July 11, 2006

hot, hot, hot

Note: This entry was originally posted to an old blog of mine called Go Out and See the World. It can be seen in its original here, including all comments, which were not imported. The entries are separate from Sunny Day Happy Face, but were imported for posterity! Enjoy!

Since I last updated about my daily events last Thursday, I will include the time between then and now. On Friday, Rosie and I did go to a fresh fruit and veg market, where I picked up a few items inexpensively, all of which have since been eaten or have rotted with idleness. I went to my second art class, where there was in fact a female who I began to draw first in pencil and then in pastels. I got as far as her entire upper torso, but her face was still blank. With permission, I took a picture of the model's face to continue on Tuesday (today). Art class is so relaxing. The room itself only has about 6 easels and a bed-like thing for the model. Some people bring in pictures to paint or draw, others sketch the model. In the only other room of this art school, which is right next to my Italian school, others paint or work on other projects. The room is cool and music plays in the background, but mostly, it is me and my media for 2 hours, which pass so quickly.

Later Friday night, Alessia and her mom cooked Rosie and I a special Mexian meal. There were cheese empenadas, beans, salsa and hot sauce, flatbreads and lemonade. All of the ingredients (from the cheese to the beans to the flour to make it all, I swear) were brought from Alessia's family's ranch in Mexico. The meal was excellent. Afterwards, Rosie and I started talking about American, British and World politics and we did not actually go to the watermelon party.

On Saturday, I slept in, then went to the San Lorenzo market. I didn't buy much there but another 5 euro Burberry-esque scarf, a twin of the one I bought there last year, except this one in tan instead of pink. The market is home to thousands of leather bags, wallets, belts, key chains... shoes, trinkets, you name it. But it's mostly catered towards tourists, so the prices are pretty high, there is some bargaining to be made, but the best thing to do there is simply price compare, since nearly every five stalls sells the same exact thing at varying prices. San Lorenzo is perfect for tourists who don't know how much to pay and are in awe of the leather bags, so they pay any price the seller asks. Afterwards, I walked down to the Arno where I thought the marketo etnico was. I couldn't find it and went into a hotel to ask for directions. I found it after that and it was only a few dozen stalls selling bags and clothes, but also a stall from Africa with carved animals, a Native American stall and a Peruvian stall, where I bought a penguin-like thing made of wood for 10 euros. All of the people in this market were natives of the countries they were selling goods from, which made it a bit more interesting, but the market was vacant and the trees made the area dark, so I rushed myself as I looked around the stalls.
Saturday night, Rosie and I (as well as a Japanese friend of Rosie's and her roommate, Christine, who is in my class) went to the concert at San Lorenzo. There was a Swiss chorus and an orchestra and among others, performed "America" from West Side Story. We were hoping for more of a show, but it was just alright.

Sunday was a waste - again I slept, hoping that when I awoke, it would be to the sound of a door clicking open with my new roommates. The entire day passed and I had decided to do nothing, so I simply read and went to the internet. By night, I stopped by at Rosie's flat and that's when the whole decision to go to the World Cup viewing was made.

Yesterday after I posted an entry, I went to lunch with Natasha, the former roommate who I thought was a bit sour. Turns out she is a nice girl and I enjoyed her company over pizza. Then we went back to the bookstore I had been to and I bought another book, The Queen's Fool, which is about a girl who is Queen Mary, then Queen Elizabeth's fool and secretly is a Jew who fled from the Spanish Inquisition to England with her father (so it takes place in the 1520s and beyond). I have completely fallen in love with historical fiction novels set in the middle of the first millenium. Today I began this book after finishing In the Company of the Courtesan, which is by Sarah Dunant (my copy is actually signed by her because she lives in Florence and London and came into the bookstore to sign books once!) - about a high-class whore and her dwarf partner-in-crime in Venice after the second sacking of Rome. I also bought Tuesdays with Morrie during my last visit to the bookstore, but I haven't had any interest to read a novel about something other than history.

Today, I was so eager to go to the market. After an hour of a lesson, we walked to the bus and took it to the market. The bus was so hot and cramped. Natasha, Caterina (a new girl who is also 18, from Croatia) and I went around the market, but were unimpressed by what we saw. It was basically a half-mile yard sale. There were piles of clothes from 1-20 euros each, some on hangers and from good designers like Ralph Lauren (just polo shirts, though), crappy shoes, jewelry, etc. Nothing was worth buying at all. So after an hour of walking around, we finally reached the end and saw a few other classmates. Our teacher said that at 12:00, those who wanted to walk back instead of taking the bus could go with him, but we looked at the way back and saw there was no shade at all (neither was there much at the market and I got a bit sunburnt), so we went to the bus. This was a wise choice, as I was back to my flat by 12:50, not nearly as tired or sunburnt and probably a lot sooner, too.

Another art class with the same model, actually, but I didn't use her, just her face on my camera, which I could zoom in on. I completed her face unskillfully and rushed, but now that the entire body was complete, I spent some time creating a fun background (which turned into a blended rainbow of colors) and got some feedback and much help from the director, who was there today to help our teacher, Sonya. After, I went down to Santa Croce and the streets below it for some gift shopping, then back to the apartment. I've hardly bought much for myself here, though I plan to try to do some shopping on Thursday.

I've lost all my appitite for anything but sweets. And when I say that, don't think I'm stuffing my face with it - 3 rice cakes with nutella on it for breakfast, hours later some yogurt with muesli, a few marshmellows as a snack and some gelato... Today I got some Indian take-out (I know, not Italian) which I hardly ate. But with the heat and the walking, how much I'm eating is nothing and though I'm not complaining, I do have oodles of pasta sitting in the kitchen, which I have no desire to eat at present.

Plans for my final two-ish days... tomorrow I will have my last art class and at night, go out with Natasha and Caterina. Thursday, I plan to do some shopping around the duomo because I have nothing to do after 1pm. At night I will pack. Tomorrow I will talk to the people at school about getting a taxi, because I will need one at 4:30am! Then I will be home by 4pm and already have plans for that evening in New Jersey.

It's hot as hell and it seems as though the rain and coolness in the days before the World Cup was a reward, but now that it's over is a sign for the Italians to get back to work. I've already grown tired of learning Italian (mostly because I am horrible at it and I pine for the complicated grammar and pronunciation of Russian) and am most glad to leave because of that! I know that's what I chose to do, but honestly, I am glad for the two weeks of intro to Italian as all. Ciao!

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