Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Hi friend! Sorry, I've been absent for a few days, but I didn't feel like boring you with the mundane-ness of life as of late. But don't worry, I'm writing because the mundane has been broken! Before I jump in though, I would just like to observe how this seems to happen cyclically every week: the weekend is a blast with no shortage of things to write about, then Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday come as dull as ever and I can't find a single interesting word to write. Not one morsel. Luckily, the weekend is fast approaching and I have no doubt it has many wonderful stories in tow.

But before I get ahead of myself, let me give you a recap of a couple of the interesting things from yesterday and today. As previously mentioned, Mondays and Tuesdays can be very blah, so to combat that, yesterday evening we decided to go to dinner. One of our roommates had been told by a native Roman of a place in Trastevere (a Roman neighborhood) that was delicious, cheap, and authentically Roman - the trifecta! We had been to Trastevere many times before, but had stuck to the main street. This restaurant, however, was off the beaten path and it was great! We had to wind our way through adorable side streets and miniature piazzas, past old, forgotten churches and adorable architecture until we finally came upon the gem that was il Ristorante di Carlo Menta. When the Roman said it was cheap - she wasn't kidding. 3 Euro pizzas, 5 Euro pastas, and the list just goes on and on. I had the spaghetti alla carbonara (spaghetti with a sauce made of egg yolks and cheese, along with some bacon) and it was bellisima. Really and truly the best pasta I've had to date. All in all it was a wonderful way to unwind from two very boring (yet stressful) days.

Now, onto today! Today was more exciting than I thought it would be - which is always a nice little bonus. After my 9 o'clock class, I ventured down to Via del Corso (the main shopping street) in search of some things I had seen during Vogue Fashion Night Out. While I didn't find what I was looking for, it was truly enjoyable to wander in and out of the stores on my own time table, just enjoying being there. Ultimately, I returned empty handed aside from the packet of 20 postcards that I found at a tourist vendor stall for 1Euro. Talk about budgeting.

After my classes ended for the day at 5, I headed over to the ISA (the program I'm studying abroad through) office to meet up for my interscambio. What is an interscambio, you ask? Well surely you know. You know in Eat, Pray, Love when Liz is living in Italy and she has that speaking partner? And they meet regularly so she can practice her Italian and he can practice his English? Well that's it. To a "T". Except I'm not a middle aged woman trying to find my identity half way around the globe. But other than that, we're identical! It's set up through the program and the person I'm paired with is a personal friend of one of the ISA staff members. (For instance, my interscambio partner is one of the staff member's roommates.) His name is Marco, and he's a very nice Italian guy who is from Naples, and lives in Rome and works at the Roman Education Federation Office (or something like that). We had a really great time talking and I'm hoping that meeting with him will really help my Italian. If anything, he can at least teach me some things about Italian culture. For instance, today we were getting coffee while we were talking and it was about 5:30pm. He had a coffee (espresso) and I had a cappuccino. He told me that Italians never get cappuccinos after noon, because the milk slows down digestion. So by getting a cappuccino after noon, I was pegging myself as a tourist and sticking out like a soar thumb. So already I've learned some valuable information! Aside from that, it really was quite entertaining: him trying to help me learn Italian and me trying to teach him some English! I'm really excited to see how this goes!

Finally, the last event of the day was an ISA cooking class held in the ISA office. It was just nine students and then the two staff members and it was so much fun! Apparently when Italians give cooking classes, it's not just a cooking class. Oh no. It's a full blown meal. It lasted 3 full hours, and I loved every minute of it. We started out by learning how to make pasta all'amatriciana (a pasta with a tomato, pepper, guanciale, and cheese sauce). While that was cooking, we made tiramisu and in the process finally learned what the weird tea kettle looking thing in our kitchen is - it's how Italians make coffee! While that was setting in the refrigerator, we enjoyed a variety of Italian breads, then a simple salad, then a fritatta, and finally we had the pasta followed by the tiramisu. And of course, as seems to be the  trend here in Italy, it was all delectable! It was supremely enjoyable to polish off the end of the day with hours spent cooking good food and enjoying others' company. I really couldn't have asked for a better end to my day.

I realize that was an extensive amount of dense writing, so if you've made it this far, let me give you a reward. One of my laughing points for the day was this quote from one of my professors: "You try sending one thousand Bulgarians a survey monkey!"

I'll just let you ponder that and make of it what you will.

I'm sure you're sad the post is almost over and I know you've missed me, but take heart because I'll be writing again soon! I've got a big adventure on the horizon for this weekend!


No comments:

Post a Comment