Well, I'm in Rome. And attempting to use a weird Italian keyboard at an internet cafe. Here are some highlights of the trip so far:
- Metric System. Lufthansa told me that their baggage limit was only 23kg, when I swear I read online that it was 32kg. Both bags were over the limit, although one was just barely. The skinny German kid at the desk told me I'd have to pay $50 for the overage. There was nothing I could do, so I agreed. Somewhere along the line, he forgot to charge me for it and told me I was lucky to get away with it. Later, he was the one taking tickets at the gate and said in his cute German staccato, "You were very lucky not to be charged. Be careful next time!"
- Essen und Trinken. Unlike US airlines, Lufthansa gives you real metal implements to eat with. There's a spoon, a knife, and a spork. How do you say spork in German? I was going to steal it, but I figured I'd wait for my return flight. But at least Lufthansa was liberal with the wine. They kept refilling my little plastic cup, and I was tipsy by the time I hit Canada.
- Entertainment. The easy-listening channel on the airline amused me for a while - it was like Michael Bolton in a loogie-hocking contest. There are no in-seat movies on Lufthansa, which really sucks. The bulkhead row under the TV was full of Indian children jumping around and crying the whole flight. Also sucky: the one movie they played, Marie Antoinette. I think watching the annoying kids was better than the movie.
I do have a cell phone. If you want to call, the number is: +39 340 450 8167. I also have a new Skype account, and you can search for me or add Porsena to your Skype list.
Anyway, so far so good. Only the people at the post office have been mean to me. I didn't understand her because she mumbled. This kind of sucks, though, since I have to go buy insurance at the post office and apply for my permit to stay.
I am off to figure out how I'm going to get to the casale tomorrow morning for class. I can take a taxi the whole way (50€ or so), I can take a taxi to the metro stop where we are meeting (20€ or so), or I can take the metro five stops (1€, but I have to haul bags 1/4 mile, then down the stairs, through the turnstiles, onto the metro, and back off and up some stairs).