Travel

Language Barriers: Italy #3

10:18
Because Lizzy had to go to school today, she dropped Lada off in my room so, that she didn’t bark when she left. I was woken up by the little poofball snuggling upbeside me and going to sleep. The feeling of having something so tiny and fluffy snuggling upbeside you makes me happy… Due to the long night yesterday I was quite tired so I attempted to go back to sleep, but my efforts were in vain. I only lasted another hour of eyes shut, trying not to squash the dog, and trying to regain my comfy spot. Eventually I gave up and decided to take a shower instead. Previously I had thought of having one last night, but Lizzy beat me too it. Instead I basked in the comforts of an empty house and washed away my troubles, the guy from the plane finally forgotten. Because I had to take hand luggage, I didnt have any shampoo or anything which me an I had to decipher the Russian and Italian bottles lining the shelves, I’m pretty certain I may have used moisturiser instead on conditioner. Thinking back I could have just squeezed some products into some small bottles but never mind, maybe next time.

After getting dressed I decided to tackle the problem of breakfast. As far as I knew we’d finished the yoghurt yesterday, so I was unsure of what there was to eat. Picking up Lada in one arm and opening the fridge in the other, there was little food I could see which looked like breakfast food. A piece of sushi was popped into my mouth to get the gears working, but I was still rather stuck for ideas. Natalie still hadn’t arrived home from work so I couldn’t even ask her for help. In the end I decided to eat the remaining peice of sausage and cheese toast, and wash it down with one of those liquid yoghurts.

I’m probably going to read or watch a movie until someone comes home, there isn’t much to do here on your own. I did open my curtains and open the window to take some pictures of the view, which was quite pretty, but now even the dog has abandoned me. Hmmm… I’m going to go and entertain myself.

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12:29
So Natalie came in about an hour ago, just as I was beginning the korean film ‘My Annoying Brother’, and proceeded to ask some questions. The first one was “Eating?” I assumed she was asking if I had eaten, which I had, so I said “Yes.” The lovely lady then began to pull out thing from the fridge asking the same question, so I then assumed she was asking if I wanted to eat. It was at this point she burst out into hysterics and called my sister-in-law, who was slightly confused at her giggling mother and proceeded to translate for us. Natalie wanted to know if I would like some food and what I would like to eat. Notice that the second question overrules the first, giving me little choice in the matter. After some broken English we decided that pancakes are on the menu for second breakfast, to be honest the finished result was more of a crepe then a pancake but never mind. We made pancakes together, me mixing and Natalie adding ingredients whilst explaining how to make them. Two eggs, whipped, plus two teaspoons of sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix. Add some milk, about a quarter of a cup and then three table spoons of flour. Mix. Add a bit more milk, warmed this time, until the mixture is more liquefied. Lastly add the tiniest pinch of bicarbonate of soda and a splash of oil, I couldn’t read what kind. With that mixed together I was sat down as she expertly fried the crepes in a frying pan with some oil. She asked me something in Russian and pointed, or I thought she did, at my glass of water and said something simular to ‘chai’ which means tea. By all means you can guess what I thought she was asking, “No thank you, I’m happy with water.” Silence. Then giggles. I’m confused. Why is my water funny? She rings someone up and starts giggling down the phone whilst putting jam, nutella and honey on the table. Ahhh. She wanted to know what I wanted on my crepe. Oops.
I sit down to eat the crepes, spreading nutella across the centre and rolling them up. Natalie carries no bustling away in the kitchen making what looks like 3 drinks. One is tea and one is coffee, I gathered that much, but then she added two teaspoons of sugar into and empty cup, added a lemon slice and smushed it together then poured half of the tea into the cup. Voila! Lemon tea! She gave this to me to drink saying “If you want to drink, drink. If you don’t want to drink, don’t.” I drank and it was delicious. There was an underlying sushi taste, maybe from the board not being cleaned properly last night, but otherwise it was tasty.

After about 8 nutella crepes, with four left to go, I couldn’t eat anymore. I was stuffed and if I ate any more I probably would feel ill. I politely refused the offer of left over sushi, meat, cheese and more pancakes, as tasty as her food is there is only so much I can eat. Feeling bad for not being able to finish my food I began tidying up, only to be quickly shot down with the words “Niet. Niet. I do. I do.” With nothing to do, and an inability to hold conversation, I went and say down again. I heard her start to wash up. At last! My chance! I rushed back to the kitchen and with hand signals and words said “I can dry!”
“Niet!” 

Well then..  guess I really can’t help then. Almost stepping on the dog, I walked back to my room. It’s ingrained in my nature to help people if they’ve done something, and I felt a little lost not being able to repay her efforts for the food. The contrast between the manners I’ve been taught as a child and her nature to not let the guest lift too much of a finger are really clashing. If I can’t help, I think I’m gonna try and learn a few more Russian words. I know how to say hello (pbrieviet), no (niet), tea (chai) and thankyou (spasibo), but it makes her happy when I say things in Russian so I will try and learn a few more. That’s my aim for this holiday!

18:13
Lizzy arrived home from school at about 1 o’clock and we started to prepare for our day. We decided to go for a walk as there was little planned in the itinerary for today. With both Natalie, Liszt and Lad a we walked in the opposite direction of the centre, once again stalking the pokemon. Along the way we met many other dogs and their owners, they would approach us and let the dogs sniff each other. A polite British citizen would not go to the trouble of letting their dog make friends with another, disturbing the walk of the owner, one would instead politely pretend the other did not exist and forcefully carry on the journey. The constant stopping and starting was odd at first, but I soon embraced the friendliness after I realised it gave me permission to pet more and more dogs. So much floof.

In a week or so a carnival is passing through Florence, so when we arrived at the main fountain of the park there were scores of children in costume throwing confetti into the air, running riot and knocking into unsuspecting citizens passing by. Whilst I took photos of children like a paedo, the others caught pokemon for their collections. I don’t even think my photos from the park turned out great, I was trying to hard to be secrete. We made the walk back, brushing past an Italian ice cream shop, I believe it was partly in jest at the fact that I said it felt like British summer, which it did, and I would happily have walked around in shorts and t shirt despite the Italians bundling up in coats and scarves. I got a pear ice cream and Lizzy got a lemon and chocolate one, excellent ice cream if I must say so myself. Before we reached home we quickly stopped off at the supermarket to get some more food, and then returning home. We decided it was too late to do anything but go out for drinks, and as I’m not one for spending extortionate amounts on nights out, we decided to stays home for the night.

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23:04
Since arriving in Italy I had not had the stereotypical Italian food, so we decided that for dinner we would have pizza. Whilst we waited for dinner we watched movies and stuff on my bed, I carried on watching My Annoying Brother and Lizzy watched JackSepticEye. Unbeknownst to me Natalie once again  began cooking for the invisible army hidden in the closet, notice that this will be a repeated trend throughout the course of my trip. Garlic bread, the sausage and cheese thing and pizza as a main. Pudding was a mix of sliced fruits including two types of oranges, kiwis and apples, plus a bowl of crisps just we got hungry. As Natalie left to go to the gym, she quickly offered up some ice cream as well. Until she returned we finished season one of Stranger Things, it ran pretty much as I predicted but I am curious as to how season two will play out. It probably rates at around 8/10, although it was predictable it had some nice colour toning and was fun to watch.

Upon Natalies return I am offered some chocolate whilst we play with Lada. She has a billion toys and she gets confused what to do with them all. Whilst I’m munching on my chocolate and teasing Lada with a crab plushie, much Russian floats around my ears. “Would you like some tea? It’s not teabag tea it’s special tea.” I assuming that means loose tea, but even now I’m not completely sure. Natalie gives me some to pass on to my sister, as well as a sodoku book for us to solve on Monday when our translator goes back to school. Natalie knows English numbers better then she knows words, which is fair enough, the thought is there. We ate the tea… ate the tea… We drank the tea with some Italian pastries with chocolate inside, the pastry was a little dry and lacking in filling but what was there had a good flavour. The tea was Russian, if the writing was anything to go by, and tasted like a warm pear pie~ Mmmmmm. Pie. If there’s anything us brits love, it’s tea, and if you can add pie in to that? Heaven. Unless it’s like steak pie… or squished pie in hot water…that wouldn’t be tasty.

We settled down on my bed again, nibbling on salty biscuit… things until bedtime. I wrote this log and Lada licked everyone’s tablet screens. She licks stuff a lot. Earlier, when dogs tried to sniff her butt, she’d stare them in the face, lick their nose, then walk away. Weird poof ball.

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Quick question:What’s with the tall ceilings in Florence? Is it to do with the heat in the summer or.something, cause these roofs are at least 3 or 4 feet higher then houses in England. Just curious.

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