My Italy Trip Entry 8: Just Another Day

Today hasn’t been too eventful. I basically woke up, cooked my first meal, and wrote on my blog. Although myself and the roommates did go on a walking tour of the other side of the river (because we missed our side), the weather has been so dreary I haven’t had the desire to take a lot of pictures until the views can be seen in their full glory. Actually it has been pretty gloomy outside this whole time so I am quite excited for Monday which will hopefully be sunny. However, I did still take some photos. These are from Ponte Vecchio – a really neat bridge with the stores jutting out the side of it.

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I am proud of this delicious pizza a bit bigger than my dinner plate that I bought at Conad – the grocery store – for only 2 euro. And I added some cheap pasta sauce and ricotta cheese to make it a masterpiece. Honestly I could eat another one right now, but I fear I may grow fat at this rate haha.

Right now Im actually a bit bored because Shannon and I got caught up in travel plans and I wasn’t able to leave the apartment in time to shop for a warm jacket. Because I only have this one black one (as you can see in the pictures). We would like to go downstairs to Rex, but the problem here is that nightlife doesn’t start until 11pm, so we are in this strange limbo period. We cant watch tv and we don’t have any school work either. I have a feeling though that my future self might come to envy the current me, but who knows, maybe ill be so busy I wont mind 🙂 I suppose that is it for now, but I will have hopes for tonight!!

Ciao!

Oh and here is a picture of the late night gelato place IMG_6802

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My Italy Trip Entry 7: Bonjourno!

Bonjourno!

It is now the morning of my 3rd full day and I managed to get up at 9am, woohoo!!! As I sit here and eat the delicious fried egg sandwich I made without a spatula – apparently the last person only ate soup and pasta – that I am quite proud of, I will first discuss the coldness of my room. Im currently in the kitchen and the temperature is fine, but in my bedroom we all swear it is at least two degrees colder. My roommates and I have hypothesized it is due to the tile floors or the ancient windows that open to a beautiful view of the top of the duomo (a really big dome basically). I would show you the view right now, but seeing as how we are five stories above the ground and the window opens outward, I’d rather not be the first to leave a chalk outline of the street from falling out the window. Its often so cold at night that I wear leggings under my fuzzy pajama pants and i keep my socks on. I put that in fancy italics because my mother would understand how hot and uncomfortable sleeping with socks on is. However, when it comes to this apartment it becomes a survival method.

I realized I mentioned “we” and “my roommates,” but I haven’t actually described them. There are four of us total: Myself, Elisa, Shannon, and Maria. Shannon is the tall blonde who often wears a bun (so far at least). Maria is a short dark haired girl who is actually here studying abroad with her boyfriend whom she has been dating for 4 years (I am quite jealous). Finally, Elisa is of average height with long wavy-ish hair who had her luggage delayed and is basically living off two outfits. I know I am a wonderful describer of people, but I will post a picture of us on our first night together for you in case your imagination did not blossom with ideas after my description of my roommates height and hair. The order of the girls from left to right : Elisa, Maria, Shannon, and myself. IMG_6739

This image is from our first night here at this little food bar, caffe thing none of us looked at the name for. Frankly, our greedy American minds were distracted by the sign that said “buffet.” It was 7 euro for a glass of wine and all-you-can eat which my frugal self found to be a great deal. While I did eat one of everything, I tried not to eat a lot in fear of shaming our country and our eating habits. But I really liked the store owner and the chef who we practiced some of our Italian with. They have the buffet every Thursday so I am hoping we visit again.

I suppose the next topic will be my stairs of DOOM I mentioned last night. So we live on the “fourth” floor, which is technically the fifth, which somehow equals at least 10 flights of stairs. And the last two are extremely steep. I fear I may not return from my trip abroad because I will have slipped down the death trap that these people call stairs. But don’t worry, if im lucky, while I fall my head will hit the thin iron railing instead of the cement stairs. Upon moving in I had to carry al my luggage upstairs. There was the guy who transported me from the airport who also accompanied me up to the apartment, but i did not hold back my feelings towards the stairs on the way up. I actually had to stop 3/4 of the way up because my arms were killing me. I kept apologizing for being such a weakling but honestly, I think anyone would’ve struggled with that heavy luggage. Shannon’s friends Nikki and Tay have groaned every time they’ve had to make this treacherous climb. On the plus side, it is a fantastic calf workout. Lets just hope the carbs don’t outweigh the stair benefits.

One thing i am having trouble with is that when you walk down the street I think the store owners or people are talking to me (mostly men of course). Like a little while ago I was walkng down the street and this store owner was just creepily standing in his doorway looking at nothing as far as i could tell and I swore he said “Ciao Bella” really quietly as I walked by. Since I am not Italian I don’t know what to say in that split second. Am I just being rude for not responding. And when walking to my apartment step this old lady with her dog were sitting on some steps and she just started saying a bunch of italian I didn’t understand a word of. Worse, she was staring RIGHT AT ME, I don’t even think she blinked. So far my method is to keep walking straight, look no one in the eye, and keep walking like I know what I’m doing.

On another note, what is the point in learning scusi? I have not heard one person say it. On these streets it is pedestrians walk at your own risk. The people are impatient, especially the ones in cars or scooters. Its as if everyone is secretly part of this underground race they don’t want the Americans to find out about. On our ride from the airport, the driver was literally weaving through people like traffic cones.

Oh just on a complete side note, I found a jar of peanut butter at the grocery store!!!! One small jar is about 5 euro while a bigger jar of nutella is about 4.IMG_6715   

   That makes me think of an even more exciting point. Last night on our way back from a bar called Uncle Jimmy’s, I was craving gelato and everywhere was closed. Everywhere but ONE place right down the street. I cannot recall the name of the place, I’ll try to take a picture later. But the point of the story is that they have nutella flavored gelato and America we need to catch up!!! But I will add a picture of the beautiful Piazza della Repubblica with these really huge arches and a restaraunt where they play live music and the waiters dance while serving you. IMG_6765 IMG_6767 IMG_6769 IMG_6770IMG_6784IMG_6763

Also at Uncle Jimmy’s college students write their names and their college all over the walls and ceilings and I found UF and GO GATORS!!!!!!

After our permit of stay meeting, Maria, Shannon, and I were handed a coupon for a free coffee at a coffee shop called Astor, obviously meant for study abroad students. They are playing the Superbowl there on Sunday and we would like to be our American selves and watch it, but the pregame starts at 10pm, and the actual game itself at 12:30am. Seeing as how I have class at 9 the next day, we’ll see how that actually works out. On the bright side i did have my first Italian cappuccino there:) IMG_6755

There are still may things I could discuss, but I do want to get ready and visit this vintage clothing shop before my roommates return from their orientation. And I should probably finish unpacking…. yes I am terrible and got bored unpacking so I just left my suitcase next to my bed, Anyhoo, I’ll talk to you later and add a few random pictures to satisfy your visual senses (Duomo included) 🙂

🙂  IMG_6718

This is a coffee machine at my school. I can basically vend myself a latte 😀

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My Italy Trip Entry 6: My second full day

Technically this is the beginning of my third full day since it is close to 2:30 in the morning, but I definitely haven’t gotten used to the time difference yet.  The earliest any of us managed to get up today was 11:30 am. In addition to it being hard to fall asleep at night, our street is very LOUD. Apparently it is the place to be. So instead of walking to Uncle Jimmy’s Bar tonight, and getting lost on the way there, we literally could have just walked outside our apartment. There is a place called Rex right across the street is poppin and there is also a new place we discovered called backstage that my roommates and I want to visit. I mainly do because I saw a sign that said “free wifi” and to me, whenever I see the word FREE I am immediately attracted to it like a moth to a lamp.

Well a certain someone from home is nagging me to go to bed, so I will add pictures and address the following topics hopefully in the morning if I manage to get up at a decent time:

how cold my room is, how cold it is outside, my trip to uncle jimmys, my roommates and new friends, my stairs of DOOM, and I suppose whatever else comes to mind. Goodnight Florence, I will see you in mattino!

Ciao!!!

My Italy Trip Entry 5: My Apartment (PICTURES!!)

IMG_6696 IMG_6698 IMG_6704 IMG_6703 IMG_6702 IMG_6701 IMG_6700 IMG_6699   IMG_6708 IMG_6707 IMG_6706 IMG_6705

IMG_6717 IMG_6716My journey of solitude continues as I move into my apartment and surprise, my roommates have not yet arrived. Also every other person I have met is in a group so I am praying I can learn to make friends fast. And I also have not met anyone yet who shares my same classes. But I do hopefully have plans with the only other person I know who is here that goes to UF as well.

ANYWAY, now to the fun part. Here are pictures of my surprisingly spacious apartment that is 5 min from class. I am very lucky!!! (note – I am staying on the twin bed in the far left corner).

But one creepy thing about my apartment is there is a constant sound of running water and when the window is open, it sounds like other people are sweeping and such in your apartment… 0.0

My Italy Trip Entry 4: My German Invasion

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The pictures include the picture of my gigantor plane and my super nutritious lunch.

First off, in America we tend to point fun at what a harsh language German is, but the people here actually are more soft spoken in comparison to our attempts and it isn’t really that harsh on the ears. I mean it does still sound like sometimes the people have peanut butter in their mouth (but who wouldn’t want peanut butter in their mouth?) or they’re a recording that keeps short circuiting. Second, if anyone is to ever travel to the Frankfurt airport you should know it is HUGE and you should really hope you have a boarding pass because otherwise you’re kind of wandering around until you see your flight pop up to find your gate (or ask an angry asian woman like I did). Then maybe the scary looking security guard is nice enough to spot “downstairs” and nod at an escalator after you continuously walk around chanting A 52 like some voodoo priestess. Third, after experiencing the ridiculous prices of airport food, I have decided to hoard my leftover airplane food for a surely nutritious mix of carbs and cheese that will hopefully hoard me over to dinner time. I wouldn’t be surprised if paper was an ingredient in the bread. Let’s wish my digestive system luck!

My Italy Trip Entry 3: Leaving Jax- Flight Thoughts (From merpeople to elderly Marshals)

From my flight from Jax to Dulles Airport:

1. My iPod is in my carry-on

2. My carry-on was stored below the plane

3. There is literally a screaming baby behind me

…. about 5 minutes later…..

I guess I didn’t realize how much my fear of heights applies to flying 0.0 When I traveled to Europe in 9th grade, I recollect being slightly afraid on the trip to Atlanta, but that flight was only 45 minutes and the flight to Barcelona offered me food and hours of bejewled to distract myself.

So I need to find happy things to occupy my thoughts as I watch the plane sway and contemplate the many ways in which I could die or in which the planes safety mechanisms frankly won’t be of much help.

1. Do planes really float that well in water? Because in the safety manual it says not to open the emergency exit if there is water at the bottom of the door and to use another instead. If there is water at the bottom of one door, I assume there will water at all the exits since the only likely reason your plane is in water is because you are in the middle of THE OCEAN. So what do you do? Sink with the ship or wait for Superman to come and pull you out of the freezing water because I’d rather not perform a reenactment of Jack from the Titanic with my pathetic little chair cushion floaty versus the door we all know he could’ve tried to climb on at least one more time. Better yet, maybe they think Aquaman, with his friendly killer whales, is going to come and save us and take us to Atlantis. And that Malaysian flight that disappeared over the ocean crashed, but everyone was taken to Atlantis and turned into merpeople. Obviously, the government would want this to be kept a secret so that is why no one has heard from them. And that’s maybe why flight attendants never seem nervous because they’re all in on it like some Illuminati for flight attendants. I realize this is highly unlikely, but I choose not to rule out all options, especially when my sanity is at stake.

2. Are flight attendants really that happy? This woman seems genuine, but why would she care so much about how comfortable I am? Is it because she is getting paid? Or is she on some travel high? I understand most flight attendants take on their respective jobs because they would like to travel, but do they end up just sitting around different airports? Maybe they get a few days off bi-weekly to explore an area before their return trip home. They always have luggage so they obviously stay somewhere – I am assuming airport hotels.

3. This leads me to my third thought. I wonder what it is like to be married to a pilot. What are their work schedules like? Will you just be sitting at the dinner table and your spouse says “so I’ll be away for 4 days, see you this weekend, and then I’ll leave you home alone again!” all chipper-like. Hmmmmm I wonder if flight attendant – pilot marriages are a thing. Couples must be at least.

4. I cannot decide how I feel about the occasional screech of this child behind me. I would like to think of it as a nice distraction from my thoughts of imminent doom but for a split second each time I’m worried it the beginning of an alarm notifying us that we are all crashing to the Earth. I prefer to think of the former.

5. I would like to give a quick thank you to the guy from the Italian travel site who recommended taking a decongestant to prevent ear popping. I must say my ears feel great.

6. There is this elderly woman next to me who is constantly crossing things off an important looking clipboard on her lap holding a large pile of papers. Although she appears to be at the age of retirement, maybe she is a veteran flight inspector who still does a few jobs now and then, or still inspects flights for her passionate, yet expensive, hobby. But I like to imagine an even more exciting life for her. I’d like to think she is secretly an air marshal. I mean they do go pretty far to remain inconspicuous.

7. It is actually very hot on this plane, contrary to what I’ve been told pre departure -_-

8. I think it will be quite amusing if someone besides myself reads this in the future in hopes of reading about my exciting travels in Italy and instead comes across my airplane fear babble. Hopefully, they will at least find it interesting:)

9. Another thing I find amusing is that the flight attendant insists on calling the restroom “the lavatory.” I’m sure the majority of the people on this flight have never used that word in their lives. Especially not the poor lady who can barely speak english and needed to use the restroom. I don’t think “lavatory” is exactly on the first-hand common english word list.