Should I stay or should I go?–thank you, The Clash

Schizophrenia. That’s what I’ve got.

For a couple of weeks I’ve been anticipating my return to America. I’m anxious to get back to a normal life and get a routine going. I’m anxious to work again. Now, however, with only six days to go I find myself wanting to stop the clock. A sadness is buried in my chest.

I’m leaving Italy for good. Continue reading

Visiting the hilltop towns of Abruzzo and Marche before returning to America

Trees really do lose their leaves in Italy. At least a few do. A very few. I stand corrected.

I noticed such this past weekend as I toured some of the local towns in my rental car. For only eighteen dollars per day I was able to get an SUV similar to my Hyundai Tucson at home. Brand new, with all the accoutrements, I was stylin’. Continue reading

No musings, just the blather of a returning expat

“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times”. No, that’s not right.

“Four score and seven years ago”. Nope.

“In the beginning, God created the heaven and earth”. DEFINITELY not. Continue reading

The countdown to my return home continues

The leaves don’t fall from the trees in Italy. They don’t turn color. At least I don’t see it if they do.

Nevertheless, it is autumn, my favorite time of year. I’m seeing breathtaking photos of Oregon on my Facebook page from friends. The colors are dazzling, as they are every year. It makes me a little homesick. Will there be any color left for me when I return next month? Continue reading

Back in Italy, the countdown to America begins

I absolutely could not sleep last night. My flight from Cairo arrived in Rome at 8:30 p.m. My bus from Leonardo da Vinci was at 9:30 p.m. which didn’t give me a lot of time to get off the plane, through Passport Control, into the john, to the ATM and then the bus. Fortunately, everything fell right into place. Continue reading

LUXOR! Day four

OK, so I took another day off. My flight was at 5:00 a.m. and I had been awake all night. Arrived in Luxor just after 6:00 a.m. It was already 78 degrees, well on its way to the forecast of one hundred and three. The sun was rising over the Sahara horizon and there were a few clouds that made it a bit humid.

2015-10-18 06.42.53For eleven dollars I got a cab to the Sheraton Luxor Resort Hotel. For only sixty-one dollars, I got a spacious room in a cabana that looked out onto the pool. Featuring a sitting area, marble floors and a marbled bathroom, I was stylin’.

I have to admit that I was starting to feel really guilty about paying so much for a room. Throughout this expat experience, I have been booking rooms through Airbnb or, living the life of a starving author (save for the starving part). Since Luxor was a last minute decision, the Sheraton was the best I could do. Yes, I could have gotten a room for ten dollars a night but I wanted something that would have good internet access and information on the sights I wanted to visit. Continue reading

CAIRO! Day three–take it with a boulder of salt, if need be

Today was an off-day. I went to bed about midnight and woke up at 2:00 p.m. I hadn’t realized how much I was burning the candle at both ends, touring around in this extreme heat. Today I looked at my self in the mirror and I appeared to be much thinner.

That, in and of itself, is a good thing. I’ve been working on losing weight and was down about seventeen pounds at one point. But today I looked kinda sick. I’m chalking it down to the shape of the mirror. I will weigh myself when I get home–and get back into lifting again, too.

But at least my thighs feel better. Continue reading

CAIRO! Day two

My thighs. My thighs.

My thighs have been utmost in my mind today. After spending several hours riding my camel, Michael Jackson yesterday, I woke up this morning with my thighs stretched from here to Alexandria. As I walked down the stairs to my waiting driver, I moved like a stick figure.

With breakfast (pita bread, cheese and Egyptian tea) already finished, I hopped into the car and my driver whisked me off to the Egyptian Museum. I had heard that this particular museum has the best Egyptian artifacts in the world. Made sense to me. After all, it’s in Egypt. Continue reading

“It’s better to burn out, than fade away”…thank you, Neil Young

Is it better to burn out or fade away?

As this expat life winds down, I’ve been contemplating the future of this blog. Initially, this blog was to be about adoption and my book about adoption. And that was its focus for quite a long time. Continue reading

Italy idiosyncracies

It’s curious how ordinary things can be inspirational. As I attempt to make note of every detail of my experience in Europe prior to my departure, I find myself inspired by travertine.

This marble is prevalent throughout Italy. It’s everywhere. Last night I took a late walk to the seashore. The sidewalks were all travertine. In America, sidewalks are usually concrete. But here, travertine is the rage. The whole country is pretty much either marble or rich topsoil so travertine is apparently as cheap as cement. Continue reading