Sunday, October 18, 2009

Doing as the Romans Do

So I have to apologize for the late post but here are a few snap shots from the past month. Above is one of my Team Leaders SGT Camarillo (Just recently married) who is currently inspecting men from our platoon before a Class-A Inspection.

Below is a picture after a morning long hike of Mountain Training in Asiago. I am standing with my Platoon Sergeant Rodolfo Delagarza, by far the best PSG in the Army
I took a four day trip to Rome and stopped in the Vatican. Of course I had to take a picture of my favorite sculptures, La Pieta.
And in the typical fashion of American tourists, made a stupid pose while standing in front of an ancient monument. I am sure Titus wouldn't mind.
Kevin Mcdonald and I decided to start our time off in Rome the right way, drinking a Moretti and eating pizza while sitting on the Spanish steps and watching the crazy tourists pass.

So what have I learned so far? No matter how you prepare yourself, adapting to a new culture takes time. Having already been to Italy, I made the great assumption that transition to actually living in Italy would be easy.

I could not have been more mistaken.

Moving from the leading world power to any other requires a certain patience, the ability to wait as people around you move at a slower pace. The Internet will be slow and down more often than up. Voicemail is really a joke. Everything will cost twice as much as you assume it will. You have to pay to sit down. You have to pay to sit down and go to the bathroom. You will only be able to do real business between 10 to 1130 and 3 and 4 in the afternoon. And you will blow at least 8 lightbulbs on the electrical system that was designed by a cross-eyed psychotic.

But then you have a glass of even the most meager wine with a fresh piece of pan “bread” and enjoy the olive oil and mild breeze blowing through the pleasant afternoon and realize…

Maybe this is why they don’t move fast.

Suffice to say my move to Italy has been a painful lesson in patience and appreciation.

This weekend was tough as my entire unit enjoyed a four day weekend. I however had to stay back and pull Staff Duty. You are basically the on-call officer waiting for the inevitable incident where someone gets drunk and hits someone or there is a meltdown on some part of post. Much to my chagrin I found out I wasn’t required to be on duty afterwards because someone higher up couldn’t get paperwork straight.

The good news is that I will be more diligent to plan my weekends traveling, away from any paperwork.

My goals as of now: The UK, Oktoberfest, Prague, A bullfightt in Spain, Skiing in the Alps……and a bevy of other bits of depauchery and such.

We Shall see how it all goes. J