Thursday, May 7, 2009

Leaving Catanzaro

Wednesday was a 12 hour day that saw us having dinner at a seafood place. I ate some stuff there that, a year ago, you would have heard me saying, "I'll never eat that!"

Our Italian colleague ordered the food and the wine (we shared 1 bottle between the 3 of us). The food just kept coming. He didn't explain what any of it was. I was left to my wicked imagination and the teachings of Jacques Cousteau.

There were little fried fish. Not like fish sticks you buy at Burger King, but actual fried fish. You could see their fried little lightly breaded eyes. It worried me eating all the bones and the tail fin, but they told me it was the way to do it. I just made sure to chew forty times before swallowing. Crunchity, crunchity, crunch.

There were the clams. They were cooked. I think I would have balked at anything raw. Tastes don't bother me, but textures will send me hurling to the bathroom.

There were things that looked like baby octopus legs. There were things that looked like baby squid heads. I'm not sure about any of it. At one point I was eating some noodles with some cream sauce when something made a squishy crunch. I think it was a hidden lobster eye or something. I lost my appetite.

That all happened at 22:00. We didn't leave work until 21:00.

I think I was in bed before 00:00 that night.

I should mention that Wednesday at lunch my luggage finally arrived at the airport. It was about a 30 minute drive from the customer site. I was glad to get to change pants. I was on my last pair of socks and undies from my backpack. I was starting to get nervous and my pants were starting to have a plastic permanent sweaty feel. I didn't bother to perform the sniff test.

Thursday was to be our last full day at Catanzaro. The day was spent making arrangements for returning to Italy with a solution to the problem that brought us there. We never could, with 100% certainty, say, "Here is your problem". We had several solutions but they all required coming back to Dallas and making a return trip in a few weeks.

Thursday evening we decided to go see our friends from Tuesday night, but in reverse order. We started at the pub across the street from the hotel and ended at the Irish bar.

The bar across from the hotel was having karaoke night. Karaoke in Catanzaro is a bit different. They have a big projector that shows the words on an entire wall. The bar suddenly goes from 50 people to 250 people with standing room only. Everyone seems to know all the songs and they all sing along. One or two people are picked out to hold the microphones and kind of lead the singing. I couldn't tell if they were being chosen at random or what. I offered to do my striking rendition of "Welcome to the Jungle", but they weren't interested. I wonder if it's been translated to Italian.

It was at this bar that we made an interesting discovery. There were no ugly women (we weren't looking at the guys -- maybe I was the ugliest one there). I mean, no offense, but I've been to lots of bars and normally the bar is predominantly filled with people I don't particularly enjoy looking at. This bar in Catanzaro had 0 ugly women. Most of the women were very good looking. On a scale of 1 to 10 and 100 women, there were maybe 2 5's, 93 6-8's, 3 9's & 2 10's. If my wife it reading, she's an 11.

The Irish bar was about the same as last time. I think the bartender introduced us to his sisters or cousins or something. We met a guy going into the bar that had an English girlfriend. I think he might have been an Italian lawyer. I don't remember the details. He said he was traveling by train to Rome the next day so we decided we'd do the same.

We met him again the next morning in Lamezia at the train station. The train ride from Lamezia to Rome requires a post all on it's own. You'll understand. It has nothing to with him.

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