Well, I just had my first mishap which will necessitate delving into a new-to-me part of Italian life. I think I just fried my flatiron.
And before you scoff, yes - I was using a power adapter/converter. The same one I've used for every other electrical device I've used in Italy (including my computer, right now). But apparently that wasn't enough for the flatiron, which, immediately upon being plugged in, started spewing smoke. I unplugged it again immediately (so it couldn't have been plugged in for more than 3-4 seconds), but now it won't even turn on when I try plugging it into different converter/adapter sets I have here. Hmm... I'll need to figure out (a) what the Italian word for flatiron is, and (b) where on earth they sell them around here.
Anyway, a brief recap of the trip so far:
* I discovered I'm not necessarily a huge fan of the nonstop service from Portland to Europe. I love it in principle, but in practice it depends almost entirely on who you are seated beside whether it's a brilliant thing or an exercise in torture. Okay, so my experience wasn't so bad as to call it torture, but the folks seated near me did make it nigh to impossible to get a wink of sleep - so I didn't sleep at all on the flight. I got here on Tuesday a completely foggy wreck.
* I had planned to get from the airport to the hotel the super-cheap way, i.e. on public transportation. Again, fantastic in principle, but the result is that I ended up lugging my two heavy bags up and down too many flights of stairs on the Milan Metro and today, two days later, my arms and shoulder are still very sore. I've also found bruises where I didn't know I had places. It'll heal, but it just helps to confirm what I've now come to believe, that...
* I'm not a good traveler. That's not to say that I don't do it relatively well, or accomplish what I need/want to, or whatever. It's just to say that while I love being in other places immensely, I've gotten to the point that I no longer like the traveling part - I don't like the getting there. I'm okay with long car rides, but somehow a full day (or more) of being in planes and/or airports really sucks the life out of me. Ah, well. I'm here now, and no more airports in sight for at least 5.5 weeks!
I did end up getting help with my bags from a completely unlikely source (see the Italy Logue for that story), and in the end that episode made my day completely. I still grin when I think about it. And I just heard from a friend that the chocolate festival in Turin is this weekend, which would be pretty fun - we'll see if that works out.
So, I'm tired and my body's aching, but I'm here - and now I need to find an Italian flatiron.