Saturday, May 3, 2008

A couple of days off

Due to an abundance of non-working days, I had ample time to get things organized and settled in the new apartment. Thursday, May 1 was Labor Day, a holiday so important that not even the buses were running (except for the ones to the stadium, since Florence was playing Glasgow Rangers in the semi-final of the UEFA cup). Therefore, I decided to walk into town, mostly in the Cascine park, which stretches along the Arno river for quite a few kilometers. Interestingly, the paths and piazzas in the park are named for American presidents, e.g. Piazzale J. F. Kennedy, Viale Giorgio Washington, or Piazzale T. Jefferson. Somehow I doubt that there will be a Viale Giorgio W. Bush anytime soon. Friday was officially a work day, but since most of the people in the lab took the day off, I only went into work for half a day, mostly to use the internet, since I don’t have that at the apartment yet. I did order it, but apparently that can take up to three months, since they first have to activate the telephone connection. That’s also why these blog posts pop up at random times, since I’m writing them, saving them to my computer, and posting when I have an internet connection. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a wi-fi hotspot like at Starbucks (no Starbucks in all of Italy!), so weekends and holidays are internet-free for now. Finally, today was a shopping day – Mercato Centrale for produce, Natura Si to check out the selection of fake meat products for Kristen, and a regular supermarket and Lidl for everything else. Afterwards, another short trip to Ikea to get some more stuff from Ikea. The apartment is slowly coming together, and I’ll definitely post a picture once it’s presentable.

It definitely is nice to have a place to call one’s own again (a feeling that I didn’t really have in the temporary apartments), and I’m quite happy with the apartment I have. There are however a few details that I can complain about:

  • A bright red couch/sofabed (definitely not my color)
  • No dishwasher means endless rounds of cleaning dishes after cooking (or postponing it and having to do it before the next meal)
  • No dryer means hanging everything on a drying rack on the balcony, which in combination with the extremely hard water means that even with fabric softener, the clothes end up hard as a sheet of metal
  • Gaudy blue glass fruit bowl and fake flowers that have to be packaged and moved out of sight

No comments: