I will fake it until I make it!

All about the escapades and thoughts of a girl who thinks WAY too much for her own good!

Monday, November 2, 2009

October 29 - A Foreigner in Florence

I spent the entire day traveling within the Historic Center of Florence meeting potential roommates and visiting new apartments to live in while staying in Florence.

I am quite fond of Katrina (pronounced Kat-air-ee-na in Italian) the woman I have been renting a room from for the last 11 days in Sud Firenze (south Florence), but the bus trip from her house into the heart of the city is taking up to an hour due to construction. Florence has captured my heart and I want to be a part of it. Living on the outskirts of the city isn’t real enough. I want to be in the center. I want to be part of the city; part of its energy. I want to be a Florentine! Allora, the outskirts will not do!!!

My first stop of the day ended up being the apartment I selected. My new flat mate is a French woman who has 47 years. Italians don't say “years old.” Agn├Ęs (pronounced An-yay) teaches French at the University of Florence and speaks French, Italian, and (thank God) English fluently. Of course she speaks English with that amazing French accent that every man melts for and every woman would love to have... Oh, oui, Val-au-ray, I wood lik to off-air you zis flat, az I think you air a lovely perzon, noh? 

My room is large and bright, thanks to a nice-sized window that lets in tons of natural light. It’s been painted a soft yellow, has a queen bed, and a big white desk and bookcase from IKEA. French posters are hung on each wall. The cutest antique chair rests in the room.

My view out of the window is of the terracotta rooftops next door. I love terracotta roof tops! The color, dimension, and texture give the roofs their own personality. Too me they are art.

It’s about a 15 minute walk to the Historical Center from my new home. I can see the very top of the Duomo from my new street. My neighborhood is chock-full of beautiful buildings with character and style that new construction simply cannot recreate. The area is blissfully free from the graffiti that plaques much of Italy.

After my new domicile was secured with the required deposit, I ventured out to discover my neighborhood. An Italian girl, who looked to have about 25 years, stopped me to ask for directions. When I hesitated at her question she said in broken English, “Oh, you no speak Italiano,” and I quickly replied in Italian, “Yes, I speak a little!” I motioned for her to go ahead with her question. She asked if I knew a particular street in the area, which, of course, I did not. BUT, I had a map of the city.

I whipped out my map and found her street in less than 5 seconds (it was only one street over from where we were standing). She looked at me, laughed, and said in English, “I can’t believe a foreigner had to give me directions!” I smiled and walked on thinking to myself, “Yeah, well, THIS foreigner just handled that situation pretty well.”

Feeling proud of myself, I walked into the self service market at the end of the block to buy a bottle of water. I pulled at the refrigerator door lightly at first and then with more gusto, but I couldn’t get it open. I pulled again, with no luck. Oh god! Was it not really self service? I tried to look casual. The shop keeper said something to me in Italian. After seeing the confused look on my face he rolled his eyes, walked from behind his counter, pulled the door open from the opposite side I had been tugging on, and handed me a bottle of water.

I paid the man, smiled, and thought to myself, “Yeeaaah, this foreigner could have handled THAT situation a little better!”

1 comment:

  1. Your pictures are amazing and I love your blog! You are a great at giving a window into your adventure. The rooftops, the hills, the buildings, the produce shop...just awesome. I am so interested and can't wait for your next update. So do Italians say "huh?". So interesting to read about the shop and how its not self service.