Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Croissants, nasty chicken, and hot hand towels coming right up, except the only thing served hot is the hand towels. Upon arriving in Florence after a really long and boring flight from the United States there was one thing that was on my mind. Where can I get something to eat? The airplane food was less than pleasant and unappetizing and the last time I had tasted something good was the amazing chicken and salad my mom had made before we left for the airport. As we walked the streets out in the humid muggy air on our search for something to cure our hunger we noticed one thing, there was nothing to buy that we could snack on. Being close to dinner we did not want to indulge ourselves in a large meal, but we also needed something good to satisfy our hunger. It was then I realized a custom of the Italians. Their meals are made up of many courses that allow you to relax and enjoy the food you are eating. By having multiple courses in your meal it is not necessary to snack throughout the day or after dinner. The custom of multiple course meals helps keep the slow paced atmosphere that we Americans are sometimes not fortunate enough to experience.
While being lead around Florence by the hilarious Fernando I was able to listen in on two young girls from the United States that were visiting with their family. As I was suppose to be listening I could not help stare at their adorable red, white, and blue old navy outfits they wore and their excitement for the gondola ride they had just got off of. As they shouted and jumped for joy one of the girls said “Oh my gosh that is so much better than the lake at home” and the other agreed with a wide grin from one side of her face to the other. “I think we should get a boat at home like this mom, it’s kind of like a canoe”, “Yea lets get one”, they both agreed. Hearing these girls be so excited over a gondola ride in Venice made me so excited to be there as well. Being in a place where motor vehicles don’t exist can bring a smile to anyone’s face; especially finding out afterwards that the family was from Massachusetts, where the drivers are known to be terrible.
After having two meals in Venice that were just Ok Jenna, Pauline, and I decided it was time to find the real good food with the even better reasonable price. After walking for 45 minutes and getting absolutely nowhere we walked down a side street and we found a small cute dress/bead shop. Our main goal when entering was to find a local that could point us in the right direction. We were quickly distracted though when we saw the amazing beaded necklaces and dresses. All the work was scattered over the small shop, which took away from the ugly green dirty paint on the wall. Although it was almost too hot to stand in there we found ourselves looking at everything. The cigarette filled atmosphere did not bother us. After admiring the necklaces, and dresses looked to be fit for a weeding we began to speak with the lady. A small Italian woman who smoked the entire time we were there and had a tiny fan on her. As she attempted her English with us she never took her hands off the bead necklace she was in the middle of making. The beads were spread out all over her table, most of them no bigger than a black spot. After getting enough information on where to eat dinner we were on our way. Who knows when the last person had stopped in the tiny old store, but for us it was well worth it.