So to update you all a bit, since I last wrote, I’ve traveled to the small city of Pisa, you know, the one with that famous leaning tower which so many tourists try to hold up and then capture via digital camera? Yeah, that one. And yes, I was one of those silly, silly tourists. Oh well I suppose, you’re only here once, right? Back to the trip itself, I went with two friends this past Saturday and we departed by train from the Santa Maria Novella station, literally one block from my apartment. Hopping an afternoon departure, we sat for an hour in anticipation of good weather and beautiful scenery. However, shortly after arriving, there was a horrible rainstorm and we had no idea where this structure we had waited all day to see was hiding. I guess I was naïve to think we would pull up beside a grassy knoll and there, atop a field of green and a backdrop of mountains would be the tower. No. We had to trek miles through the quaint city of Pisa (Not so bad, seeing as how the layout and look was quite similar to Florence and there was some little festival happening) only to arrive at a pizza place where we gorged ourselves on delicious creations of homemade cuisine. Following a talk with the owner about the success of Obama, we left and finally found what we were looking for. Despite rain clouds and soggy shoes, the tower was gorgeous, as was the cathedral and baptistery that flanked it on either side. Following some rather cliché snapshots, we got dessert (Some wretched cake that we assumed looked good enough to eat, but was really some terrible concoction we still have yet to figure out!). After all of this hustle and bustle, we thought it best to head home.
The experience of Pisa was beautiful, even through Mother Nature woes, and only made me appreciate coming back to Florence, my home, even more. In relation to trips, I have some rather exciting news! I have scheduled, for the first weekend in March, a four-day excursion to the city of lights, Paris, France. Once there, I’ll shack up in a hostel literally steps from the one and only Moulin Rouge and dine on snails, caviar, and a selection of cheeses while gaping in awe at the Eiffel Tower. Perhaps even enjoy a cancan show, who knows? I’ve also booked my spring break trip, which, get ready for this…(cue dramatic music here)…includes an 11-day sprint across Ireland, Scotland and London (APPLAUSE!!!!). This, my friends, will be an adventure! In addition, I plan to hit Barcelona, Greece, Munich, Prague, Rome, Siena, Assisi, Milan, the Almafi Coast and maybe schedule some added day trips. I also plan to be poor for the rest of my life.C’est la vie.
-The man who plays Christmas songs on his flute all evening for spare change, even though it is now clearly February
-The man who dresses like a bird and has faux wings, a shaved head with a single curl and an unusual bird call that attracts awkward stares
-The two women who have the best food ever, which I get every Thursday, because Thursdays are for laundry and after almost five hours of waiting for clothes to be finished, I need a little homemade pizza with prosciutto or sausage, three chocolate cookies and a refreshing Coke in my life
-The suave Italian men catcalling women and using cheesy pickup lines to attract their attention. Like this one: “Excuse me Miss…You seemed to have dropped something….It is my heart” (I kid you not, I heard this one used! HA!)
-The 'creature' dressed in fluorescent gold spandex on the corner, impersonating an Egyptian goddess (wtf?) and twisting his body into various shapes. I got scared, so walked on the opposite side of the street
-And countless others who make this city a diverse breeding ground for creativity and abstractness. I love it here.
P.S. While coming to the school to upload this blog, I bought Italian leather shoes. It was not an expected purchase, seeing as how everything I do is obviously on a budget. But real Italian leather shoes. They don't have those in America! Come one! I have wanted them since I got here and finally caved. They were worth it I must say.
ALSO, I have made lots of friends. Actually, really good friends. Some that are great for conversation, a good time out and a full night of fun. They are hard to find back home, so I feel lucky. Also, I met some authentic Italians who have taken a liking to us Americans. This, too, is fortunate for us, because they show us all the REAL Italian hotspots and are great company.