I’m trying really hard to focus right now but there is a ten year old kid behind me singing the most recent Nickelback song about have a drug dealer’s phone number on speed dial. I’m in the community club at Camp Darby in Livorno, Italy in need of some gelato and a beer… which I have just gotten in the form of a 24 oz. Heineken. Whew….
The last 3 days have been a whirlwind, sort of. I guess I need to fill in the blank part about getting to Italy from Germany first —
After getting my superunclelovehug in from Hunter, I decompressed from traveling and passed out promptly on my sister’s family room couch. The rest of that day was me randomly passing out from lack of sleep and traveling only to awake finding myself completely naked and hogtied with a group of gnomes piercing me with their pointy red hats… the usual. The next day I was registered with the military to be the guest of a military civilian so I could travel in to and around military bases without being beaten and stripped naked and hogtied with military police piercing me with their billy clubs or whatever they are given. Kind of an anticlimactic day that ended with a nice greek dinner in the cute town of Vellburg. (The kid’s parents are singing “Friends in Low Places” now.)
Thus two quick days came and went in Germany with the 3rd day bringing forth a predicted eight hour car trip which slowly evolved into a thirteen hour car ride. Luckily it was thru some of the serious most beautiful european land you could drive thru, the Brenner Pass. There were more castles than you could shake a gnome’s hat at and they all were worthy of stopping and walking around… if we had not been in a three car caravan. My sister took the most of the driving, since I was still seriously lagging, while I covered the Austria portion; she’s not legal to drive there for some reason involving gnomes that I can’t recall. Finally, after multiple autobahn stops and hunter seriously testing the loving capacities of his mother and uncle, we pulled into the little military base of Camp Darby, totally exhausted and tired of forward motion.
The next two days were spent setting up the summer camp that I will be (kinda) working at for the next two weeks. The highlight of setting up was helping put up a big ass military tent with a few of the army personnel. My perspective is, while there are many exceptions to this rule, the military is a breeding ground for dickheads. It’s all about who can do what others can’t and who can treat the others shittier than the other higher ranking official. At least that’s how it was in this limited tent putting up experience. It was fun, hard work though that left my hands bruised from using a 2×4 as a mallet to get the stakes in the ground. As a reward, I was treated to my first look at the mediterranean at dinner time at a beautiful little ristorante a block from the beach. Amazing. It completely set me at peace and I felt so happy for being where I was at the moment I was there. (The kid is singing nickelback again… whimper)
Already by the second day, the newness of the military base and it’s culture began to wane and I wanted to run away. I will elaborate more on this later but military base life is straaaaange; kinda like college, amped up on testosterone and stupidity. I was chomping at the bit and planning a solo trip to venice when I met up with a band of rowdy youth and their leader, who swept me away to the incredible lands of Cinque Terre….