Arrivederci Hotel Meridiana!

We finally checked out of the Hotel today! It was bittersweet for me. Part of me wanted out of the hotel really bad; getting a more comfortable bed and not having to walk so far to school sounded really nice. But then the other part of me liked having a breakfast and dinner provided, even if it wasn’t that great; it was one less responsibility.  Allora, it’s all part of the transition to living on your own this far away from the creature comforts of home. I packed up the last few things left in our room in my backpack and we set out for school. The long walk was even worse carrying a school backpack that weighed a ton. We ended up carrying them around town following some people from school running errand for almost two (miserable) hours. Eventually, we went home and just lay there for a while and eventually worked on our Italian homework and did some unpacking.

After PLP class we listened to a Police lecture about how to be safe in the city with things like pickpockets, drugs, alcohol, and girls being alone at night, etc. It was informative, even though I think a lot of it is common sense. And if you are smart and don’t want to worry about that stuff, then don’t do it in the first place. Allora, I’ll talk more about this in a minute.

After unpacking and doing our Italian homework, Amy and I met up with Laura to go to the Oblate Library to go get our library cards for free internet. After we were done, we wandered to the caffe in the library (with air conditioning; even though it wasn’t that hot today). I saw a sign when we were entering that said “Apertivos 8 euro.” We had heard about apertivos from our class we took at Cal Poly. You usually buy a drink and then get unlimited appetizers (or apertivos) for a flat rate (in this case 8 euro). Laura and I decided to do it initially because we weren’t totally hungry but we didn’t know what else to do for dinner, and if we got hungrier, it was an unlimited buffet of little pastas, rice dishes, polenta, bread, and mystery crunchy balls (which turned out to be a fried stuffed olive with bread crumbs or something). Amy ended up joining and we had a good time with our beer and unlimited buffet…at the library!

Later tonight, Amy really wanted some wine so we set out with our new friend, Sammy, that we met in the grocery store earlier when we were buying some small necessities for the apartment. We found one down a street that makes up one side of the Piazza Santa Croce. None of us really know what we’re doing when it comes to wine (and for me anything alcoholic) and so we talk to the bartender lady and she helps everyone. She told us one time that she had to help these gentlemen across the bar and that it was a special time in one of their lives because he and his wife just had a baby. So we said we didn’t mind and let her do her bartender thing. When she was done she gave everyone their drinks (and me my water) and then we sat down on these bench couch table things. After a few minutes, one of the guys that was with the guy who had just had a baby came up to Laura and started talking. I was paying attention but was pretending to pay attention to the MTV music videos that were playing on the wall. I could only pick up bits and pieces of the conversation but from what I heard, the guy was exactly what the police were telling us to stay away from. He said things like, “Here’s my card” and “If you want to see the real Florence, give me a call.” Amy and I were pretty creeped out at this point. This was déjà vu from the police lecture earlier. He kept trying to walk towards me and Amy (who were sitting right next to Laura), but I did the Italian thing and didn’t even look at him and acted completely disinterested. Luckily, there were four girls and a guy so I think we were pretty safe in the bar and we definitely made it home safe because the creepy guy left. So I don’t know how often we are going to be doing that anymore; it was a pretty weird experience.

The days are long and it seems like you can only accomplish one or two things a day because it takes so much longer to do anything. And every night, I get at least 8 hours of sleep and wake up still feeling tired. Allora, buena sera and sweet dreams.

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