Preparing for Madrid

Authored By Brian

A couple of days of warm but beautiful weather in Rome have passed. I “took the day off” yesterday and lounged around mostly to recover from a long weekend as well as give my left foot a rest. Since Bay to Breakers 2003 it has been an injury that won’t fully heal. That’s something I really enjoy about slow traveling: the chance to take a break now and then.

As a result, I’ve watched a fair bit of TV here, specifically MTV. I saw a video from a new female artist named Jojo called “leave”. It was a pretty standard pop song with heart-wrenching lyrics about lies, cheating and breaking up. When I said “new artist” however, I meant brand new. As in, this girl looks like Britney Spears but she’s lucky if she’s pushing 15. Although watching the early foundation for a future porn star was disturbing, the video comes across shallow and without feeling as it’s clear someone this young has never really experienced the feelings she’s describing. Maybe the song should talk about passing notes in class or riding BMX bikes so her age group could grok it?

The other surprising thing is they play the unedited version of Eamon’s “F*ck It” – on TV, in Supermarkets and Internet cafés. I guess since the swearing is in another language they can get away with it, despite that most people here speak some English. I have always wondered about Spanish radio in California and whether or not they were crazier than their English counterparts.

I sorted out my luggage situation with Air Europa (or at least I think I have… we’ll see tomorrow). I went by their office to find that I would be charged 7€/kg over 15kg! That would cost something like 350€ extra. FedEx and Mail Boxes Etc. both could get the job done for around 150€ but I would have had to repack my stuff in their boxes. Instead, I bought another plane ticket for 88€ and will plan to put one of my pieces of luggage in the seat next to me. Fingers are fully crossed.

Today I did a little shopping on Via Del Corso which has all of the big brand stores. Italians take fashion seriously – the uber-hip Lacoste polo shirt runs about 80€ and a pair of Diesel jeans here will set you back about 160€. That’s if you can find them. The buildings these stores are in are like labyrinths complete with multiple floors, hidden stair cases and dead-end hallways. It’s a lot like the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose except you don’t get a guide. Case in point: I went into United Colors of Bennetton looking for the shirts they had on display in the windows. Maybe they were sold out; I looked everywhere and asked for assistance but came up empty. My friends in the retail biz would be so upset.

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