Thursday, November 10, 2005

Siena Ends (The Europe Saga, Part V)

In some senses, Siena ended with a bang, not a whimper. Our final ended up being take home (because so many ADD kids they didn't feel like dealing with extra time issues), but that does not mean easy. As Irish said "I was hopin' to get my credit, not that I'd have to earn it." Well, I assure you I had to earn it. What I got, I don't know. I do know that I went and slept for 3 hours while D and Tiny stayed up all night at which point I *know* they were hallucinating.

At any rate, we turned in our papers and then Tiny and I said 'bye to D's cute roomate, Dana (who may come to NOLA to visit) and then went to finish our Siena shopping while D passed out. It was hellaciously hot, and we looked pretty damn terrible (me more than Tiny b/c she showered) and then we came back and collapsed, for a bunch of hours. Tiny and I had executively decided that we would spend our last night eating at this place called Osteria del Cice (pronounced Chee-Chay). We ate at this place about 3 times a week and was our absolute favorite. The last week we were there I discovered the most wonderful appetizer, pecorino cheese and honey. Ok, sounds nasty, I know -- but honestly, so damn good. I am going to make you all try it at a party when you've had a few drinks and don't object to the idea. SO GOOD!

Anyway, we love the Cice. Everyone at the Cice knows us. When I run into the Cice-man on the street one night, he gives me a smile and a waives knowing full well that I am feeding his children via my love of his cheese and honey. Hello Cice man! I also have a crush on a waiter there, but he wears a wedding ring :(. So we go there our last night, and a woman I've never seen says that they are all full! No! But then Cice man sees us, he knows he cannot turn us away! He says, "10 minutes" -- which is probably the only english he knows. Meanwhile Cice lady is turning away people right and left, Cice is full bitches, and we will get the last table! So we wait 10 minutes for a group to pay and leave and then sit down for our last meal.

Now as you know Italians always drink wine with dinner, which due to studying we have not done, but tonight we decide we will have the Cice wine, and so we got a little tipsy. Feeling all warm and toasty, we want to tell the Cice-man that it is our last night. He is the only one in Siena who will miss us, but we lack the Italian skills to do so. Goodbye Cice! As it is our last night, we have laundry in the wash which we decide we should go hang up so that a) it can dry so we can leave tomorrow and b) the Italian dorm bitches will jack up our stuff if we don't get it in time.

I realize that I have not mentioned the great laundry wars we have waged with our Italian dorm mates. Let me summarize to say that these bitches have stolen our detergent, started our laundry prematurely (i.e. while I went back to my room for the rest of my items which is 20 steps away), thrown our stuff out of the washers, and stolen our plastic laundry bag. By the end I was ready to fuck those bitches up! Jack with my laundry and I'll jack with you. In addition they stole D's mortadella (don't jack with D's luncheon meats) and ate another girl's pizza, leaving the empty box in the fridge with a fork in it. Brazen hussies!

Also, there are no clothes dryers in the dorm, there are just these wire racks contraptions lining the hallways. They look like rectnagular butterflies with wings that fold out for more clothes. While it seems they are communal, people have CLEARLY staked their territory as one night one of our friends washed his clothes and put them on a rack contraption and he came the next day to find they had stacked them in a wet soggy mess. Let the boy's clothes dry for god's sake! He tried to re-dry them, but his friend insisted they smelled (the detergent is citronella scent which is fairly pungent anyway--perhaps this serves the dual purpose of cleaning and keeping away bugs) so he had to rewash all his clothes. Poor kid.

Tiny and I being crafty bitches, we went on a hunt and found a folded up dryer and hid it in our room so we could dry our clothes at our whim. We ended up sharing this with our neighbors/fellow students so that they too did not get jacked with. But I have degressed into the Great Laundry War of '05, and I apologize, back to the last night....

So we are all very tired, but we decide, dammit it's our last night and we're going to go out, even if it's just for a drink. So we go to Cafe del Corso, which is the F&M's of Siena as I've mentioned before. Tiny had not been before as the only other time D and I went was after the Contrada dinner. So we take Tiny to the 3rd floor so she can see the dance floor, all american music btw, and this guy walks buy and kind of feels D's hair. She is not too upset by this as this has happened to her at parties before. The man leaves, but comes back after a bit and tries to talk to us. He asks Tiny's name and kisses her hand, does the same to D, but then gets to me, asks my name, and leans over to kiss my boob! I quickly turn away but kind of hit the wall and D starts shouting at him (thankfully) to stop and calls him names of some variety.

She looks at me and says "man, what is it with you?". I want to say "clearly, it's a D-cup," but this is not the time for witty reparte. We decide to exit and as we come down the treacherous stairs, the disgusting man pops out again at the second floor landing. D, who as she likes to put it "is in touch with her anger" shouts at him again to stop as he is trying to come talk to us, and then calls him a pig. In French. She thinks. The man backs off, and we go careening out onto the street talking of the vileness of these men.

I decide that I don't think D called him a pig, I think she called him a ham, but that it's notreally the words that matter but the tone: in my slightly drunken state I decide that I will start calling these leches a pompeloumousse (grapefruit) or a grabadora (stapler) if I feel like it, but with a haughty and imperiously bitchy tone. I believe D's philosophy is correct: we are women first, tourists second, and shouldn't hesitate to cause a scene if someone is getting fresh. Especially if we can use ridiculous terminology to make the men feel inadequate.

While we are having this discussion, we realize that we have gone completely the wrong direction in the Siena maze, so we go down several side streets, and end up popping up on the main street right back in front of Cafe de Corso. But by this time all the remaining students have gathered -- so do we leave? No, we go back for more drinks! At this point the main topic of conversation is this one kid, or more specifically, his pants.

This kid, although sheltered, is a decent enough fellow, although apparently he says strange things in the law and sexuality class like "I think sex should be cherished" which is fine, to cherish it and all, but if you want to advertise to the class that you are a virgin I think a t-shirt would be easier, and perhaps lead to less uncomfortable pauses in class. So at any rate, this kid has left behind an entire suitcase when he fled Siena immediately after exams. A whole suitcase! In the suitcase, or garmet bag as he has referred to it in London, were his suits and formal dresspants. Irish, being a stand up guy along with his new pal Jeff call the kid's dad to find out what to do. It turns out the bag is his dad's army bag (he is some army dude still) and he bought these suits for the kid especially for the trip (awwww) .

Anyway, the Dad says something crazy like "Don't split up the clothes!" which I guess being in the army he feels he can order everyone to do. But Irish informs us a bit drunkenly that he's made an executive decision and that he is in fact going to divide up the clothes, mostly pants, amongst the people going to London and that the suitcase/garmet bag which is really quite worthless (I think Irish valued it at 25 cents but has sentimental value to the kid) will go back to America with Jeff where it can be cheaply shipped to the dad. I really had this great vision of Irish dividing the pants amongst the Londoners; much like Jesus with the loaves and the fishes. The kid will probably get some sort of army punishment for this like laps or pushups or something, but hey, he has all his pants.

D feels that this entire scenario has very freudian implications. Dad's bag, suits bought by his Dad just for this trip...I had to admit there was a ring of truth to it. Also, the kid told us that he just wants to go home and buy the house where his parents live and then build a smaller house behind it for them. So his Mom can do his laundry. Ok, so the last part about laundry I just added, but honestly the rest of that is word for word. It will take a special woman to marry into that situation.

The next day, Tiny, D and I all take the train to Pisa as that has the dual benefit of having the leaning tower and an airport. We go to the leaning tower and take the obligatory holding-up-the-tower picture. And it was pretty cool. Except there were lots of tourists and shit, which is never fun, and lots and lots of tards just like us pretending to hold up the tower. Yeah, disgusting. As we didn't have much time, we didn't climb the tower or go inside, but honestly it was so hot and stuff I didn't feel like doing more than saying yeah, saw it and got the t-shirt, so let's roll. So we go to the airport for D to take Easy Jet to Berlin, and Tiny and I to go to Paris. Although Easy Jet should really be called Difficult Jet. Perhaps even Fuck You Jet.

I'm standing in this hellacious Italian line to check in and then my bag is over the weight limit. Shit. So can I pay? Yes but no. I can pay, but not in THAT line. I have to go stand in another hellacious Italian line, with one person, and I stand there for 20 minutes and ther is NO movement. None. Zero! D and Tiny keep circling the airport. So finally I get up to the window to pay. How much?!?! 78 euros?!?!?! that's like a $100! Also, even though Tiny and I booked our tickets at exactly the same time, it charged me 48 euros more for my ticket. Total ticket cost: 248 euros. I could have bought a real goddamn plane ticket for that amount!!!

But it gets better, once I paid for the baggage, I have to get back in line to get my boarding pass -- but D says fuck that and convinces me to cut in line Italian-style as I just have to grab the ticket and head to the gate. So finally ticket in hand, and with sadness, Tiny and I part ways with D for Paris.

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