Tag Archives: Italy

Alerts to Threats in 2011 Europe

10 Feb

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.”  The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out.  Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.”  The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbor” and “Lose.”

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia , meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be alright, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is canceled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

— John Cleese – British writer, actor and tall

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Field Trips

25 Jan

While I’m all for class field trips, usually meaning downtown in the city, somewhere close, convenient and affordable for everyone, I didn’t expect my teacher today to propose going to Vancouver/Seattle for a four day weekend type thing. While it sounds pretty great, it’s not exactly my type of traveling, two cities in 3-4 days? A bit overwhelming. Two days traveling on a bus is not my cup of tea and most of all – I have nothing in my budget for this kind of thing.

I’m already broke, I really can’t afford something like this on a whim. Plus, in my mind set, doing a trip like that just isn’t worth it or the money spent.

If I were going to Vancouver and Seattle I’d at least make it a week if not two, not one day in each city bustling around to numerous galleries and the like without really even being able to soak in anything of the city itself. Also, I figure the nights will be like Italy all over again, everyone getting having a party or being loud in general in another room, while I have a bath to myself and go to bed early.

I probably sounded about 78 just then, but that’s what I did in Florence haha. It was actually quite nice to have a moment of quiet, the hotel room all to myself without the 5 other girls and get some much needed sleep.

If this trip happens, I’m quite sure I’m staying put at home.

March 30th 2001

30 Mar

We have been in Rome for a few days now. It is sorta like the New York of Italy. Tonight is out last night here!

The first day we arrived we walked to the hotel with our luggage, then we caught the metro to the forum which is an Ancient Roman ruin. Mainly explored Rome a little bit.

Second day we went to the Colosseum or Amphitheatre. I got a photo with “Roman soldiers.” We walked through the old city hall and our guide said that the path that we walked on was the time of Nero. We went to the “Mouth of Truth” and I got a photo of that as well. We also went to the Pantheon which is a chapel with a hole in the ceiling. It rained earlier in the day so there was a velvet rope around the puddle that was draining.

On the last day we went to the Vatican which is a state by itself in Italy. I sent mom and dad a postcard with the pope on it. [Which arrived after I got back home.]

March 28th 2001

28 Mar

Today was sleep in day. In the morning I went to the Uffizi, a famous art gallery, with a few others on the trip. The line took 4 hours before we got in. I bought a book with most of the paintings in it. After the gallery we met at the square with the old palace. I got a book about Florence and a shirt that says “Italia” a bunch of famous Italian buildings spelling it out.

We are going to Rome tomorrow.

March 27th 2001

27 Mar

Today we went into the Accademia. The pieces of work are unexplainable. It was very strange to see the pieces of marble with people “coming out” of them. It seriously did look like people imprisoned in the marble and Michelangelo was the one to free them. The “David” was crazy! So life like! Michelangelo even went to the lengths to include the veins in his hands and arms, neck too. I bought a guide to the Accademia to just see all of the artwork again. I also bought some postcards and a hand painted name from a vendor on the street. You spelled your name for her and she painted it on the spot for you.

Tomorrow is our last day here. I think I might phone mom and dad tonight.

March 26th 2001

26 Mar

Today we woke up at 5 AM to catch a train. It was very beautiful. The ride was 3 hours long and the scenery was… unexplainable! I can now see why dad can remember a lot about this country. Today we are in Florence. We will stay here for 3 days, make that nights. Today we did a little bit of touring. We went into a church called… I have forgotten but I’ll list the name when I get a book or ask someone. [Basilica of Santa Croce.] But inside it was “wow.” This is where they have a whole lot of people laid to rest. It is interesting because there is a white slab of marble in the floor, carved with the person or words inscribed saying who it is. Among the people there are – Da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo and a story writer. ( I can’t remember the name at the moment.) [Rossini] I took photos of them though. Tomorrow we are going inside the Duomo and inside another place to see the real “David.” It should be interesting.

I have noticed the gypsy people in some of the squares asking for money. I do feel sad about them but it is hard to tell if they really need it. We are meeting our guide tomorrow at 9 AM which I think is nice because we get to stay off our feet for a while longer.

Everyone is in one room for a party. I did not go mainly because I wasn’t invited but I feel I need some alone time right now. I am going to read for a short while then go to bed.

March 25th 2001

25 Mar

Today we took the #6 boat over to Venice. We met our guide below the bell tower and we were off. She was very nice and knew her stuff! First she told us about the Basilica of St. Mark. Then we went into the palace of the Doge. Very interesting! Then we learned some more stuff and it was shopping time! We had a choice of going up the bell tower or take a gondola ride. I chose the gondola. I’m glad because it got very foggy quite fast.

Then shopping.

I bought a glass boat in a bottle, a book on venice and some other odds and ends. I also saw a man blow glass! Tomorrow we are all going to Florence! I can’t wait for the train ride.

I also talked to mom and dad tonight, that was good to hear from them.