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I'm a 21-year-old journalism student. I spent last semester living in Florence, Italy. These are my adventures.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Catch-Up" part 2.

As mentioned in my previous post, the past few days have been a whirlwind, but I still want to get all caught up on my blog. So I broke up my week recap into two blogs. This is part two.
Click here for part one.

Although knowledge of the quickly approaching first day of school loomed above us, it was a wonderful weekend. Saturday morning was our final session of orientation tours. We walked to the train and bus stations. They were pretty simple. Knot Italian vocabs. Buy ticket. Punch ticket into yellow machine. Board train. But nonetheless, it's nice to know the fastest way to get there and where we will meet for class trips.

After, I continued my eternal hunt for boots. I have two pairs at home: one with the soles falling off and the other very impractical snow boots. I figured I'd just buy some here. Well to my dismay, I've discovered that Italy doesn't seem to cater to the large feet I was blessed with. I wear a US size 11, which means a 42 here. I'm hard-pressed to even find a 41. The three pairs of 42 I have found were not what I was looking for.
So until I travel outside of Italy, I am stuck with very comfortable — but equally unfashionable — tennis shoes. My feet scream "American!" to all of the fashionable Italians around me, but at least they don't have blisters.

I headed home and relaxed for a little bit. Tea, cookies and crocheting. A perfect way to relax.

I went back out to go shopping with Caitlin and Bethany. It wasn't a complete bust this time. I got a simple black purse for €5 to replace my favorite army green one whose strap broke the first day here. Bethany ended up leaving with a new leather messenger bag at a decent price. It just took some haggling and dealing with him hugging and kissing her on the check the entire time they discussed the sale.
We came home for dinner. Bethany made vinaigrette dressing for a salad, I made pasta with pesto, and we completed it with fresh bakery bread dipped in olive oil. Simple. Easy. Fantastic.

Then the whole College of Communication and Information group went out to the Red Garter, a karaoke  bar right around the corner, which also apparently had whatever sports game the guys were looking to watch. The crowd was a good mix of Italians and Americans, as were the songs for karaoke. I want to find more places like it.
Here's Caitlin and I at the Red Garter:

I don't drink. It's a simple lifestyle choice I made years ago. Most people accept it but don't really understand it. Personally, I'd just rather have friends than a substance to help me relax, let loose and have fun. I have absolutely no qualms with people who do drink. I just get to be the sober buddy to fetch water for someone looking a little too far gone and find another when she gets separated from the group. I don't mind at all, and I still hold that I have just as much fun as anyone else there.
Although I will be trying wine. How can I not in Italy? A contradiction? Perhaps. But it is likely to just be a glass with a couple of dinners.
But I digress. Everyone got home or to a couch, and I got to sleep without setting an alarm for the first time since I've been here.

I woke up around noon, spent some time writing, made breakfast/lunch, read my book and took my time getting showered and ready for the day. It was so nice to just relax — a rare luxury for me. Once Caitlin and Jess rolled out of bed after 3 p.m., we went shopping for a little bit. We needed a rug for the bathroom, school supplies and some other basic things. I lost interest pretty quickly and met up with some people to hike the hill I did one of the first days here to Piazzale Michelangelo. It ended up getting dark sooner than we got everyone together to go, so it didn't happen. I definitely want to this week though.
Instead, Amy and I finally found a 99 cent store, then came home, cooked dinner and played cards. She lives on the other side of Florence, so Jess and I walked her back.
I gathered my things for school and lounged around until going to bed. I hope I have many like this in Italy.


Monday was a bit of a kick to the gut. School just had to creep in there at some point I suppose, but I was still unhappy with it. I like my classes for the most part. They're small and seem to have a manageable workload. I just wish they weren't eating away at all of my daylight. I spend most of the time gazing out the window listening, which will probably soon be misinterpreted as not listening.
At least I got to eat at the sandwich place for lunch both days!
Once I get into a routine, I want to start my days off right, meaning:

  • workout
  • shower
  • eat breakfast - strawberry yogurt and the granola I finally found
  • take vitamins and dietary supplements
  • sit and just breathe
  • read
  • stroll, not rush, to school.

Tuesdays will be excluded from this routine as classes start at 9:15 a.m. instead of 10:45 a.m.
Monday was a success on most bullet points. This semester I really want to major in relaxing and finding my center. I need it for my overall well-being.
I will start my habits here. And if I want to continue tomorrow, I need to sleep now.

Buona Notte!

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