Friday, February 19, 2010

American Girls, or Why I Evidently Should Have Studied Abroad In Switzerland

Do you know that internet access is a human right in some countries? Not only does Switzerland consider it a human right, they also have some of the fastest broadband internet speeds in the world. Estonia, Greece, and France all consider internet access an inalienable human right.

So why, then, did I choose to come to Italy, land of the "Yeah, we'll get around to it...someday," public services and apparent lack of affection for making sure students studying abroad can like, I don't know-- actually keep up with their loved ones, do homework for online classes, and run blogs?

Monday night, I was laying in bed, streaming The Nanny (no judging), being generally happy, when it crapped out. I called the internet company the next day, and they told us it was a problem in the telephone lines (I believe it-- the entire neighborhood is holed up in the corner bar, the only place with functioning Wi-Fi in apparently, a 2 block radius,) and that they were leaning on the phone company to get it fixed. Great. The next day, I called back to check progress on the strong-arming. "A technician will be coming tomorrow, probably in the morning," I was told. Awesome. Thanks. Next morning, no show. Next-next morning, still no tech. An apartment full of 8 angry women. 6 angry guys above us. Peeved American students all up and down the block. And the only thing I can think the phone company is doing is sitting and rotating on their thumbs.

I'm sorry. I'm a little steamed. It wasn't so much of a big deal when I KNEW I didn't have internet, but now that I'm paying a REDICKULUS amount of money for it per month, I would really, really like to exploit it as much as possible. I would really like to be able to talk to the people at home that I miss. Like, reassure my parents that I'm ok and to ignore and not open my monthly bank statements, or to be able to make Spring Break plans with my roommates in Dublin. Potentially, even-- TRY TO FIND AN APARTMENT TO LIVE IN WHEN I COME BACK SO I AM NOT HOMELESS IN BURLINGTON.

Because do you know what internet-less American girls resort to for entertainment? It's nasty, nasty stuff, my friends. Retail therapy. Chainsmoking. Consuming entire bottles of wine, and starting to drink just after the sun reaches the zenith. Unsafe behavior. Risky road-crossing. Gelato addictions. Baked good and chocolate abuse. Spending horrific (HORRIFIC) amounts of money on new books to keep one's self occupied in lacking electronic pages. Talking to the local men. Taking far, far too much time to gaze at Michelangelo's David. (By far the hottest man in Florence. Those abs. Those buns. That...ball-sack. That's carved out of marble? Seriously? Seriously?)

While I am whining, let's insert a few other general complaints:
- I absolutely despise sleeping alone.
- The guy above me blasts “You are my everything, everything, everything, everything,” while having bed-post banging sex. This is why I do not sleep with bros. If I heard that song, I would be out of there before the end of the first chorus.

- I live in a madhouse. Please save me. Except for Alli, I never want to live with women again.
- I want a good beer like I want a fucking hard-on inside of me. And then, I think I want the beer more. Something tall, dark, full-bodied, with great head. And we’re still talking about the beer, here. Italy-- not a place for internet, or good beer.

- After seeing Avatar and beautifully joined-up alien/alien animal relationships, I really, really, miss Saph. This is the longest I have ever gone without seeing her. I am missing my other half, people.

If I make it back home alive, you have Robin to thank for the majority of this. He tried, really hard, to find me functional internet without the cost of a pint-and-a-half beer or banana and Nutella milkshake. He makes sure I am properly entertained and don't walk alone at night. He hears speeding mopeds before I do. And last night, he cooked dinner and got my Avatar ticket in advance. Along with the general fond company and lack of interest in each other, I think this is what an old marriage is like.


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