September 18, 2011
We woke up still exhausted from our adventures from the day before. After packing up our things and checking out, we headed into the square for breakfast and to update the blog. We apologize for the delay in the posts but we ran into tons of wifi issues and our pictures not uploading.
After breakfast, we wandered around Hvar and downed yet another gelato before catching our return ferry to Split, a little after 1pm. We had a few hours in Split to explore some more before boarding our night ferry to Ancona, Italy. We visited the palace crypt and then scoured the shops to use up our last hakuna matatas. Natalie purchased a beautiful floral scarf and I finally succumbed to buying some of the lavender that they are selling in most of the stalls, along with a map and some bracelets. We had a delicious early dinner, and my risotto happened to come with a creature in the middle. We bid farewell to Split and headed to our ferry.
After barely checking and stamping our passports, we boarded the ferry, which looked more like a huge cruise ship. Our 4 bedroom cabin was very nice and although it did not have a window, it did have a shower. We ended up with a fourth roommate, a female (thank God), from Croatia. Her name was Jadranka and she is studying pharmacy in Perugia, Italy. She was so nice and we all became fast friends.
We decided to explore the boat for a bit and Jadra led us around since she has been on the ferries quite a few times. It had a nightclub and casino, which was mainly a bunch of older Italians line dancing to a keyboard playing tracks to synthesized beats (awesome video to come).
We made our way to the sun deck where there were tons of people drinking at tables and walking around the ship. We grabbed beers and hung out for a while chatting with Jadra. It really is amazing hearing other people's perceptions of the USA. We asked her what cuisine we are known for and she said instant dinners (like TV dinners) and she was laughing at our spray olive oil. Also, they recognize our "all work, no play" mentality and think that it is awful. I find it incredibly interesting that "the American Dream" is not everyone's dream as we are grown up to believe. We assume that everyone wants to be American when in fact, most people think we are crazy. They think we don't know how to live, we waste our lives away at desks working long hours, and they wouldn't trade with us if they could. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that Americans truly stink at enjoying their lives. Yes, I understand that we all have to earn a living. But what good is that money if you aren't really living or experiencing anything? I really feel that our country needs a lesson on having a passion for living and frugality. As I travel to more places and experience more cultures, I can't help but think that these people know way more about living and enjoying life than we do. Their jobs do not define who they are. Rather, their families, countries, and experiences do.
I think I am becoming more European by the day!