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I came here not expecting anything. I think life works better that way. I worry I won't find what everyone else finds in Europe. How they speak so fondly of this place. How they say "You just HAVE TO go!" Such ideals we have.

I was watching The Rules of Attraction and the one part where the one character goes all over Europe. How he has this prententious attitude of "You don't know until you go there." I don't think there's anything grand or important that I didn't know before I got here that I know now.

I know little things like Italian women don't really wear shorts or short skirts. They like Puma shoes and little purses (Where do they put everything?). I know leather makes me sneeze and walking down some streets makes me feel like I have asthma. I know the European women smoke when pregnant. I know that Italian men like American girls because the Italian women refuse to talk to them. I know that it's acceptable to just put the bread on the table. And that you shouldn't eat it before dinner.

But I didn't have this profound revelation of Now I'm In Europe and Know It. What is "it" anyway? Some dumb delusion people make up. Everyone's the same everywhere, but the way they hold their forks change. That's all. Maybe I've learned that, but I think I already knew.

Coming here was so. . . it was a pretty big deal. I had ideas of what it was going to be like in my head. Now that I'm here I wear my jeans and backpack. I drink coffee and don't go to museums though I know I should. I think I'm going to try to go to 3 a week. Or 3 "places." I want to go other places. One day to London or maybe Paris.

This is all too glamorous sounding but I assure you an airplane is an airplane and you will never have the window seat. Someone will always bump into you and you will always look out of place. Nothing changes just because you're in a town with an unpronouncible name. A beach is a beach. A vineyard is a vineyard (Count Niccolo or no Count). The wine tastes funny and so does the cheese. You forget Italian words and speak like a 5 year-old.

Nothing changes all that much.

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explorateur

November 2010

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