Here are two quotes from our time in Italy. Both of them happen to be about death. Sometimes it just happens that way.  Together they comprise a very detailed account of about 10 minutes of our time in Italy. (Listen, if I have to recap this whole thing 10 minutes at a time, so be it):

First story:

For one intense car ride all I could think for about 5 minutes was, ‘Oh, so this is how I die: speeding down twisting Italian mountain roads at night, driven by a texting Italian teenage boy, while going to the grocery store to buy pads. Huh. There you go.’ I was quite calm and interested in my own impending death, especially in what a ridiculous story it would make.


Second story:

First, a little background: Like pioneers getting together and swapping familiar rumors they’d heard about gold strikes in the distant mountains that they’d talked about dozens of times before, the other volunteers and us kept talking about the rumor of a Ferrero-Rocher chocolate factory in a town just a little ways away.

This is us, thinking about the Ferrero Rocher factory. Really. Italy looks different that you think...

The subject came up at least once a day. Not only was there a fabled Ferrero Rocher chocolate factory, but we were told that there were tours. For free. With UNLIMITED FREE SAMPLES AT THE END.

No wonder we talked about it all the time.

Anyway, one day while we were discussing it, and how we could possibly get ourselves there, one of our fellow volunteers named Greg said, ‘Well, with all those free samples, I’d probably eat until I just…died.’


I considered it for a moment and said,’Yeah, but what a great way to go!’

And at that moment we decided what his tombstone would read:

I wouldn’t not mind having it happen that way. Just sayin’.


Edit:I would like you guys to know the kind of commitment I have to bringing you exciting and entertaining blogging content (read: to avoiding working on my essay): I am sitting in a library AT OXFORD UNIVERSITY, on a PUBLIC COMPUTER drawing a gravestone in MS Paint and looking up pictures of pioneers, enduring people’s judgmental and confused glances, so that you could have this post!


Sigh. I think it’s time to get back to work, dignity irreperably damaged. (oh, who am I kidding, I have very little dignity in the first place.)


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