Wabash Blogs Daniel King '10

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November 25, 2008


This past weekend, I went to the ruins of Pompeii. About 79 A.D., Pompeii was destroyed by a nearby volcano, Vesuvius. Pompeii was buried under ash for about two thousand years; as a result, the city was preserved, and today it serves as a huge archeological site. 

Pompeii was amazing. Walking down the cobblestone streets, it blew my mind to think that families actually lived in these destroyed houses 2,000 years ago. Even more, it was interesting to see how these ancient people worshiped their deities. The temples of Apollo and Jupiter are still standing. There are still some faded paintings depicting the people of Pompeii participating in a festival for Apollo. 

Everything is still there. There's a forum, a market, palaces, theatre and even a brothel. Even though much of Pompeii is open to the public, there are multiple sites still being excavated. It's crazy to think that there is still more to see; there is still so much more to discover!

The weather and the wind was terrible this past weekend, and I did not get a chance to go to Vesuvius. They prohibit travel up the mountain when the weather is nasty. I guess it would be bad for business to have someone fall into a volcano... so they just keep everyone off the volcano altogether. Even through the terrible weather, I still had an amazing time.

This week is Thanksgiving, and Italians obviously don't recognize the holiday, but the many American students are still trying to have a proper Thanksgiving meal.  Its funny watching some of these Americans; a couple of my friends have never as so much as boiled water in the kitchen, but they are attempting to make a pumpkin pie this week. So, I'm not sure how this Thanksgiving meal will turn out, but at least I'll be with friends.

November 18, 2008

London, mates!

London was incredible. Not because of the architecture or the rich history, but because they actually spoke English. You cant imagine my relief of going to a country and actually understand what others are saying. I've been all over Europe and usually I dont understand the language at all or I understand only snippets of it. Even in Italy, I can only partially understand what Italians say... they speak so fast.

But, back to London... it was amazing. I could go to a restaurant, read a menu, and know exactly the dishes that were being served. And even if I didn't know what an item was on the menu, I could easily ask what it was.

A bunch of Wabash guys met up in London. Of course, Brad and I were traveling together, but we met Nate Schrader, Benjamin Harvill, and Patrick Griffith. Nate has an aunt who lives in London, and we all slept at her flat. London is cool, but its kinda weird. Everything closes so early in comparison with other countries in Europe. All the big tourist attractions close between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Then, all the restaurants and bars are closed by midnight. In all the other European countries I've been to, they usually don't eat dinner until 10 p.m., and they start partying at midnight.

Brad and I got to London about 3 in the afternoon. We were starving, so we went a pub and ordered fish and chips... it was pretty tasty. However, after we finished eating, all the tourist attractions were closed. Then, we decided to go do something that we cant do in Perugia. We found a movie theater, and we saw the new 007 film... its impossible to find that movie in English here. We were excited. So, we met up with Nate and Ben; then, we all went to a pub for dinner and went to the movies. I must say that I enjoyed Casino Royal more than I enjoyed Quantum of Solace. But, it was still fun to say I saw 007 in London.

The next morning, we all woke up at the crack of dawn, and we hit the ground running. We saw all the big attractions, including Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Parliament, The London Eye, The Tower Bridge, Westminster Abby, and the The London Tower. We were able to see everything before 5, which was perfect because the sun sets really early in London... like at 4:30 pm!

My time in London taught me that I might want to spend a couple years out of the country. If the opportunity presented itself, I might want to come to London for a couple of years. Life there resembles America, more so than any other European country.

Its just a thought though... I'm only thinking about it.

November 09, 2008

Church in Italy

    This morning, I attended Mass. With the Vatican being so close, I knew I wanted to go to church in Perugia at least once; I felt like it something I had to experience before I left. I've been procrastinating going to service because I wanted to work on my Italian. All Masses here are in Italian, and I kinda wanted to know what was going on. I thought today was as good as ever to go to church. Although I waited, I still have no idea what was actually said at service.

    But that shouldn’t suggest that it was not a good experience. Mass in Perugia was really relaxed. People were wearing jeans, coming and going as they pleased, and also taking photos of the frescos while the priest was speaking. The church I attended today was built sometime in medieval times; on the inside, there are multiple marble carvings. I think one was of a Pope who was born in Perugia. On the ceiling, there were paintings of angels worshiping God. It’s really marvelous to look at.

    I think I’ll try to go back one more time at the end of the semester. Maybe then, I can follow the homily.