Tuesday, June 26, 2007

International Assignment- Tracking Routes

The study of human interaction...

Metro Route (GPS)~
One man catches my attention right away. He is standing against the front of the metro looking at all the people. He stood out to me because most people stare at the ground, but he was observing and watching the people around him, just as I was. The man was probably around 55 years old.
The next people I chose to deserve were the 4 people sitting side by side on the left side of the metro. The first in the row was an old lady, probably around 70. She seemed annoyed with the world, perhaps even angry. Next to her was a woman around the age of 35 to 40. The woman was not alone, but the man she was with was not sitting next to her rather he was standing in front of her holding the railing above. At some points the man and woman would speak to one another, and at other times the woman would be checking her phone as the man seemed to attempt to see what was on the cell phone screen.
The next person seated next to the woman with the man was another woman around the age of 35 to 40. This woman was alone, but didn't seem to mind because she seemed to have her full attention devoted to the newspaper she was holding. I couldn't see which news paper, but whatever it was it was keeping her busy.
Next to the woman with the newspaper was a man around the age of 45. This man's behavior kept me entertained. At first glance it looked like he was reading a paper, but after looking more closely I realized he was actually holding a comic book in front and was reading that. He wasn't paying any attention to the people or things around him, he seemed only concerned with his comic book. I found this amusing because I kept wondering to myself whether he was holding the paper over the comic book because he was embarrassed for anyone to see what he was actually reading.
Sitting across from these four people were four other people. The first, who was sitting across from the angry old lady, was a timid looking old man around the age of 70. I thought he looked timid from the uncomfortable position he was sitting in and the way his arms were crossed over his bag that was laying on his lap.
To the left of the old man was another older man. This man was probably around 60, and he was with a friend who was actually sitting right beside him. These two men, both around the age of 60, seemed to be having an interesting conversation. The man on the right seemed to be doing most of the talking, but his friend didn't seem to mind, because he looked as though he was listening very intensely. These two men seemed to be very interested in what was being discussed, and therefore didn't pay much attention to the other people around them.
Next to the two men having conversation was a woman around the age of 35. This woman seemed uncomfortable and starred at the floor for most of the ride. Her hands and arms were wrapped around her purse. She seemed uneasy.
(Included in blog- video clips from metro and audio)
(GPS track for this journey can be found on google maps)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Following/Stalking its all very creepy

This is the picture I got when I randomly saw them again more than 30 mins later! We were hiding behind a dumpster across the street so it was hard to get a pic.

Photos from here on are in chronological order...

Notes from "Following"-
5:05 (17:05)- On Viale Giulion Cesare. I just found a couple that i decide to "follow". The woman is wearing a red shirt, army print pants, red sneakers, big gold hoops, and sunglasses. The man is wearing really ugly grey stripe pants, sandals, and a white shirt. (Not sure why I chose these people but the woman is wearing a red shirt so it should make finding them easier.)
-They stop at a vendor. The woman looks at a pair of flipflops but doesnt buy them.
-Walk to the next vendor stand. Woman looks at cargo pants. Doesnt buy them and then continues walking.
-They turn down Via Oltaviano.
-Arms linked.
-His arm around her shoulder.
-They stop to look at clothes in a window (store= Tabacchii) (5 mins).
-They then turn left onto Piazza del Risorgimento.
-5:35 (17:35) Couple stops and sits on a bench.
-(It is now 5:43- They have been sitting on the bench for almost 10 mins now- I want to take a pisture but i cant get one without them seeing me--getting really paranoid right now- i think they know something is up.)
-5:51 (17:51) They finally leave the bench and continue walking.
-Now on Via Coi Di Rienzo
-Get sketched out because they were looking at us so we hide in a store called Stefanel (at corner of Via Fabio Massimo).
-I look back out and they are gone. Not sure where they went and I startgin to creep myself out so I decide to stop.
-5:56 (17:56)

END "following"

So after about an hour of "stalking" I officially feel like a creeper!
My roommate and I decide to shop a little on our way back to the Residence.
After going in a few stores we head back discussing of course how sketchy we feel about what we just did.
I tell her that I hope to god that i never see those people again...cause im pretty sure they knew something was going on.
We finally get a Via Candian and Via Mocenigo...which is pretty damn far away from where we lost the people we were follwing in the opposite direction they were walking and we see them (time=6:26pm)!!! At this point im so freaked out that we jump behind a trash dumpster and hide!
I have no clue how it is even possible that we saw them...maybe they were following us at this point.
soooooo creepy!

I have to say I have NEVER felt so creepy as i did today. I was so nervous and paranoid the entire time. Basically I hated it- def not something I want to take up as a hobby (which is a good sign because then I would be considered a stalker).

As far as im concerned following and stalking are the same thing and i would prefer not to do either!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

2 hours in Testevere

Documented Experience
Tuesday, June 12:

1:30 pm (13:30)- Arrive at Location
1:40- After much consideration I finally find a place to sitt and rest. It took about 10 mins to decide where I was going to sit because I needed to get a spot that was comfy...especially since ill be here for the next 2 hours!
2:00- I have only been sitting here about 20 mins and I'm already bored. People are looking at me funny. Prolly because im sitting in the street with a notebook starring at them. I love to people watch, but its hard to do when everyone is already watching you. I knew I should have brought by sunglasses! Then i could have starred at people and they would never know.
2:30- I like this area a lot. Its like a secret hide away tucked into the busy city. Its actually very calm and relaxing here. I find it hard in Rome to find places like this. I miss my patio at home because it is so peaceful.
2:50- I have almost been sitting here for an hour, but I dont mind because it is the perfect day. My butt is starting to hurt a little though so I think I may stand up for a little while. I wish I could walk around but the assignment said you had to stay in the same place.
3:00- Back! I just realized I have been here for an hour and I have only been writing about my own thought and not about what is going on around me...better start paying attention.
3:05- I feel as though I'm in a movei right now. The little alley with the little italian men and women walking around. This is all so surreal. It seems as though even when the people are working they still sustain a peacefulness. Every sound I hear does not disturd the peace but adds to the moment.
3:10- Its almost like I have blended in with the area. People arent really looking at me anymore, they are just going about their daily lives. I love just observing the people as they pass. One elderly man just walked by. He was so cute! He was walking so slow and it seemed as though he was in front of me but he really wasnt all there, his mind seemed to be somewhere else. I wonder what he was thinking. I always like to watching people and make up my own stories about what I think their lives are like.
3:22- I decided to write 3:22 because 22 is my number! I miss lacrosse already. It hasnt hit me that I only have one year left. That makes me so sad. I cant imagine my life without lacrosse. That seems silly to some, but it has been such a big part of my life for so long. I will have to find something else I love to fill the void. I would really like to take up riding again.
3:30- Got a little off the subject of Testevere for a minute. I guess im just enjoying to moment. The scenery is so peaceful that my mind has sort of been wondering. I find that I have a lot of deep thoughts here. I find myself constantly reevaluating my life. I wonder if this happens to a lot of people when they come here.
3:40- Just saw a hot guy. I swear you cant even sitt in an alley without seeing one. They are everywhere! The worst part about going back to America is going to be not having all the good looking men. Wish I could bring all the Italian men back with me. Speaking of going home...I have to do it in less then 3 weeks : ( I wish I had more time here!
3:50- Guess I have almost been here for 2 hours. It kinda went by fast. I guess because I was thinking about a lot of things and the weather is so nice. I didnt really write about the people walking by that much...hope I did this assignment right. This class is so different and abstract...I love it. I have never gotten to do stuff like this. I feel like this class makes me think about a lot of things on a whole new level...it scares me sometimes.
4:05- I wouldnt mind staying here a little longer but I have to go to the Coloseum. I am soooo excited to go in it! It is one place I HAVE to see. I think the whole story behind it is so intriquing. I guess there is a story behind every place though, they just arent all so well known. I wonder what the story behind this place is...

(location- Via Della Lungaretta)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

External and Internal "Map"

External Map:
On the box I wrote "Quando Di Roma" (written using all the names of places i have been to or want to go to in Rome). I chose to write this because since being in Rome I have decided that I want to get a tattoo that reminds me of this trip and I want that tattoo to be "quando di roma." And since getting a tattoo is an external way to represent a memory I figured it would be appropriate to use it for my external map.
On the side I also drew the Metro Line A because I take it everywhere!

Internal Map:
On a piece of paper I wrote down a lot of the thoughts that I have been having but usually never say outloud and than I cut them up to create a puzzle.

The pieces put together.
Complete project.

"Drifting" through Trestevere

Old bookstore.
While "drifting" through Trestevere I saw some interesting things and people. So below are some pics from my "drifting" journey...

This is interesting because it is a brand new door on this very old house. Everything in the area is so old and this brand new door looked so out of place.
Cute kitty wondering the area we were drifting through.

This random guy noticed us taking pictures and i guess he really wanted to be in it. PS- i didnt include the next picture of him lifting up his shirt for us (trust me its not a pretty site).
too bad it was closed : (
Old shoe repair store.

Its amazing how when your not even trying to find something you can stumble upon so much. The entire time I never even bothered to notice where we were or where we were going and it was so nice and relaxing. And without evenly trying we ended up back where we started.
Its funny how when your not even thinking about being lost you manage to get yourself unlost.

I Have a Map

I have a map...
and its no help at all!

Temple University Rome kindly provided us with a map, but it is absolutely no help at all. Perhaps it is my inability to read maps, but for me maps do nothing but make things worse.
I find that when I have a map all i try to do is find street names and when I cant find them i start stressing.
I have decided to keep my map in my bag and use another method...go with your instinct and ask locals for directions. I have found this method extremely successful and it seems to keep my stress level down.
So i offer this piece of advise to all those foreigners out there- put away your maps!!!


Being lost...
is the worst thing in the entire world!
And when your in not only a new city but a new country where you dont even speak the language it makes being lost a million times worse.
Just today I was unfortunate enough to get VERY lost and was therefore an hour late for class.
The interesting part about getting lost is how differently each person reacts to it. Some become navigators, some followers, some complainers, and some just freak out.
I find that when I am alone I freak out, but if put in the position where im in a group or with others who are freaking out I feel it is my duty to remain composed and try to fix the situation.
Today for example I was distressed about having to ride on metros and buses that were so packed i could barely breath, but when i saw how others were distressed I managed to pull myself together and pretend to be composed so I could be helpful.
Being lost is stressful on everyone both emotionally and physcially, but it is how you react that determines the outcome of the situation.