The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Lithuanian Summer In Italy VII -Coda del Lituania

We now present the seventh and final installment in the epic tale of Mottel and Gan Yisroel Lithuania -Rimini
Click on the link to see more.

One night Danny pushed my buttons one too many times . . .

Guys were extremely hungry the last night of camp, so I whipped up some pasta using available ingredients.
Russians call all pasta macaroni, and serve it overcooked and, in the case of camp, with ketchup as a sauce *gag* .

When I served them the finished dish, the campers wolfed it down, saying that it was the best Kosher food they'd ever had . . .
But you can take a Russian from ( . . . errr ) Lithuania, but you can't take the Russian out of him -half of them proceeded to ask for, and douse, my creation with tons of Ketchup.

Пока Ган Исроэль
Goodbye Gan Yisroel

The last night, before we were to depart on a coach bus, we made a barbecue and awards ceremony.

Making shish kabob for the banquet

Yosik Krinsky enjoying his kabob

The Rabbi and head Counselor Shmueli give out rewards.

With expert goalie Boruch

With Levi Yitzchok Starkevichus

Marshmallow roast

My bunk (l to r): Boruch, Benya, Yisroel 'grisha' (on top), Yitzchok, Mottel, Arturas 'eminem', Lucas 'Harry Potter', Levi 'Crownheights', and the one and only Rička.

The Bus

A ship docking

The Journey Home

Or the there and back again, again

From Rimini we took a five hour bus ride to the Bergamo Airport outside of Milan.
There the campers were to take a flight to Katowice, Polska followed by a bus to Lithuania.

Saying goodbye to Vaxtang in Bergamo.


After heartfelt goodbyes, the remaining counselors (C, A, and one Mottel) took the forty-five minute bus ride from Bergamo to Milan Central Station. There C and A took a train to Switzerland, while I, with a day to spare before my flight, decided to go to Venice (For a summer is not a summer, unless I end up in Venice)
Taking the 'ultrafast' Eurostar line, I arrived in around two and a half hours.

I've spent two full summers in Venice, and I was more then tempted to say that I am one of the few people to visit Venice and not take a single picture . . .
But I just couldn't resist take a few more . . . for old time's sake.

In the Campo del Ghetto Nuovo

Venice never changes, and after a rewarding, but exhausting two weeks of camp, it was nice to come back to a familiar place -even if it's sunk a few millimeters since last year.

That night was the birthday of Gam Gam Kosher Restaurant's cook . . .

. . . So we made a Farbrengen

My flight the next day was at 12:00 pm. The earliest Eurostar train to Milan left at 6:30 AM and arrived at 9:05. From Milan Central Station there are two regular scheduled bus companies that run ten minutes apart from each other and leave every twenty minutes, making the fifty minute trek to Malpensa International Airport. Reasoning that even if the train were to come in at 9:30, and I would have to wait ten minutes for the bus to leave, I would still make it to the airport at 10:30, 90 minutes before my flight.
Having planned out the coming day, I drifted off around 3:00 in order to rise at 5:30.

Goodbye Venezia -taken at dawn near the entrance to the Ghetto


The train leaves on time . . .

But arrives ten minutes late in Milan. Rushing to the bus platform, I board the bus. Much to my chagrin, however, I see that my bus is being filled to the maximum capacity, despite the fact that it should have long since departed.

We pull out from the train station.


We arrive at Malpensa, only to turn into domestic and cheap-flight Terminal Two, not (my) international Terminal One.
I begin to sweat -When is the last available check in time? 75 minutes before the flight? An hour?

We leave Terminal Two . . .


And pull into Terminal One, fifty minutes before my flight is scheduled to depart.

My bags come out of the bottom of the bus. I dash like a madman to the British Airways desk, repeating to myself,
"I missed my flight! Think positive, I'll make the flight . . . but, I missed my flight! Think positive, I'll make the flight . . ."

I find the BA desk, but am asked by a security guard to show my passport, he finds my name on a list and tells me to step ahead. I approach the nearly empty check in desk, expecting to be told that I've missed the closing time and can no longer check in. Instead the chap behind the desk smiles, and tells me that the desk is open for another ten minutes or so . . .

1:00 (British time):
The flight arrives in London

I sit down in my seat for the transatlantic flight and quickly fall asleep.


I awaken to see that we are still on the ground . . . The captain apologizes (apparently again) for the delay.


We finally take off.

We land in JFK.

9:45 pm -1:00 am:

I arrive in Crown Heights, daven Ma'ariv, eat a normal meal, and go to sleep.


5:30 am:
I leave Crown Heights for JFK, in the hopes of changing my 2:20 PM flight for an earlier standby one . . . But due to a Tornado the other day in Brooklyn(?), everything is overbooked and I'm told my safest bet is to take my existing flight. It's slated to land about two and a half hours before shabbos, a little close for comfort, but doable.


I'm finally able to check in my luggage.

They announce that the flight will be delayed(!); further more it's overbooked and volunteers with flexible travel plans are asked to switch in their tickets for a new date and a voucher. A quick call to S. Crownheights confirms that I have a place to stay for Shabbos. My flight is bumped for 8:20 Sunday morning, but my baggage, containing all of my clothes, can not be unloaded and will fly without me to LA. I return to Crown heights for Shabbos . . .


The return flight is filled with dozens of Jewish kids, en route to the Maccabi games in Irvine . . . I ask one of the kids to put on tefillin, and soon the entire team, coaches and all, have gotten into wrapping up!

By the time I had made my way through the rows of kids, put tefillin on with them, schmoozed, and snapped pictures etc. It was almost time to land in LA . . .

Thus ending my Lithuanian Summer in Italy

Don't forget to check out parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of a Lithuanian Summer in Italy

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tikkunger said...

you look like such an Amish hippie!

Shabbat Shalom

Mottel said...

I'm not 100% sure what you're referring to, but I'll take that as a compliment.
I think.
Good Shabbos