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In the Beginning....

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Arrivito alla Firenze alle 14:00 e la citta[con accento] e[con accento] caldo.  At first I wasn't impressed for the Firenze airport was a ways away from the actual city.  On the way to the hostel, I was introduced to the Italia roadways and rules....what rules exactly, I don't know.  There are random arrows everywhere.  Some pointing to the ground, some pointing left and right, random stop signs that seems to be merely suggestions.  [The California roll is very popular here....but it's not really roll.  More like a "let the tourist think we are slowing down and then blow past them" kind of roll].  But to be quite honest, it is only a few that have done that.  Most have stopped for us to cross if there is a stop sign.

When arrived in the hostel, I was greeted warmly by the two owners.  Both very nice and speak inglese e italiano, so it is good for practice.  Getting to my room, I was pleasantly surprised.  It is small, but has two beds and a large bathroom.  and air conditioning which is a god-send in this 90+ degree weather.  After settling in, everyone got together to go out to dinner.  We had heard of this "yellow bar" from a girl in the program here who had said they had amazing pizze [she had lived her for 10 years previously].  While trying to find it, we had to cross the river to go en centro [downtown].  The streets in la citta[con accento] are rather small, but that definitely does not stop the traffic of vespas and compact cars.  All the buildings are blessed in their wonderful antiquity with their old brick and alabaster {perhaps} and cast iron door knockers.  There are all sorts of shops around [mainly food which is wonderful] and so many outdoor bistros.  There was even a group of {possibly} Buddhists singing, playing drums and other instruments and dancing/singing in the street.  If you can think of "Across the Universe" in the subway scene where Jude I believe looked across and saw the Buddhists singing in the opposite subway car, it was like that, but a tad more lively. 
 
Winding our way farther into the city, we found not only the Duermo [which can only be described as majestic], but we found un grande piazza [a large open square] with a delightful outdoor bistro.  We had sat there for at least two hours and it was nice talking and getting to know everyone.  Heading back to the hostel, the city was lightly lit up in a calm sort of manor with many people walking about.  There is even a little beach on the river where there was a guitarist playing.  I have no idea how to get down the little beach however, so we just observed from the top where we were walking.  The jetlag combined with the lively day meant I fell asleep hard when we got back.

Today, I had my first deysauno italiano {italian breakfast}.  Included in our stay at the hostel is coupons for a breakfast a un po bar {at a small bar} down the street.  I had au pan de chocolate e un caffe fredo {a cold coffee}.  Now, I don't like coffee back at the states since it is so bitter, but this coffee was rather good.  Refreshingly cold and very smooth.  I know it will take me a while to get used to it, but I'm starting to love it just after my first time.

What I've learned so far:
a) the Italians enjoy a slow, calm style of life where relaxation is held in high respect and if you are taking time to go out to dinner, you don't rush; you enjoy every minute of the company and the atmosphere.
b) there are little bugs called "no sees" I think.  There are like mosquitoes, but you can't see them and they are quite sneaky.  So sneaky that I am now covered in bug bites....on my feet and all over.
c) its very quiet here, but in a friendly way and also safe.

Plans for Today:
Tour at 2:00 of the city for a few hours
Meeting at 18:30 about housing orientation...that means an apartment :)


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Beginning of an Awfully Big Adventure

Firenze, Italy



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