Ciao a Tutti

So I’ve followed that path well worn by pilgrims, along any and allroads… to Rome. The shock and pressure have been manageable, and the irony of being a recent graduate of Communications and struggling mightily with simple communication has been both healthy and humbling.

It was a little over three weeks ago in Vancouver BC Canada that I was stripped to my undershorts, trussed up, blindfolded and taken to anot-so-deserted island to be covered in clay and in turn criticized and lauded by my friends. Afterwards I was set loose, shivering, more than half naked, more than half blind, and decidedly vulnerable, to confront the vicious Canada geese nesting on the island. Having accomplished this task relying largely on my sense of hearing (followthe furious hissing!) I was rewarded with esteem from my friends, aswell as beers and joints. Not least I got my glasses and clothes back.

So, needless to say, 2 days later when I was to depart, I was ready. I threw a quick goodbye over my shoulder as I raced to make my flight. I made it, though there was a brief scare with some security lady who told me that the name on my passport and ticket didn’t match. She was wrong. They did. They pay her to do one thing…Anyway, once the nearby passengers got over their irrational fear ofthis suspected terrorist they were happy to tease me about my near detainment.The flight on Thomas Cook Airlines was alright, despite my concerns about flying with a currency exchange company. The kid next to meshowed me all of his 52 Incredible Hulk playing cards and then catalogued his various incidents and scars for me. I didn’t sleep. At all. Long flight.

When I arrived in London England I managed to connect with DavidFrederick Symonds, who gave me a walking tour along the Thames and fed me a few pints of bitter in various publike settings. Much needed relief for this weary traveller. The relief was so complete that I slept all through the flight to Rome. Stayed awake the 9 hourintercontinental flight, but slept for the 2 hour jaunt to Rome.Definitely backwards.I was greeted at the airport by Chiara and her mom. Then enjoyed the first of many, many pizzas.

After a few days rest I hit the ground running, pounding pavement on the job hunt. My Italian, as you may guess, is heartfelt and earnest, but unquestionably crappy. This is a hindrance when job hunting in Italy. However, I responded to every ad written in English. This effort was met with silence and a few disappointing interviews. I may be one of the few university educated native English speakers unable to teach English as a Second Language. At least that’s what ESL schools in Rome and Vancouver seem to think. However, at the last job interview, 1 week ago, I finally hit paydirt. I found a job as a …Tour Guide.

Free Tours of St. Peter’s Basilica, get ’em here. You might know St.Peter’s. It’s been quite famous over the 2000 or so years of Christianity as the seat of Catholicism, one of Earth’s most popular religions. Also recently newsworthy when JP 2 died. Then they elected Joe Ratz as New Pope. Anyway this gigantic church is full of stunning art and monuments and history. After a flurry of studying I now know enough info about this place to choke a horse. I hope to choke busloads of tourists with my knowledge while dazzling them with big-time entertainment value: I’ll be working solely for tips and commission.On one hand it can be a shitty job earning small change, on the other: it’sa possible cash cow for the milking. I’m hoping for the latter, but will settle for something in between the two. I’ve taken heart in the words of my Irish friend Ronan: ‘It’s a dead easy gig, people will love any shite joke you crack. Don’t be afraid to ask for tips, those retards will line your pockets.’ I’m not so cynical; I plan to tell witty jokes and be richly deserving of the tips those retards will line my pockets with. Just by associating myself with this awe-inspiring monument should be good enough for a few eurobucks. The string attached to the free tour is this: the free tours are promos for paid tours to other storied Roman locales by Three MillenniaTours. As soon as I prove myself I will be learning some of these other tours. The best way to learn it is to teach it, and I will knowRome past and present, backwards and forewards.The downside is it’s super hot and crowded in St. Pete’s Square andi’ll have to hustle up my own customers. And it will just got hotterand crowdeder. But at this point i’m cautiously optimistic. And no matter how it works out, if anyone is coming to Rome and wants a free tour of St. Pete’s, look no further.

In domestic news, Chiara and I are enjoying our flat in a workingclass neighborhood in Rome. The neigborhood has a gelateria,panificio, and caffeteria all around the corner. As well, we’re on theground floor and i’m in charge of her Mom’s garden. I’ve planted grass and flowers and have been nursing a recently transplanted lemon tree back to health with my salubrious bedside manner. She and I play tonnes of Scrabble in the garden and are generally pretty good (inspirits and at Scrabble). Learning Italian, as mentioned, is coming along. I currently sound like an especially dumb child, but i’m growing up quickly, so to speak.

Enough!OK: listen up: please send correspondence: emails, essays, stories,postcards (thanks Dylan), poems and songs and pictures. I miss my friends.Snail mail and materials go to:

Signore Ryan Millar
Via Della Magnetite #46
Roma Italy 00158.
If you want postcards or something, let me know your address.

Phone Calls go to my cellulare mobilio 0039 328 323 2586. a casa is0039 06 417 346 23. It’s cheaper to call me at home, and we’re 8 hoursahead of you suckers in Vancouver.I hope this finds you well and happy. Peace be with. I’m gonna have a gelato. And finish learning Italian. Don’t forget to write. Or visit.Or write to tell me when you’re visiting.

Your man,Ryan Fonzarelli