Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rounding the 4th corner into the home stretch.

It's Tuesday night about 10:00 p.m. Rome time. I'm going to bed soon as last night the neighbors across the street gave a dinner party on their balcony and were talking loud and laughing until about 1:00 a.m. My Italian professor told me how to yell, "Shut up for the love of God!" (phonetically, "Zitzi! per l'amore di dio!") but that seems more appropriate for drunk partying Italians rather than a dinner party.

Tomorrow, we get a special tour of the court of Cassazione where we will observe a proceeding with an English speaking prosecutor. This prosecutor has prosecuted some of the most (recent) famous criminal cases in Italy. He is also the former president of the European Lawyers Association in Italy. The public is normally not allowed into the courthouse unless they are parties to a proceeding (i.e. the courts are not open and you cannot just walk in) so this is very special. After the court tour, my group is finalizing our immigration presentation, which is scheduled for Wednesday evening.

On Thursday, we have the final day of classes, a farewell lunch, then final packing, cleaning of the apartment, turning in keys, etc. After that, I'm off to the Hilton near the airport. My flight leaves at 6:15 a.m. Rome time and I was too distrustful of Italian inefficiency to be certain that I could get a cab to the airport at 3:30 a.m. in order to arrive by 4:15 a.m. I checked online and the hotel rooms were nearly $300. I thought a long time weighing my options: Spend $300 or sleep in the airport. Spend $300 or sleep in the airport. Spend $300 or sleep in the airport. Finally, I called my sister Jamie and asked if she had enough Hilton Honors points to get me a room for the night (she gets lots through her job). It cost her something like 30,000 points, but she booked me a room. Thank god.

I'll be on the 6:15 a.m. flight from Rome to Amsterdam, then I have a short layover and leave Amsterdam at 1:05 p.m. I arrive in Seattle at 2:20 p.m. My girlfriend Melanie is picking me up from the airport and, oddly enough, we are going to head up to the U-district to pick up our books for school. I have the freedom to do this because Marlo is cheering at a football game and won't be calling me until about 9:00 for a ride home.

Anyway, I come bearing little gifts for my girlfriends and my sisters, which I'll get to you all as soon as I can.

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