Those who know me know I am not a morning person. I can
stay up till 5am easier than I can rise then.
Nevertheless, I popped out of bed, and was out the door and on my way to the airport by 7:45 am. A neighbor gave me a ride to the BART station, and I only had a few minutes wait for the train to SFO. It was supposed to be the hottest day of the year with temperatures over 100, but it was only 77 when I left. As we neared the airport, I dug around my bag looking for my alarm clock (since I wasn't taking my cell phone nor pc to Europe)and discovered I'd left it behind. Oh well, if that's all I forgot, all will be fine. Trip was pretty uneventful, but very long: over 17 hours. Fortunately no weather nor volcanic ash delays. Andreas and Manuella met me at the airport holding a small "WCER" sign and drove me to the hostel in the countryside outside Bologna. Although I'd escaped the CA heat, it was in the 90's! I remembered to ask to be on the 1st floor (and not the top floor which is where they usually put Americans) and was. I later spoke with an Indian family of five who were bitterly complaining about being on the top floor. To be charitable, the organizing committee did their best. Unfortunately, they had little idea what they were doing. After having spent almost a full day in transit, I was pretty exhausted. I was relieved to find out that the hostel was only 85 euros for the whole stay instead of 85 euros a day (which is what they first told me - just one of many mistaken perceptions - by the end of the week, I felt like a mushroom - kept in the dark and fed a lot of fertilizer). I did have a lovely room, and the other two ladies who were supposed to share it never showed up (one misperception about which I was very happy). They also told me there would be a meeting to explain all the details and and an "Opening Ceremony" at 7 pm. I was soo happy to see again my Lithuanian homeys, the great Danes, Geza from Germany, and Andras Corben from MA, but was soo tired I thought I'd take a nap. The Italians give a whole new meaning to the term Pagan Standard Time. Although I awoke before dark, and had nice chats with friends, everything kept being delayed. I decided to go back to sleep and recuperate, and Inija promised to wake me for breakfast.