I’m in Como, Italy. George Clooney, O Brother, where art thou?

     The only thing more depressing than a night in a horrible hostel is the realization that I have to spend another night in the same hostel.
     Took me 12 rides to hitchhike from Leysin, Switzerland to Como, Italy, which I would guess is about 250km (150 miles). It was the usual hodgepodge of crazy people, interesting people, women, men, short waits, long waits, walking from bad spots, and thankfully, good weather. Even if I have the satisfying feeling of adventure and accomplishment, it’s still a very long, tiring day.

     Just your average All-Swiss Lebanese/Cape Verdian couple that picked me up hitchhiking. I sat in the back seat of this sharp Audi in the fetal position to go from Martigny to Sion. Isn't the woman gorgeous? Eight months pregnant, too. Sorry the photo isn't sharper.


     Another sleek Audi, a convertible to go over the Alps. This is the top of Nufenen Pass before we descended into Ticino, the Italian-speaking province of Switzerland. Thank you, Pierre from Lausanne, a gynecologist on his way to a convention in Lugano. Last time I hitchhiked over the Alps, I also got a ride in a convertible. Life's good like that sometimes.


     Nufenen Pass again. Pierre and I went from 1700 meters and 22C to 2450 meters and 9.5C in a flash.


     I’m by Lake Como because I haven’t been here before, it’s near Milan airport, and I was hoping George Clooney, who has a villa here, would pick me up hitchhiking and invite me into his home.
     Instead, I am in institutional hostel hell, paying 20 euros ($26!) for the privilege of sleeping in a 10-bed dorm room with inconsiderate dorm-mates. It would have been 17 euros if I had a hostel card. I knew I forgot to do something on Khao San Road.
     I tried to get a Couchsurfing host, but with no luck. It sucks being a man sometimes. I knew I shouldn’t have had that sex change operation.

     Lake Como. George, O George, my Brother, where art thou?


     Well, well, well, what do we have here? A line at McDonald's that goes out the door? So McDonald's will never gain traction in Italy because Italian cuisine is so entrenched, families always eat together, and the concept of fast food is too alien?


     A nice thing about being back in Italy is, other than Italian girls’ hair, is the supermarkets which have entire aisles devoted to pasta. And great sandwiches can be made. While I’m not a big fan of Italian breads other than ciabatta and I have to pick my cheeses carefully, I zero in on all the tasty cured hams like prosciutto crudo. I would even say that they are like the good lord sliding down your throat in velvet pants.
     Guess how much it costs to send 1 kilo of stuff home from Italy? 14 euros. That’s $18. That’s expensive. I pontificate about this on my website about packing light because it’s expensive to mail stuff home. I just like to prove these things once in a while.

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