I came, I ate, I ate some more, I went back to Paris. And I got really tan. And naturally I saw lots of amazing things along the way. But it feels good to be back "home."
A Finet-free home no less! We saw loony-toons yesterday for what I hope to god will be the last time ever. It seems that fate arranged one last ridiculous confrontation, just for old-time's sake. Upon leaving the building we happened to run into one of the downstairs neighbors, started talking about the situation, I was about to give her my contract and rent receipts for their court case, and who should pop down but the celebrity herself! True to form, she was listening at the window four flights up, and came down, zany guns a-blazing. Lots of rapid French back-and-forth ensued between her and the neighbor, during which I went into a semi-catatonic state from the futility of it all. And right now she's calling me claiming she'll give me back the money for September... later this week, or something, oh, but first I need to come and take the latch off my door because her and her brother can't get it off-- gosh, it seems somebody put epoxy in the screws. Whoops! And I'm telling her no way, not until there's money in my hand, to which she says no, and I'm hanging up. And she's calling back, saying oh, actually my brother wants the apartment for half the month, so we'll reimburse you for that, but you still need to take off the lock, and I'm saying I didn't put the glue in, which she takes to mean I didn't put the lock on, which I'm fine with her believing as well. And she seems genuinely baffled by that, and appears to believe me, which genuinely baffles me. And then I'm telling her that I'll be gone during the middle of September, which is true, and then she says some convoluted thing how she'll call her brother (you know, the one that was supposedly there in the apartment during the last call!) and see if blah blah blah. And thus a fitting interaction to mark the end of the relationship.
But back to the trip! Our first lesson: avoid Florence and Siena in August at all costs. Second lesson: be prepared to sell organs on the black market for the money to rent the car last-minute in Florence in August that will enable you to drive through the backhills of Tuscany. Third lesson: it is very worthwhile to drive through the backhills of Tuscany.
Some other Proven Facts from the past weeks: Trattoria Latte di Luna in Pienza makes the best roast suckling pig in the universe (and they have a talking bird that greets you with "ciao! buona sera! come va!"), grilled eel at Lago Castiglione is very delicious but is almost sickeningly rich, there is some very very bad pizza to be found in Sorrento, Barcelona is a lot cooler than Paris, Spanish wine tastes good, lots of people at hostels are annoying, and Pompeii is surprisingly huge.
All my vacation photos are posted on Flickr, check them out.
I went back to school today after nine weeks of lazing about, which is good. I am already feeling the hurt of my much longer commute, but such is the price I knew I would pay. This week I'm taking Pains de Tradition, which is cool although I'm skeptical of many of the teacher's explanations.
It feels good to be productive again.