Wednesday, November 4, 2009
A week in the life of an intern
Ok I know I haven’t written about Cinque Terre, so I am going to sit myself down on this dilapidated couch and discipline myself until I am finished writing about Cinque Terre, the day before I left for Cinque Terre (CinTer), Halloween, my future apartment, and my recent updates of life here (when I say updates, that’s code for Giulio). I’m putting subtitles so that if readers want to skip around they can. This is a long entry…
The day before CinTer
The day before I left to CinTer was a Wednesday, and it was going to be the last day that I would see my friends Malin (Sweden), Sarah (Switzerland), and Paul (German). We decided to go out for some drinks and to dance a little. Lots of people showed up, for which I was glad, because this was kinda planned around me. I tried again to get Giulio to come with us, but he just laughed and said he was too old. I told him not to forget me while I was gone in CinTer and he got all serious and said “Why would you ever say something like that?” haha cute little Giulio. So I went to some restaurant and paid 6 euro for wine that I made my other friend drink. That kinda sucked whatever. Then we went to The Red Barron, the best bar in town. It was university night so all the tables were pushed back. It was really fun. Afterwards, I went to sleep over at Sarah’s house. We talked a little bit and then I got on the bus to go back home and leave for CinTer!
Getting to CinTer
I got to the station early with a huge freaking load of stuff. We went to the market to get some fruit and then we got on the train! Arriving in CinTer is like stepping into a fairytale. The train passes through a tunnel and then all of the sudden, there is the Mediterranean Sea. The fresh ocean air was so welcomed after two months in Siena. Riomaggiore (the city furthest southeast, let’s say the first city) was where we were staying. It was an adorable sleepy fishing town. We called our apartment owner who came to fetch us. Speaking a mix of Italian and English (on both parts) we all went to the apartment.
The apartment was darling, with an INCREDIBLE view.
The first night we decided to eat earlier than normal so after a little bit of time playing at the beach and taking lots of pics (I was sufficiently splashed…) we went to the market to get the greedy ants for a healthy dinner. We made pasta, carrots and green beans. It was delicious!! And so nice to cook for once. After dinner we were all in the mood for gelato so we tried to find a gelataria. There was nothing. It was so weird. So after that bust we went back home and chilled out.
First day seeing the cities
The next day we were planning to hike the trail between the five cities. We got all ready to hike and then we went to buy the ticket to do the trail. Annie and I bought ours from this girl, then Ashley was about to get hers from the boy that was working, and he told her the trail was closed. Annie asked if we could get a refund on our tickets. I was kinda ticked that the girl let us buy our tickets when the trail was closed but the guy gave us a refund.
We decided then to take the train to see all the cities. (In order they are: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso) It was a nice little preview. The day was totally overcast so it was hard get good pictures, but the day after was perfect. My favorite parts of the day were: the cinnamon gelato, the focaccia, the view of Vernazza from the cemetery, and the little park with the merry-go-round. That night we ate dinner at a pretty nice restaurant. I got swordfish ravioli with tomato sauce. Incredible. That was in the last city. We decided to head back to Riomaggiore and watch movies and play cards and it was all fun and good. I tried to have pillow talk with Ashley but I was a bum and fell asleep.
The hike! :slash: the second day
The next day we did the hike! It was the most beautiful sunny day in the world. I was actually quite worried that I wouldn’t be able to do it. I’ve never been much of a sportsman and though I have lost 136 pounds (woot!) I’m still a big girl. Luckily, the hike was most enjoyable. I even liked the hard parts and I wasn’t even that slow. To enter into the city of Corniglia you have to hike about 380 stairs. I jogged almost all the way up. It was awesome! Vernazza (the fourth of five) was breathtaking this day. The water was aqua and clear and the sky was tangibly blue. The colored buildings looked like the ghea at a Cold Stone. It was amazing. We sat on the peer for hours basking in the sun like lizards. I stretched out and did a few yoga poses because we had been hiking for the last few hours straight and I was getting stiff. At Vernazza, I meditated for a long time. Let me just be a little out of the box for a minute and testify of meditation. As I sat in the sun listening to the waves, I thought about how much I wanted to recommit myself to being healthy. I thought about health, my appearance, my body, and my goals for what must have been 30 minutes. Since that day I have eaten and exercised nearly flawlessly. I need to meditate again because I can feel the effects wearing off, but let me just say that I know that was a big part of the 3 kilos I’ve lost recently. We made it to the last city. It was all downhill from Vernazza to Monterosso. At Monterosso, we watched the sunset and then got on the train to Riomaggiore again.
We hung out at the apartment for a while, enjoying the night. Then we woke up late the next day and headed back to Siena. The train ride took a long time, but we got home in time for dinner. And we met up with a few other girls who were on their way home from Milan.
In short, it was a delightful weekend.
Next topic! Halloween ☺
So I was lucky enough to be able to tag along with the study abroad group for their tour on Saturday.
Of course I should tell about the 29th first. I hung out with Giulio for a while and we talked. So I went to his restaurant at like 9:40 and he made me count the cash register like he always does. He makes me do it in Italian out loud because he thinks it’s cute. I told him he had to pay me next time. Then we went to our favorite bench and talked about stuff. He told me his name in Albanian means star. His name is Ylli Ismaealdad. I think that’s how he spelled it. So awesome. And he is ¼ Japanese. Ok that’s enough about him. Pretty much it was really fun and he said I’m an awesome listener. Then I met up with another girl Elizabeth who was with her man to go back to her house. We recounted the events of the night to each other and then when we got back to the apartment we realized that she had forgotten her keys. Lol so we waited for a little until some nice guy came and he went in, and we followed right after him. Then we went and hung out. It was a real sleep over. We stayed up really late and everything. Then in the morning I escaped (because the family didn’t know I was there hahaha) and went back to my house to shower and stuff. The thirtieth nothing really happened that I can think of.
The olive oil tour
Halloween! I decided to be a snow leopard, and in true hillary style I wore my costume all day.
So annie and I took the bus into the city like we usually do and then we loaded onto a bus to go to Buonconvento and a monastery. At the monastery of San Benedetto I saw all the frescoes by Sodoma. It was awesome. If you don’t know who he is, he is the renaissance painter who painted himself right in the middle of his painting. So funny. We also saw Montaperti, the place where Siena beat Florence in battle. That was awesome! I am proud to be Sienese.
So this day was pretty much just a ton of goofing around. We took so many pictures and a lot of people were in their costumes.
Best parts of the trip: getting to know all the girls better, the amazing lunch, and talking to the bus driver.
After the tour we all went to the Halloween party at the church. It was so fun! Everyone’s costumes were awesome. But the best part of this was: Giacomo’s brother came and I got to chat in Italian with them about how his brother should come to church. One of my other friends was like “you left us all to talk to the Italians.” It’s true though because my goal in coming here was to learn to speak Italian, and so I choose to speak Italian or to Italians whenever I can. I hate going so long without speaking Italian. Haha I just realized that I said the same thing a few weeks ago about English.
After the party, I went to go show Giulio my costume but he had already left work sadly because he loves cats. I knew he would have thought I was the cutest kitty ever. Oh well. I showed him the pics and he said it was “troppo carina.” Good Halloween (except for all the dirty looks I got for being dressed up like a cat all day. But I am proud of my Halloweenal heritage so take that).
Next Topic! My future apartment
Well, a few days ago, my dear friend Ryan sent me an email entitled “COME LIVE IN MY WARD!” or something like that. So I thought, “This might work!” He was so darling. He sent me a video of the girls in the apartment, and this like huge list of all the good things about the complex and the ward. So I thought about it, and it seems like a dream come true. So I said give me this girl’s email and consider it done. So come next year (anyone who is interested) I will be living in Condo Row! Conerstone Condos ☺ I’m pretty excited, and Eric doesn’t live very far either. I am a little nervous to leave my old beloved 180th but I think it’ll be a good thing for me. I have no clue what BYU will be like without the BFFTAAEs though. That is gonna be weird.
To sum up, la vita è bellissima. Vorrei ringraziare tutti quanti che leggono questo diario di miei pensieri. Ho i migliori amici sulla faccia della terra. Davvero. Sapete che mi considero la ragazza più benedetta nel mondo, in famiglia, fede, amicizia, tutti. Senza di voi, non potevo fare niente. Ogni parola gentile mi solleva e per questo sono grata grata.
Today I can’t think of: anything to write on my “Today I” section
Today I would love: to go to Disneyland
Today I wish that someone would: make all my decisions for me
Today I want to talk to: MATT!