January 15, 2011

Dear Florence, you force me to love you.

It's 8am, crash! bzzzzzz! hammer hammer hammer. What a lovely alarm clock. Construction going on in my building. I know I should be thankful that I do not live with this drama everyday because I have friends who have it so much worse with the sounds of Florence. I've heard horror stories of people not being able to sleep for weeks on end from scooters, loud music, obnoxious students, etc.  I do have the pleasure of living on the top floor of an old palace (in the old servants quarters, nothing fancy here), so normally its silent. Not this week.

The water in my shower has also been out for the last two days. This has become so regular that I don't even call my landlord anymore, I just deal with it as part of living here. I know after a few days, the water will work, so I manage. Thank goodness the dollar store sells Baby Wipes. Finally today the water came back on at a pressure adequate enough to take a shower.  Yippee! I can be clean! This was until the warm water turned to blazing hot within one second, and burned my chest. I have welt marks to prove it. Mamma mia, beyond frustrating. So, I waited a few more minutes for the scorching water to turn warm again, and it never did - only to ice cold. Basta (enough!) I decided to finish washing up using the sink, let your imagine run wild.....

Welcome to living in old buildings where things are constantly breaking, being fixed and unreliable. I am thankful  for days where the shower works good, the heaters work, its quiet and I feel comfortable in my home. This is part of living here, I have to accept that and move on, but some days its difficult. I am used to things working efficiently (except for Comcast cable).

Okay, enough of my rant. I decided to get out of my house. I have to honestly say that walking around the old city is one of the best parts of living here. I cannot afford anything in most of the shops here, but boy do I LOVE looking in their windows. Today, my girlfriends and I strolled along the fashion district, looked at fabulous garments in the windows, admired beautiful art galleries, and always my favorite : sneaked peeks into the absolutely stunning home furnishings stores.  We strolled around, to what I have nicknamed "Museo Via Fossi", Museum of Fossi Street. Antique stores, persian rugs boutiques, fancy hair salons, contemporary art galleries, la bella vita (the beautiful life).


So I came to this conclusion. I have a serious love-hate relationship with living in Italy. Florence is so beautiful at sunset, the architecture is so incredible, and the feeling you get walking here is magical. I wake up with annoyances, but then have my day turned around by absorbing the good stuff : My friends, good food, good job and exquisite surroundings. I remember back in the US, if I woke up with something annoying, it would ruin my whole day. That does not happen here thankfully. 

The arts, the creativity, the pride the Italians take in appearances of things make this place special.  I wish somehow this passion for beauty would translate to motivation to getting things fixed (and in a timely manner).  I suppose this is a part of living in city whose buildings were constructed 600 years ago. They still have faults today. Shabby on the inside, but beautiful on the outside. Oh Florence, I still love you.
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