Its been awhile since Ive been able to update! With my laptop not working, its been really difficult for me to get to a computer to respond to emails and Facebook messages, etc.
I finally got my stitches out (and by the way, I am thankfully NOT wearing my neck brace anymore)! I spent last Sunday going back to the hospital in Figline Valdarno (and interesting tidbit, I read in the newspaper that Sting has a winery and estate in that town and he will be coming out with his own wine later this year). After I got my stitches out, I called the same cab driver, who drove me to Florence the week before, for a ride to Greve in Chianti, where I was meeting a friend for lunch at a vineyard.
Cab drivers here are interesting. At least Freddie the cab driver was certainly a character, and I found it easy to talk to him in Italian, so I knew that I wanted to call him again. I spent the hour ride from the hospital to the agriturismo admiring the view of all the grape and olive fields while listening to the Beach Boys, of all things. Freddie was just chitchatting with me about how he really wants to learn English and how I should find him a nice older lady friend to speak English with him, ha!-- how cute. And Italians here are so relaxed. While Freddie was using my phone to get directions from the owner of the agriturismo, his phone starts ringing. He throws me the phone and indicated with one quick raise of his eyebrows that I should answer it for him. IN ITALIANO. Meanwhile, he starts driving with his elbows on the wheel as he starts excitedly gesturing with his left hand and holding the phone with his right. And if you have ever been in Chianti... all of the roads are winding right to left and up and down in motion with the rolling hills. I answer the phone and its a customer, who, as it turns out, speaks no Italian and very little English. Even after Freddie hangs up the phone with the owner of the agriturismo, he wants me to speak with this customer and then TRANSLATE the conversation in Italian. I was having heart palpitations at this point-- from the elbow-driving to the customer speaking broken English to me speaking broken Italian. Somehow, miraculously, we make it to the agriturismo. And somehow, miraculously, I was able to translate everything successfully. (I felt so triumphant!) And to top off a fabulous drive through the countryside, Freddie knocked off 10 euros off of the price after I promised to find him that English-speaking lady friend.
And now, my hands and elbows have more or less healed and today is the first day Im walking around without my face bandaged. Funny enough, I actually miss the bandages! With it, I stood out apart from all the Asian (okay, Japanese) tourists and the locals have begun recognizing me and asking me in Italian what had happened. In the mornings, the shopkeeper of the flower stand that I pass on the way to school would greet me with a friendly wave and the hairdresser who washes my hair would always throw me a smile and quick, "Ciao!". (Its so picturesque, I know!)
More recently, I moved into a new apartment. Im now living with a host family, or really, a host lady. She owns an art studio in Florence and she has really, a beautifully decorated apartment here in the center of the city. I am now living on a quiet street off of Piazza Annunziata. Breakfast is included in the price and I get a home-cooked meal for a little extra. And Anna Maria, the host lady, is really an amazing cook. There are two other girls in the apartment-- one British and one Swiss. I already miss my old roommates, but I hope that my Italian will quickly improve with Anna Maria. She insists that we speak Italian in the house, although we sneak in some English when she isnt around. My room has huge windows that reach the ceiling and the light in the morning is perfect. My window overlooks a small garden with weathered statues and even a palm tree! I can see the ruins of an old church in the background and I can hear church bells and birds. It is just as charming as it sounds.
If I ever get my computer fixed, hopefully I can post up pictures! Cross your fingers for me!
- ▼ March (6)