10 September 2008

some more trash-talkin'

so i'm sitting in the garden at linguaviva and abbie just said:
"it smells so rotten out here. like rotten broccoli! it really does smell horrible."
this is the perfect description of the way a lot of things smell here.
like yesterday, my fanta can smelling like sweaty hands. it was awful. and it only smelled like sweaty hands at the part where your nose gets close to the can as you drink from it.
oh and i'm still covered in bug bites. the ones on my legs are starting to look diseased. almost like old hickies or something. abbie says that they look horrible. my professor made me put cream on them at school because they looked so bad.

here are some of my bug bites:

right before my last entry, abbie and i had gone to the big market near our school to get dried coconut and kiwis, the breakfast of champions here in italy, when i stumbled upon a sight for sore eyes, A GARBAGE TRUCK PICKING UP GARBAGE. i thought that garbage just sits here forever stinkin' up the city, but no, apparently it's taken elsewhere to stink up other place. gaby says venice is even worse and that it straight up smells like sewage. she says "canals are stinky". well take of whiff of this:

things that i've found in the trash in the last week and a half:
an amazing poster of a beautiful woman
an old shoebox filled with colored pencils
and a 2001 calendar with really colorful pictures of people in tibet and africa that are now my new stationary

that's the picture of the woman.

last wednesday i went to chianti and wine tasted. we had three different wines, and then grappa with biscotti. there was prosciutto, salami, fresh pane, and then an additional bottle of wine that we bought for six euros. we all went home with rosy cheeks. it was absolutely beautiful in chianti, and there was a lot of grass. there's no grass in florence. and like four trees. unless you go to the boboli gardens at the pitti palace. but that costs monies.

host family situation is much better. we don't have to wash our undies in the sink anymore because she asks us to do laundry. dinners have been spectacular. last night was pasta cooked perfectly al dente with tomato sauce, followed by tomato and cucumber salad and a ham and cheese omlette. we had apples, and then abbie and i got gelato after at gelateria de medici, our neighborhood favorite/the best place in florence for gelato.

more on making bread and rificolona later.
p.s. i'm going to venice this weekend. envy me.

02 September 2008

host famiglia

yo yo yo,

so we moved into our host house six days ago, optimistic and stoked to be there. things were looking up. our host opened the door, saw all of our bags (and us struggling with them), then showed us where her door was upstairs. she told us that she didn't speak any english, and motioned that the elevator up was broken, and then proceeded to NOT help us carry all of our luggage up. it took us four trips, and we were totally sweaty/exhausted. she showed us where our room was, and then brought us into the kitchen for a glass of water.

description of host: she is 36, a school teacher, and single. she wears leggings and this one "champion" shirt that always has a stain in the center of the chest. her parents live with her for the summer. they leave in september. her parents are adorable, but speak no english as well.

description of host's behavior: neat freak. totally anal. kind of intimidating, and a little scary. she's a teacher, which to me translates to "not a real person", because let's face it kids, you're not supposed to see into the intimate details of living with a teacher, everyone knows that.

example of said behavior: after we brought our luggage into the hall the day we moved in, she moved it to our bedroom, and then wiped down and mopped the hall floor.

she left a huge paper in english with her 'house rules' that were hyper specific:

we are to: wear slippers in the house, take short showers because we share the bathroom, make our beds every morning, keep our room tidy, come in earlier than midnight, and be very quiet when we do enter.

we are not allowed to: use her aluminum foil, use her dishes. put tape on the wall to decorate the room, have our window open, use the toilet paper to blow our nose.

we were scolded for taping a map to the wall last friday. i got really mad at her because she's totally insane, and so we had to go out and take a walk. we got lost, and then i stumbled upon a huge pile of GARBAGE. i looked through it for things to salvage and bring into our room, so that we would be able to decorate said items of garbage and lean them against the walls. i found two wooden boards and some wrapping paper. i also taped my polaroids to some bags that i'd bought. and we hung our most colorful clothes around the room to just add some color to the 20 foot white walls.

more on the garbage soon. i took a sweet pic of a dump truck picking up garbage right by school today.

01 September 2008

prima entrata

ciao kids,

i'm in italy, and so far i've had my fair share of interesting adventures and awkward moments. i call this blog 'italian garbage' for several reasons.
first of all, there is garbage everywhere in firenze. in fact, most of the little garbage canisters are overflowing with garbage. just last week i littered for the first time in years, because i simply wanted to feel like a florentine. i put my gelato cup on the ground near my apartment, and guess what, three days later, it's still there, now full of this creepy black liquid. i pass by it daily on my way to the bus. i'll take a picture for future reference.
secondly, our window at the pensione ottaviane overlooked a pleasant street right near santa maria novella, which was pretty cool, right? wrong. every night at least 62 times, the restaurants and stores would dump all of their glass bottles into the garbage can right under our window. then around 4 in the morning the garbage truck would come and pick up all of the broken glass and dump it into it's garbage holder. i seriously woke up thinking it was kristalnacht2k8 last week.
thirdly, there are these things gaby fox refers to as 'funk pockets' which are exactly what you think they are. pockets or air that you walk through that smell funky. they're all over the city, so beware. there's a regular fun pocket outside of our school in the city center.
my fourth reason for the name is the article p.schwartz made us read in stats about how all the buffalo mozarello in florence has high levels of dioxin in it because of all the garbage in italy. great. thx.
and my fifth and final reason for the name is because i need these blog to do some total trash talk on all the dirt i can find about my life here in italy (which there is a lot of at this point). think of this as the perez hilton of italian gab.

and now for some pictures

these are garbage animals, i.e. pigeons. they are everywhere. this one was trying to eat some of my falafel from kabobji in the piazza santa maria novella.

i grew out my armpit hair before i got here because "everyone in europe has hairy pits, right?" wrong. no one here has hairy pits. so i shaved them after the first day. now my armpit hair is swimming with the rest of the garbage in the city.

this is the view from the balcony where i do some of my finest trashtalk at school. i had a lovely gossip session just an hour ago with a couple boys from my program while i looked out at the duomo and the lovely clouds. i hope it rains soon by the way.

all this blogging has me feeling spent. i'll work on some more entries. i have a lot of really fabulous stories already. just ask alex or ashley.