So my plan to try and go places I've never been and explore constantly during my last week here has not gone as well as I had anticipated. I forgot that I am not bionic woman, and am quite the opposite, so I get tired a lot and I realized on mondays and tuesdays when I have 6 hours of class, that pretty much exhausts me enough to deter my exploring. But that doesn't mean I didn't accomplish anything today, I accomplished a lot!
Woke up early to go to Mamma's bakery to study Italian with some classmates. There I'm ashamed to say I ate a muffin. . A raspberry chocolate chip muffin, it was totally worth it. While studying we met two women who were drinking their coffee as well. One was from California, and had dropped out of UC Davis 30 years ago, but recently got a degree, and her friend a mother of 2 boys had moved to Florence 12 years ago and still lives here. Inspirational to me! I didn't get much of her story, but knowing its possible to move here and make a life, and speak fluent Italian IS POSSIBLE! There is hope for me yet!
After Mamma's we went to class, had jokes and fun with Veronica and Francesca, reviewed a little bit then went to get a quick lunch so we could return to Eurocenters to finish our photo projects that were due today. Our mission for lunch was Gusta Pizza, but as we rounded the corner we noticed the doors were bordered up and then it came to us.. It was monday, lots of stuff was still closed! So the group split up, Jackie and I daring to try a little supermercato's panini that a few people said were really good. Boy they were right! I had a delicious panino, with delectably soft, yet crunchy bread, mortadella, pomodoro, pesto and mozzarella, and boy was the woman generous with the mozzarella, she put an entire ball on, and the whole sandwich was only 3.50. Made me a little sad I hadn't ventured into the store earlier, in fear of leaving Gusta Panino, but at least I made it in once! And I won't lie, I preferred it to Gusta Panino, Gusta just has more ingredients, but the market was 100% more fresh, and the woman was so cute and old who was working there, so she got my points! Won't be going to Gusta this week, if I want a panino it will be from the little old lady again!
So after we ate we went back up to Eurocenters, I began burning my project onto its DVD in its correctly labelled Benjamin format. Chatted with professor a little before class, then started photo class and viewed everyone's final project. Wasn't a bad class, I got to work on my Mauro presentation a little bit and then Professor took us to the corner Gelateria, Santa Trinita, where I tried a 2 euro combo of ANANAS e YOGURT! (pineapple=bomb)
Then I ventured across the street to the Farmacia where I asked the store keeper what he had for mosquitos. He responded they had many things, creams, sprays, things for before and after, and asked which one I'd like. I told him I would need them all, THAT is how bad my face looks, and how bad my hand itches and how bumpy every part of my body is at fault of LE ZANZARE ITALIANE! I left the store with a ZANZA STOP plug and an anti itch stick that can easily fit into my pocket or purse so that I can apply it at any time, I'm really excited about it.
After the successful trip to the Farmacia I headed on home catch the bus number four for one of the last times of my time here, because tomorrow is June, so my monthly bus pass is up and I don't want to spend money on individual tickets. Just will have to buy one for Saturday to get to the stazione with my tons and tons of luggage (not looking forward to that). When I got home Claudia was there to greet me and apologize for not feeding us properly last night, it was wonderful to see her :o). We chatted for a little then I ran into my room to plug in my ZANZA STOP, praying it would work, and thankfully it seems as though it has done the job thus far.
Claudia came in a little while later asking for Sam because we had our cooking lesson starting soon. I wasn't exactly sure where she was, so I was the sole learning chef for the day. Claudia took me into the kitchen and explained how we would be making the eggplant and the sauce. In the sugo, there would be chopped up carrots, half an onion, celery, and basil (she never gives specific quantities, so i'm screwed when I reattempt the recipes!) cooked a little bit and the tomato would be added and heated and stirred.
For the eggplant portion of the meal, it was mainly on me. She showed me how to wash and cut the eggplant into slices. I then had to flour the eggplant slices, and put them in a frying pan that had already heated oil and a few pieces of sage (which I picked from the garden). While I was frying the eggplant slices, taking them out when they were golden brown (d'oro), she was putting hunks of parmigiana in the blender and finishing up the tomato sauce. When most of the eggplant slices were done I had to lay them down in a pot, layer by layer, adding sauce then parmigiana atop each layer of eggplant. When it came to the end, she told me I put way too much cheese on top and a little much sauce, but it was okay it was Lia Style Eggplant Parm. We put it in the oven to bake for 20 minutes or so then we sat down to eat it with a little bit of pasta on the side. The excess of cheese was the perfect amount to me! Samantha, Gabri and herself all enjoyed the creations of me, I was proud, and hoped I could remake the delicious dinner at home without herself. Doubtful, but I will try someday!
Dinner was delicious, I was forced to retell how I had made everything to Samantha in Italian. We watched the usual Viva Las Vegas tv program for a little, and then we figured what we would be doing for the remainder of the trip, discussed when we were leaving and what we would miss. Sad dinner, but to come in the week is a Tiramisu lesson, sauce making to bring home, and making biscotti al prato. Somehow I will be doing a LOT of cooking tomorrow, wednesday and friday before I go out to dinner with a friend. I felt bad having to tell Claudia and Gabri we wouldn't be here thursday (because of our class final dinner) and friday (because I was invited out), but they understood. When Claudia left the table Sam and I started talking in english in front of Gabri, suddenly he told us to stick out our hands and he lightly hit each of them chastising us for speaking in english and said solo parlate in italiano, Ops, we forgot! They are so good about not letting us speak english at the dinner table, i love it! I'm gonna miss them!
Almost done with the day, doing a little studying, watching an episode of Glee then off to bed! Get ready for exciting T-4 TOMORROW!