Blogging has been an entirely new adventure for me. Prior to coming to Italy, I had read several friends travel blogs, and I found them entertaining and a great way to keep track of their vacations. This blog has primarily been written for my sister, Sarah, and friends as a way to tell them what I am doing and to easily post pictures. It has been astonishing to me that people in faraway places are reading this. It is both flattering and a little weird. People in Hungary, Turkey, India, are reading my blog. Really? Like who would care. The most popular blog by far is the one about the washing machine. At first I thought it was because that was the funniest blog I wrote, but later I realized people were actually themselves trying to decipher how to work an Italian washing machine. For those of you out there who wanted factual information, sorry.
Still it is odd to me to know that strangers are reading this. I remember long ago a software engineer told me that people had no idea how public their cell phones were. (This is when cell phones first came out. Yes, I am that old). He said thinking your phone call was private was like taking a shower in public and closing your eyes and thinking that no one is there. Writing a blog is a little bit like that.
I have had oodles of writing classes, moving me toward writing and finishing a book that is now half way done. One of the first thing that is taught in the class is to be brutally honest, to scrape through the veneer of pretense and tell the truth. In a travel blog there is a temptation to only write about how great things are, how happy the Italians are and how much fun we are having. The thing is we are having fun, the Italians are hilarious to me and some of the things are great but some are not. (Hearing the fools singing YMCA under my window at 1:30 AM is funny in retrospect but not funny at the time. I really wanted to throw a bucket of water out my window but was restrained by you know who.)
So, I am aware that this blog is read by people I don't know and that is great. What is the point of writing if the only person who is going to read what you write is your sister? The only way for me to handle this is to continue writing as if only my sister, and friends, Mary, Dorothee and Donna are reading this. For those of you I don't know, welcome to my trip.