I’ve been in Florence for two weeks now (although it feels like I’ve been here for months!), and I’m quickly realising a lot of things about living on my own. For one thing, how much hair and dust are on the Swiffer (I like to clean.) after a room sweep even though it looked spotless and I had just Swiffered the floors two days before. Also: how quickly my nails grow (something in the milk or water? haha), how much dishwashing goes into preparing a meal for one, and how hard it is to share a bathroom with 2 or 3 other people (shallow, I think not).
After the rush of the first week, trying to take care of all the serious paperwork stuff–bank, permit of stay (to be detailed in a separate post), codice fiscale (the tax number thing), etc.–I’m glad to finally have some un-outlined free time to just get to know the city better and to sync into its rhythm.
I’ve piled up a nice little set of cards already–my library card, supermarket membership, gelato membership (yes, there is such a thing), IKEA card, bus passes and whatnot–and it’s really starting to make it feel like the roots are being set in place a bit.
I have also done the IKEA pilgrimage to pick up bedding, some cookware (although most cookware I got from Esselunga, one of the big supermarket chains here), and of course to eat the delicious Swedish meatballs + lingonberry + mashed potatoes + gravy meal that I’ve been craving for ever since Stockholm (the ones in IKEA Singapore are not. the. same.)
The ironic thing is that I now have contact dermatitis because I was allergic to my sunblock, and it was exacerbated because I was exposed to the sun 😐 A cruel cycle.
Because of that, I’ve been holed up in the apartment during the sunny hours (like a vampire) binge-watching series and (as shown in the photos above) trying out some cooking–nothing fancy though, just the stuff that comes in packets and jars and things. I have yet to be more ambitious in my cooking.
When I do emerge from my vampire hideout, I go explore where my feet or the bus can take me. Granted, I’ve spent the last couple of days doing laundry (the apartment’s washer is broken, FML), going to the supermarket and doing all sorts of errands, but when I did have a few hours, I went to the Biblioteca Nazionale to get my library card and tried hanging out in there for a bit (it’s supposed to be one of the best places to study haha).
I also went to Fiesole (a hilltop town 20 minutes from Florence by bus) to catch the sunset over the city. I was planning on hanging out at Fiesole to do some painting/sketching or something, but the view was a little too far that I think I might get some better details hanging out at Piazzale Michelangelo instead (which I mentally penciled in for one of these days).
My highest priority right now, though, is to actually learn Italian. On the plus side, I must not stick out too much like a sore thumb–a feat, considering I’m Asian–because people keep speaking to me in Italian. Downside–I have no idea what they’re saying, save for some words I’ve picked up here and there and maybe some charades.
So for the next few months at least, here’s to charades. Clink.