24.01.2010 - 29.01.2010 40 °F
I feel like I can't update this blog fast enough with all that's going on here in Paderno del Grappa!
Last Sunday we had out first real day off since we've been here. We got to go to the Market in the town over, Cripsano, which was about a 15 minutes walk. Once we got there, we were shocked with how huge it was, considering Paderno is so small! There were hundreds of stands with fresh fruit, veggies, clothes, rugs, jewelry, fish ect... you name it, someone there had it, and for CHEAP! They had coats for 5E, jeans for 8E, and they were practically giving away the fruit. It was so nice to get to a small town that wasn't bombarded with American college students, so I really got to practice my Italian. I was able to successfully buy a scarf, earrings, and fresh fruit all for under 10E total! I had a good conversation with a man who ran a stand at the market with his parakeet, Babo. I held the bird and made conversation with the man, which I was pretty proud of.
At the market, I was expecting the food to be kind of like fried, almost carnival food. Nope. The thing that was popular were these huge, whole roasted chickens they would put in a paper bag and people were walking around with. They had tons of calamari (which yes Ashley I tried and didn't mind) and mystery meats on a stick. Sometimes I think I'm happier not knowing what it is I'm eating here, as long as it's good, I don't need to ask ha.
Sunday evening me, Colleen, and Jessica decided to really buckle down and put together some travel plans for the upcoming travel week. We got tons of books from the Library about Europe and made lists of all the places we would ideally like to visit. The list was LONG. So we had to look at which places were most feasible in the time we had allotted and with our tight college budgets. After much frustration and contemplating, we finally came up with a rough itinerary! We are going to start by flying from Venice to Dublin on Feb. 13, where we will stay for 5 days! In Dublin we have a day long walking tour we want to do, tour the guinness factory, hit up the pubs, and then do a 3 day long Paddy Wagon tour which will take us all around northern and southern Ireland. Then we will fly from Dublin to London and spend the rest of our time there. We want to go see a theater show in London, see the changing of the guards, abbey road, the bridges, Stonehenge... the list is really endless. Then we will come back to Paderno. We are so relieved to at least have the airline tickets arranged and are working on details, but if anyone has suggestions on great places to see in Dublin or London, please let me know!
Also, so more big news... I am going to Slovenia this weekend! I know, Slovenia? It is about 3 hours from Paderno by bus, and there is an organized trip through the university. Originally I wasn't really interested because I knew nothing about Slovenia, but as I researched it, I couldn't believe how beautiful it looked. I cannot wait to go see it myself. We are leaving this Sat morning and we'll get back late Sunday night. There are a ton of people from CIMBA going, so it will be a great chance to get to know people better and explore somewhere we know very little about!
This week has been jam packed with activities and workshops. I am ready for class to start and to get a routine going! It was also a challenging week because my insulin pump broke (figures right), so that really put into perspective that I was a world away from home and had to come up with a solution. My first instinct was to hop on a plane home, but Mom worked with the American pump company, I worked with the Italian company (i should say my translator worked with the Italian pump company) and I finally got it up and running yesterday.
So there are a bunch of things that are hard to adjust to here, little differences that you wouldn't ever think of. For example, most of the doors don't shut automatically behind you, so you have to remember to close them behind you. The flushers on the toilets are ALL in different places, there is no common location, so literally you have to stare at them to figure it out. Many of the light switches are outside of the room you want to walk into. The urinals are basically holes in the ground (thank god i'm a girl!), Burger King value meals come with a beer, businesses are closed for 2 hours in the afternoon... it is so interesting adjusting to a new way of life and breaking a lot of my habits from home.
Well that is about all the time I have. My friend Jake turned 21 today so we are about to go to the Pizzaria and celebrate his birthday. Thank you everyone for all of your comments and emails! I miss you all and really appreciate them!