My sister loves to tell “epic” stories. Whether she is describing her long waits in the driveway of her best friend’s house or the latest gossip from her high school, my sister is a true Italian as she raises her voice to elevate the drama and gestures her hands to emphasize her points.
It seems that not a day goes by when Jackie does not have at least one story to share. The other day, after coming home from a lacrosse game, she proceeded to skip all the details about the final score or her playing time, and instead she talked nonstop for more than five minutes about how she and her best friend became lost in the opposing team’s school and had to ask countless times for directions to the bathroom. She said that the two of them asked multiple times where they could find the bathroom, but repeatedly the instructions failed them. It was only after the third attempt that they finally found their desired destination, a spot the rest of the lacrosse team had seemed to find rather easily. Continue reading →
“Il miglior souvenir di viaggio è un biglietto tranviario che una mattina, rivestendo un vecchio abito, troviamo in fondo al taschino del gilet, dove l’avevamo messo mesi prima, in una lontana città e poi avevamo dimenticato la sua esistenza. All’improvvisa scoperta, balza il cuore, quel pezzetto di carta è una metafora concisa e straziante.”
It is hard to believe that it has been nearly four weeks since I arrived in Italy for my first time abroad. It seems like only yesterday that I was struggling to keep my suitcases less than fifty pounds while attempting to pack everything that I would need for my four months studying in Florence. In retrospect, these past four weeks have gone by tremendously fast, and it pains me to think that nearly a quarter of my stay overseas is complete. During the time that I have been here, I have already explored the Piazza del Campo in Siena, shopped in the expansive Mercato Centrale, courageously entered the Italian women’s domain, and eaten troppa, “too much,” pasta. Living in Italy has been an absolute dream!
Although I love the culture and the food of Italy and I recognize how limited my time is in such a wonderful country, this past weekend I took out my passport and crossed the borders. Along with my fellow housemate Emily, I ventured off to Brussels, Belgium, a destination that I had very little knowledge about other than its title as the home of the European Union and its renowned chocolate and waffles. Having booked our flights earlier in the week, Emily and I spent Thursday evening planning our thirty-six hours in the Belgian capital. On the list: chocolate, Flemish art, French fries with Cognac mayonnaise, Art Nouveau, waffles with chocolate sauce, Mannekin Pis, and moules frites. The weekend looked to be an exciting three days of excellent food and culture. Continue reading →