I found this incredibly relevant as today has been my first official day on my own in Los Angeles. My roommate went to work and I unpacked my last few boxes while watching season 1 of Buffy of the Vampire Slayer. It was classic and a great start to the day. My bedroom looks like a room!
But, after I finished unpacking, is where I went horribly wrong. I can’t even remember what I did. It definitely involved facebook, my pandora “Skinny Love” station and more television though. I cleaned the kitchen at some point too. Finding (the right) motivation is very difficult. I feel like I’m in school again. Finding a job is such a job.
I’m not going to lie to everyone. I do not understand what blogging is, nor do I understand the concept of posting things. I don’t know how to re-blog favorite OC moments. I don’t know how to link to other people’s amazing blog posts. I don’t even know how to search for things. The entirety of generation Y will probably be very disappointed in me. I do think I have a firm grasp on tagging though. I’m going to tag the shit out of this thing.
Anyways, what I do know how to do on this thing is write about myself. Maybe not write well. But, I would say I have, at least, a basic knowledge of the English language…Yeah, I’m losing my train of thought and confusing myself.
Look. This is it. I’ve started up my blog again. I have just graduated from Elon University with a major in film and a minor in music technology. I was born and raised on Long Island, New York. A month after my graduation, I moved to Los Angeles, California, to, I guess, “follow my dreams.” It’s been one week and I’m proud to say I have not cried in 24 hours. I’m going against everything I’ve read in job search help sources and starting a personal, but not too personal, blog about my new life in California.
First and foremost, I’d like anyone who reads this, who has working knowledge of the greater Los Angeles area, to recommend me a good bagel and/or cannoli place. I am in dire need of both respective foods. If you can find me a production job, I will buy you a bagel, or cannoli, from said place you recommend.
It has been a little over a month since I’ve returned home from my 4 month adventure in Italy. I’m aware that my blogging stopped around halfway through, which is unfortunate. I still have some final videos to make. They’ll happen. At some point. Some day.
I’m currently taking two online courses for school and working part-time as a pool lifeguard. That’s a whole other story in itself. But, what I thought I’d talk about today, at 1:45AM, is what I miss and don’t miss about Italy. Let’s start with what I miss, so that when I start crying, I can use what I don’t miss as therapy.
1. speaking italian - yes, it’s true. My every day struggle and frustration is what I miss most. I miss saying “ciao” and avoiding the word “buon giorno” cause I can’t pronounce it correctly. I miss ordering food at restaurants cause it’s the only thing I could do. I even miss the men who yelled (most likely inappropriate) Italian things at me.
2. Guessing at food labels - there is nothing more entertaining than running through Italian words in your head and trying to figure out how to say what you want to buy, as well as, if what you’re buying is what you wanted to buy in the first place
3. Conad - speaking of food, Conad, our supermarket. I miss the giant meat section, the fresh parmigiana cheese and the non refrigerated eggs.
4. Food - specifically, mozzarella cheese. Conad brand mozzarella was the most delicious piece of food anyone could ask for ever in their life. I no longer enjoy the taste of “fresh” mozzarella here in Amurica. Freedom tastes dry.
5. Other food besides mozzarella - I just miss food. And gelato! Oh my gosh, gelato. Going back to icecream has been a horrible transition. Really. Gelato is that good.
6. Eating and drinking on the street - I seem to have a theme happening
7. Going anywhere whenever I want - wanna go to the country side? ok. Wanna go lay out in the Boboli Gardens? ok. Want to go to a club tonight? ok. Want to cook two boxes of pasta and add spinach, tomato and mozzarella? ok. done, done, done.
8. Italian boys - when you find them, they’re beautiful.
9. Vespa’s - I love vespas. Double if there’s a cute Italian boy attached to one.
10. Gusta brothers - I miss Gusta pizza, Gusta panino and Gusta osteria. I <3 Gusta. Our relationship ended too soon.
11. Prosecco - Italian champagne. God’s gift to me.
12. the Euro - We don’t have 20 cent coins in America? 2 dollar coins? 1 dollar coins? Why aren’t our bills as shiny? And why are they so long? (one of the more difficult transitions was reunderstanding my currency).
13. Anything can happen - Florence is similar to NYC in that literally anything can happen. But it’s smaller, so you’re more likely to run into the many surprises Florence has to offer
14. The “aiuto” lady - even though I’m not a fan of beggars, the aiuto lady that wore crocs was one of the highlights of my day. I loved her outfits and her swift determination.
15. The man working at the cafe on the ponte vecchio. I found him too late in the game to truly appreciate how wonderful he was. Always a smile and always appreciative of my Italian. He never gave me a tourist price - I would probably go back and marry him.
16. My apartment/my roommates: I miss my roommates so much. They made my Italy experience what it was and for everything we’ve been through, I’m happy to say we’re still friends. I wish we were back in our ridiculous apartment cooking pasta and dancing in the kitchen. Lauren, stop dropping food on the floor.
Now that I’m going to start tearing up:
I Don’t Miss:
1. The club scene - I have never been more uncomfortable in a situation than in an Italian club. People are rude, none of them are actually Italian, and if you’re a woman, you might as well just accept that someone is going to try and molest you
2. Stupid tourists who don’t even try to speak Italian - get some friggen culture and don’t look at your server like he’s an idiot cause he can’t understand you. It’s Italy, bitch - benvenuti a mia casa.
3. Overpriced taxi cabs - you know who you are. You bastards thinking you can get anything out of us cause we can’t speak your language. And, you’re right.
4. Being unable to dispute problems with Italians - nothing made me angrier than when I had a problem and could not explain myself. This happened a decent amount of times to bother me.
5. The horses and carriages - kind of petty at this point, but they smelled, they dirtied the streets and common…who cares… put the horse away, buddy.
6. Being unable to show my legs & wear flip flops - it’s 2011. Women have rights and flip flops are comfortable.
7. Weird meat - I don’t know what you people are eating, but it’s weird and it’s from some part of an animal that I don’t want to know about. Just give me a hot dog.
8. The exchange rate - screw you, you wiped out my bank account.
9. Cobble stones - you know, I miss them and I don’t. I am happy to be able to wear any pair of shoes I want with just a regular fear of tripping instead of the “I am going to trip, and when I do, I am going to die” fear.
That’s all I got right now. I’m sure there’s billions more things I miss and don’t miss. There are. I’m thinking of more as I type. I miss Lauren’s Italian family, I don’t miss my shitty Italian phone, I miss the live music everywhere, I don’t miss feeling out of the loop about everything else in the world, but, mostly I just miss the back and forth frustration and happiness that came with living in Florence, Italy. Dammit, Jersey shore, can’t believe you’re in my city.
One week ago, I was on my laptop when it started flickering and freezing and being a pain in the butt. After keeping it off for the rest of the day, I proceeded to turn it back on in the evening and see if it would let me watch Modern Family. It had worked. Success! I got to watch 10 minutes before it froze again. Another 2 minutes later, the laptop was toast.
I’m going to skip over the part where I have a fit, yell, call my father and freak out. I am really good at handling stress.
Thanks to my Dad’s research and my roommate’s cousin’s recommendation, I went to the closest thing I could get to a mac store: Uno SRL.
Now, don’t be fooled by the name of the store. Because the store is literally a mac store. I walked in, downtrodden and furious, into this store and said “do you speak English?” to the first guy I saw. I didn’t even ask this in Italian, as I usually do. I needed shit to get done. My new friend, David (Dah-VEED), said “a little.” So I said to him “my computer is broken.”
David took my laptop and brought it over to his station, where he proceeded to turn it on. He then started singing “donggg,” tapping his foot and then repeated the phrase. I thought to myself how crazy Italians are when suddenly the computer started up and made that same noise and he smiled at me. This was love.
He explained to me that nothing was lost and everything seemed to be working fine, except for my screen. He then made the “don don don” noise as he searched for the problem.
In the end, I had to part with laptop, so that someone could figure out what was wrong. The next day, David called to tell me what was wrong with my computer and the cost would be 119 euro. I informed him of my warrantee and he said he would double-check. This was his e-mail response:
Good morning, is informed to me through the assistance and turns out that your computer is under guarantee. You I yesterday wonder excuse for my error to the telephone. You do not have to spedere null because you are covered by Apple Dear Protection Plan. If you have Need of any clarification to care, I remain to your disposition. I wonder excuse for my not perfect English.
_David_ UNO _Team_
Now, don’t fall in love just yet, as I did. Don’t let their terribly adorable English con you into believing that these are harmless, sweet, pasta-loving Italian men. They will steal your money, and take advantage of the fact that not only can you not speak Italian, but you can’t speak computer either! It was after this that David told me it would be 2-3 weeks to fix. Then, his buddy, Signor Fix-It, called to tell me that something else was wrong with the laptop that did not fall under the warrantee. 210 euro. In theory, I get it back in nine days. I will be in America 15.
It’s been so long since I’ve blogged that I forgot my account name. So, I should be able to update lots tomorrow and later this evening, but since returning from my spring break, I have entered midterms part two. I had a paper due yesterday and I have a paper due later today, as well as a presentation on a film. Then, tomorrow evening, I fly off to Barcelona with Lauren.
My father brought up an interesting point to me the other day. He said this is more “vacation abroad” than it is “study abroad.” He went on to say things like “this is a joke” and his classic “unfreakinbelievable,” which was hilarious, but it did really get me thinking. And, yes, I will be the first to admit, I am not living a real life, just jet-setting off to various European countries? You can’t just do this stuff and yet I am. So, yes, I will even daresay that I don’t understand why they bother making me go to school while I’m here.
At the same time, though, I have been trying my best to be immersed in the Florentine culture. It’s difficult being in an apartment and not a home-stay, and, with only my basic knowledge of Italian, it limits my interactions with locals. But, I always speak Italian when conversing with other Italians, and I’ve even played translator for many of our adventures through Italy. And I’ve truly loved learning the culture of Italy’s food and the history of the region. I am finally doing well in a history course and I have watched at least 8 Italian films already (which helps me more with Italian than my actual Italian language class).
I’m not going to continue to try and defend my study abroad experience because I am too happy here to care and I know my parents are happy for me. However, I would like to point out that, while I may not be as “immersed” as my sister, a Spanish major who spent a year in Argentina, was - I have also not had my groceries stolen, my backpack stolen, nor my money, nor my jewelry. Nor do I have to worry about malaria. And no one steals my sandwiches from the fridge. I will also still graduate on time. So, you know what, Mom and Dad? You’re welcome. You are so very welcome.
Like any other morning, Kristen and I ventured to our 12pm classes. And, as per usual, we got stuck behind confused, dumb, people.
As I struggle to walk with Kristen behind the unassuming couple, I prepare to make my go-around. This is something we’re used to doing as this is what normal Italians do. They spot something shiny and wonderful and must stop to look and be in your way and love their lives with no concept of the world around them, or the people they bother on a daily basis - particularly me.
But, to my surprise, the man looks at his wife and then at me and begins moving off the sidewalk and into. the. street! So, just as I’m about to believe that this can’t possibly be happening and they can’t possibly be Italian because Italians would never do that, the man says to his wife: “well, let’s get out of these girls’ way.”
Yes. Of course. They were confused American tourists. Because Italians would never move out of your way. They don’t even know what it means for one person to prevent another person from getting somewhere. Just trust me here, people: always prepare for the go-around. Always.
** Kristen would also like me to mention the threat of the moving vehicle when executing the go-around.
The Top Ten Things to Know about Florentine Culture
Still on the cliff hanger. I have a cold. Blogging is reaching an all-time low since the start of the spring semester. However, a letter to a friend turned into a list. And I have decided to turn that list into my list of wisdom about Florence. Also a throwback to my much missed ‘Top Ten’ radio show.
1. Gelato is wonderful. You should eat it all the time. Especially after your 8am. And always before dinner. And after dinner. 2. Do not look anyone in the eye. Ever. At any point. You will be judged. By everyone. And they will be Italian and they will judge you and it will make you nervous and you won’t understand why. 3. On a similar note, if someone sneezes, you are not required, and it is not recommended, that you say ‘bless you’ or, as the Italians say: ‘salute.’ Just don’t do it. Because the little Italian boy just gets scared and his parents look at you like you’ve just touched their child. 4. People will always stop walking to stare at things. They will be in front of you. There will be at least 5 of them. And they will expect you to find a new path to go around them. This will most likely involve you jumping temporarily into the street into oncoming traffic. 5. It is acceptable and sexy to allow people to blow smoke in your face. Very… sexy…. at least, that’s what the Italians are kidding themselves 6. You will laugh at asian people and it will not be your fault. 7. A shower is a privilege. Not a necessity. Except after 4 days. No, I don’t want to talk about it. 8. Nutella should not be eaten out of the jar, or just spooned into a bowl. This seems fun at first, but it is followed by utter regret. And lowered-self esteem. 9. Either start using military time or get really good at subtracting 12 from other numbers. It’s not as easy as it sounds. You cannot judge. 10. Trying to speak Italian to Italians is probably one of their highest forms of entertainment. For the most part, they will respond kindly and help you to the best of their ability. In their heads, they are laughing at you. Because you are a dumb ass.
Today, I finally booked things. I booked a disturbingly expensive flight to London. And an awesomely cheap Spring Break to Dublin, Brussels and Berlin. I feel so worldly. Will blog more after I’ve eaten. Must eat. Love food.
Today, I would like to sit down and talk to everyone a little bit about showering. I love to shower. I love feeling clean. I love soap. I love smelling nice. And, now in Italy, I absolutely hate hate hate hate despise hate hate hate showering.
The first few days went fine. Granted, there wasn’t much water pressure and I was having a bit of an issue shaving, but I did not complain because I was under warm, wonderful water.
Then, the, and I’m quoting here, “antique” water heater dies. Therefore, I do not shower for four days. Now, I am all for conserving water, and, when I came to Italy, I decided I would shower every other day, instead of my usual every day. But, four days not showering is not fun. I do not wish it on my worst enemy.
So, w are then given a brand new beautiful water heater. But, what happens next? My shower is now stuck on one setting: scalding hot. I swear you could boil pasta in that water. I thought I was going to get third degree burns.
We are lucky enough to have two bathrooms between the four of us, so my roommate and I tried the other bathroom, which, at least, has a separate knob for hot and for cold. The first time I used it, I had to turn the cold all the way up and turn the hot on slightly, just to get luke warm. This took me ten minutes to figure out.
Today, however, the shower decided that, by turning the hot water all the way up, and the cold water all the way off, I could take a semi-luke warm shower. Suffice to say, this also took ten minutes to figure out. I basically took a freezing cold shower. If you had been here, you would’ve heard the screams echoing through my apartment. Ok, they were mostly in my head as my roommates were still sleeping, but, it was terrifying nonetheless.
We did not take pictures at the IKEA. It ended up being one of the most frustrating experiences. We were supposed to take a free shuttle from the train station to IKEA. Instead, because no one spoke English and they pronounce I-KEA, “E-KEE-AH” we ended up on a bus to, and, excuse my language, bumble fuck nowhere. I’ve never been so nervous. We were getting further and further into a clear Italian ghetto when we saw, meters away, the large IKEA. We jumped off the next stop and walked ten minutes to the IKEA.
Then, we couldn’t find what we wanted b/c we couldn’t read the maps which were in Italian obviously. And it was hot. And there were hundreds of people. And I wanted to crawl up in a hole and die.
But, I got ten wash clothes for 2 euro and two towels, spending a total of 11 euro. Not too bad IKEA.
Also, we found the free shuttle home. Good times, E-Kee-Ah.
I love this city. I love my classes. I love being here. But, there are definitely some frustrating parts of being abroad in a foreign country, and, especially when they do not speak English.
Of course, there are plenty of people who can follow what I’m saying and will help me and commend me when I speak Italian, but it can be difficult. Today, all I wanted to say was “I want a little bit of each” but I had to just point to the window because I couldn’t get the words out. Also, trying to order meat. Everything here is in meters and grams and it’s something you have to get used to and it’s taking a bit of time. Today definitely helped. Kristen and I went to the market and bought dried fruit, bread, ground chicken for our chicken meatballs, bananas, apples, oranges and some cookies because we deserve it.
Our heat shut off again and we had to call our landlord, Vincent, to call Maurizio, to come fix it. We just had a new hot water heater put in last Thursday, so we couldn’t believe it had already broken. I’m so tired of sitting in 50 degree apartment and not showering for 3 or 4 days. And, either showering in freezing cold or scalding hot water. It really is strange the things you take for granted. I especially miss being able to read labels. I’ve never had so much trouble finding laundry detergent.
There is so much more I want to write about, so I am going to start writing more every day, and I have been video taping more this week, so hopefully I can do something with that.
(It’s cold. It’s very very cold. All the time) I’m not actually sure if that’s the correct way to say it, and, honestly, I planned on writing about something else. I want to talk about my awesome classes and the awesome food and my awesome life (I’m rude) and how much fun I am having learning about Florence and the culture. But, I can’t right now. Non posso. Because I am too cold. It is thirteen degrees celsius in my apartment. Thirteen degrees. (55 degrees fahrenheit)
The hot water heater has died. It died after the electricity went out on Monday. After struggling to get men over to turn our electricity back on, we learned the next day that the heat had gone out with it. We didn’t even realize this until we met with our school advisor and landlord. They pointed out that it was colder than usual. We just thought it was our same regular cold apartment.So we’ve had 3 Italian men in our apartment, none of whom speak English, which is really tricky. “Qualcuno..umm..somebody..ok…undici…11…I think someone’s coming back at 11”
Last night, I wore spandex tights, pajama pants, a long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt and three pairs of socks. This morning (day 2 of not showering), I couldn’t take them off. You have to understand. It was too cold. AND it was 7am. Don’t make me do it. So, I wore two pairs of socks and my spandex under my jeans today.
Today the yelling Italian men came over and our amazing Italian landlord, Vincent, who speaks perfect English, explained to us that the water heater is dead and we will have to get a brand new one put in. Luckily, this will be happening part of tonight and all day tomorrow, so it will all be over soon…. I hope.
so i dont know how to reply to your reply lol
sooo I'm answering here!
I am deece =] miss being home of course.
but talking about being away from home..HOW ARE YOU??? hows Italy and all that stuff!
haha, gotcha. I don’t miss home so much as I miss friends and certain foods. And also the ability to no what’s going on haha. We haven’t had heat/hot water in our apartment in almost 2 days. None of my roommates and I have showered. And we sit around in coats and scarves. lol. But, it really is a lot of fun being here. I am also eating bread as a snack and I just had gelato for breakfast…