Sunday, 19 January 2014

Week Six: Parts Part Known

Knowing that the tail end of this week, and the first bit of next, will be in another country, I've had to change the theme from light-related stuff to no theme at all whatsoever. This gives me the chance to just shoot from the hip for a few days, though if I'm honest, it'll more likely be from the normal position, or possibly from a tripod. At the end there will be a couple days of "oooh, foreign stuff... and neat places!" So please stick around till the end. Promise there'll be something different.

Day 1 (36): 13th of January
Strange how knowing my Niners won their game yesterday and getting to bed at a semi-reasonable hour makes the effects of my insomnia rather lessened. Not demolished, but the five hours I was sleeping were relatively restful (and all in a row!). Am a fan of making certain a couple of times each week we learn things unrelated to work in the shop. Sometimes it is grammatically based (once explained to my guys the difference between i.e. and e.g.), and other times culturally based (another time was useless film trivia). Learned today about the phrase "Son of a gun." I'd no idea where it came from, but apparently the women of questionable morals were most often found on the gun deck (figures). When an illegitimate child came of such insalubrious behaviour, any questionable paternity was by default attributed to the chief gunner. Gives whole new meaning to the term "gundecking" (usually means to slag off some task or another, or only do it half-assed, but now...well I never!) Took gratuitous outside photos today. They are neat. Outside is pretty.

And gratuitous moon shot... oooh the moon!

Day 2 (37): 14th of January
If ADD were a radio station, it would be most stations in Italy, at least those broadcasting in the Naples area. This morning I was serenaded by Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" followed by some bizarre song about dancing, then by Daft Punk, James Blunt, and Madonna's "Vogue" (all with the typical Italian commentary and occasional singing over the last bars of the song). Is enough to put a gal in a more bizarre mood than usual for a v early Tuesday. Even more bizarre is the fact that I just realised today that in my head, Nicolas Cage and Denzel Washington are basically the same person. I know. I know. Not the same person. Cage is much taller. And a bit funnier. But for some ungodly reason, my previously thought to be flawless mental movie trivia database has been mixing up their films for years. Totally rocked my foundation. I need a moment. And it is raining.

And rather chilly. Needed these. Almost always wear same in winter months, but really needed them today.

Day 3 (38): 15th of January
Someone (I'll not say who) told me today that I'll never be happy till I "get out there" and "find someone." By which I presume was meant "hunt for a man." Who says I'm not happy now? OK, maybe not every waking second, but I'd hardly categorise myself as miserable. What is it that makes some people feel the need to "fix" other people? Leave bloody well enough alone, eh? Too short - cannot be helped; too ginger - not dying my hair; too blonde - which is it?; too nerdy - oh well; too smart - assed?; too stubborn - am not; too 'low maintenance' - still not sure about that one. Some humans - i.e. this one - are just set in their ways and happy to live life as it plays out. Twenties, thirties, forties; alone, attached, dazed or confused... who cares? Let others take all the Life Stress that comes with following The Plan. I don't even tend to plan my w/ends until they are well under way. As for the rest - it'll get sorted as it gets sorted. No need to fuss about it. Have a good laugh and move on. And don't forget to take pictures. Always take pictures - or else who'll believe you were there?

Day 4 (39): 16th of January
Thursdays are odd days. They rarely have the spotlight, except for the much-loved "Thirsty Thursday" tradition that I miss (and many of you out there still enjoy). Not really a feasible pastime here, where no one lives close to one another, and Italian bars are not anything like American ones. Thursdays also have a history of some decent TV programming (looking at you, 1980s/1990s NBC; ignoring you, current US prime time). Beyond that, they are kind of the Jan Brady of weekdays. Easily forgotten and envious of the other days. Got stuck twice before I could leave work today, after spending the vast majority of the day in meetings, trying to not kill someone or drool on myself. Adds to the mleh factor of Thursdays. But for the sake of making a rather repetitive thing a little less uninteresting, I took my life in my own hands and took a number of iPhontos whilst driving at great speed. All for you, Dear Reader. But they are poor pixel quality, and there were many, so I've collaged four, so it is less ugly. Follow them left to right and top down, to take a drive home with me... See the theme that is sneaking into the week? Sky porn of a sort...

Day 5 (40): 17th of January
Leaving for Bucharest tonite. First trip to someplace in Europe that is not Italy or a German airport or the UK. Did go to Malta last year, but that didn't really feel like Europe (don't suppose it really is, as it is an island in the middle of the Mediterranean). Seems most everyone around here has already been, but I just figure that means they'll not be there to crowd the place up. I'd like to keep the riffraff out of the quaint small town (only a couple million). Rather incredibly foggy when we arrived, which apparently happens, but typically there is a mass of snow this time of year. Did some silly photos of my harmonicas before I left for the airport, and then took a photo of my foot in said airport. Tried for some photos of fog, but they were really truly abysmal.

Uh oh, she's going black and white again. Still just your foot, Rodeo...

Day 6 (41): 18th of January
Still frogiferous outside. I imagine it is a lovely city, but will have to wait until our tour guide shows us the sights. Also visiting Transylvania, which has been on the old list of buckets (I just didn't know it until I heard that was the plan). Have always wanted to see where all those poor people got impaled...But turns out that happened somewhere else entirely. Leave it to tourist traps and authors to build one up to a disappointment. However, I had a blast. We blasted through a gobsmacking palace (wish we'd gotten a bit more time, but was still lovely) where the king lived, then feasted on delicious meat goodness whilst overlooking Bran Castle (fake vampire castle). Our tour guide apparently gave Bourdain the same tour (I think B was underwhelmed with the whole experience). Ah well. Got good (and not good) piccies, so you shall not be too disappointed. Still only giving you a couple, as this is not a "what I saw in Romania" blog. First is a chandelier from Bran Castle. Looking v eerie. With a litle help from my friend the photo software...

Second, a window from same.

And thirdly (thirdly, you say?) a cool lion guard from the king's palace. Not sure what facial expression he is going for, but I dig it.

OK. One more (ravy, no?) This is Transylvania. Of course it is. Seen from the window of a speeding Merc van. So ignore the blurry field and ooooh at the mountainy cloudy goodness.

Day 7 (42): 19th of January
Today is Bulgaria Day. Not a real thing. Or maybe it is. I'm not Bulgarian, so I'd not know, would I? Should probably say it is Rodeo Goes to Bulgaria Day. Border crossing done, we saw some really brilliant country and some really interesting people. First, there was the other tour guide in an old church, who passive aggressively shut the door on us in another space, and got all huffy when we wanted to see the same space... "we cannot possibly both speak in the same area. Did you even tell them about the wheel?" Then she responded to our "thank you" at leaving, with "It's OK." How brilliant. Then at lunch (which took a million years and they clearly never caught the rabbit for the one dish we never saw) we were witness to Bulgarian Iron Man. This chap was the patriarch of a family dining at the place. What made him great was that he was head to toe seafoam green track suit / leisure suit. And at one point he strolled past the window carrying an iron. A classy man never lets his track suit get a wrinkle... Here be photos. I am typing this in a haze of migraine, so my screen is v dim. hopefully the edits (and comments) worked anyhow. iPhonto first. The morning of frog and awesome.

Then this. The reflection is almost cooler than the real houses, but it was a neat effect.

And this. The inside of this church was v eerie 1980s frescoes of rather disturbing scenes. Even for biblical scenes...

Maybe this. So many photos. Another Church, rising up above the town. In really neat light.

Finally this. Another lion. Or rather another lion and its ass. Guarding the castle and creepy church.

Once again at a loss for how to close. For a themeless week, I've had a decent amount of luck finding inspiration (or something). Took loads of photos on the trip (and there's still tomorrow to go!) Starting to get a feel for this whole "composition" thing, so there may be hope for her, yet. The natural landscape of Bulgaria and Romania is breathtaking, but in a stark and curious way. This is the first trip I've taken where the place I go reminds me of nowhere else. Even Africa reminded me of the US. If I squint I can see aspects of the PNW or Midwest, but all the foliage and mountains are really quite different. I could not stop staring at it and wondering all sorts of crazy things. Now all head wurzzie, that is all I have. Back to the sofa. 

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