Quirky insights to science, art, studying abroad, & other miscellaneous happenings.

Quirky insights to science, art, studying abroad, & other miscellaneous happenings.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Slowly adjusting = overwhelming

Nobody really tells you what to expect when you study abroad. We all go through different experiences, feelings, and adjustments. I, for one, am slightly struggling with balancing me, myself, and I/my attitude with the other 109 people here. It's kind of difficult to spent practically your entire day in "group" activities. I think that's what makes it feel like I'm in a vacation tour group, living out of a hotel.

We started our 2-week long intensive Italian language course (3 credits) and we had to get books at a local bookstore, called the Paperback Exchange. The Espresso book below was 21,50 €. We need another workbook, but I went later and they were sold out. I'll check back at the end of the week.

We got our meal tickets this afternoon: the red ones work for up to 14€ meals at 25 different ristorantes/trattorias around Firenze. They provided 21 of these to last until February, and 26 breakfast ones (worth 4€).

The sheet below is one of several that my professor gave to us. Anyway, he thought that knowing these gestures would be quite helpful in Italy. 

Below are the 5 Esselunga cards I received with my meal tickets. Esselunga is a huge indoor supermarket/grocery/store place with a lot of everything. 
The chart for equivalency:

1 Esselunga = 1 meal ticket = 3 breakfast tickets

I'm thinking to trade in my 14€ meal tickets for more Esselunga. Simply because I won't eat meals that cost that much everyday, and can eat pizza for 2€ and spend the Esselunga card.

Other goodies I got:
My class schedule, which is two weeks later, after the intensive Italian course. The shaded-in parts are my classes.

My home stay that I get to move into -- tomorrow! So excited. It's the X on the map, below the Arno, and a short walk from the school. Also, literally next door is the amazing gelato place I had on my list to try, the cheapest, best, and most authentic gelato in Florence starting at 1€. It's fate!!!

I also got my Richmond student ID card and my museum card. Finally. 
I am SO excited to start exploring Florence more!

So, every day for 2 weeks, we have an Italian language class from 9am-1pm. There is a half hour break, and I went to a nearby market (San Lorenzo) today and got a notebook for my Italian class notes.
Here's how to say, Can I buy a notebook? in Italian (because they store them in the back behind the counter… you cannot reach them.)
"Posso comprare un quaderno, per favore?"
It is so, so rewarding to practice your Italian. Italians always welcome the fact that you try to speak their language (even if you butcher it), and they will help you out.

This had the most pages, and they are blank -- perfetto. Although 4,50€, I felt comfortable splurging. I realized later that it's made in France and the pages are so, so soft. I can't stop touching them!

I'm finally recovering from jet lag, exhaustion, and from being overwhelmed. 

What'll be coming up: (because there is so much to talk about)
*photos of Florence: school, classroom, home stay, the city
*the food -- what it's been like culturally, and pictures… 
*culture differences (& just, you know, inadvertently breaking the law…)
*Italian people

1 comment:

  1. All the paperwork sounds like a drag, but there's nothing that cheers me up more than a blank, well made notebook. Trade in the meal cards for grocery cards or sell them on the black market for double the price? The choice is yours...


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