For the last two days, I traveled to Ravenna, Italy to see the famous mosaics. These mosaics were featured in one of my books for class and I was able to attend a lecture by one of the authors this summer. I've been taken with the mosaics and what they represent theologically... but my silence these past few days has been due to some deeper thinking. I am thankful to my professors who have been pushing me to think beyond what I read in order to find my voice.... perhaps that voice will come out (at least on theological things).
But for the purpose of this entry, let me relay some stories. After my date with Priscilla I made my way to the train station where I deviated slightly from my path to walk into an Italian McDonald's. Oh yes.. Micky D's are everywhere and tailored to suit. Folks looked at my strangely as I carefully examined the menu without buying anything. Gelato Blizzards? Burgers with slabs of mozzarella cheese and pesto? wow...
After that cultural experience I jumped on the train to Ravenna where I had four hours to myself to write in my journal, read some books for school and gaze absently out into the darkness. Once I was in Ravenna... well, I couldn't find the hostel. It was dark and I thought that I had come out on the other side of the train tracks. So I took a right when I should have taken a left and I ended up circling. I tried to convince myself that inside my sense of direction knew where it was taking me but the next morning when I retraced my steps I could only laugh.
So around 11 p.m. still completely lost, I decided that my sanity and safety were more important than the 50 euro it would take to get a hotel room and therefore I settled in for the night. It was a simple Italian Best Western (yeah... there's the American influence again!) but the complimentary breakfast was out of this world. I ate better that morning that I have in weeks, feasting on croissants, cheese, fresh fruit, juice, good coffee and tea.
With a better map, I found the hostel in about 20 mins of walking out the door of the hotel. I dropped off my stuff and went back out to find the mosaics. I saw two sets of mosaics that first day including what was the cover art of my book. I was proud of myself for navigating the public transportation and not getting lost. Friday felt like an accomplishment in many ways
Saturday though... was different. I did get to see the rest of the mosaics. That part was fabulous. But it was cold and rainy and down right nasty. The night had been restless and noisy so by the time 4pm rolled around, I slumbered back to the hostel and crashed. I woke up a few hours later but my nap made my night difficult.
Waking up at 4:30 am to catch a train back to Rome didn't help either. By the time I made it back here to Rome, I was sick.
So I'm lying in my hostel bed, in a very nice all women's hostel, trying to take care of myself with liquids, sleep and rest. Yes, and a few school assignments have popped in too. Regardless of this minor set back though, I got to see the Jewish synagogue today and I'm headed out tomorrow to see more catacombs before flying back to the State on Tuesday.