which is 30 minutes away, so I could call Jenny. It was nice to talk with her.