Thursday, May 31, 2012

Attempt to Focus My Blog...

...on cute elderly Italian couples. All I got was this one picture. 

Getting Lost Chronicles: Part 2

Adventures of Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Starting day off right with orange juice and an apple pastry for 1.80

The morning started off early, and so, not having my chef-grade cookwear with me, I decided to skip on the frying pan and head down to the cafe at the corner to grab something quick on the way to wherever we were going to next with Mr.Ross' class. I'd gotten used to this early-morning routine by now, but my stomach still seemed to be jet-lagged. I was getting hungry at odd times( in this time zone, anyway). Best cure = when-you-order-it-freshly-squeezed orange juice. The last time I had this, I was trying to make money over the summer as a 10-year-old. The day before, I went to the open-air market and had my first batch of wild strawberries as well as fresh black cherries. Sadly, as I meant for them to last a few days, I ate them all before I got back to the apartment. 

Fruit. Fresh and Cheap.

 As the day went on and I had a nap, I began to crave sweets. I was a bit apprehensive to try anything new as I am a VERY picky eater and afraid to waste any euros.I'd gotten gelato in a touristy area with disappointing results. After a quick chat with the nice people at ACCENT, I learned of a place called the Fridgidarium Gelateria. I'd previous snapped a shot of the place unknowingly, as pictured below.

High number of Italians + Few Tourists+ Cheap Prices+ Great Product = Great Place

I must say, my ankles had a bad day from all the walking on uneven cobblestone streets and dodging taxis, but my taste buds were having the best vacation ever!

Getting Lost Chronicles: Part 1

 Adventures from Monday, May 14 2012

Monday night in Rome is similar to a Sunday night in Johnson City.

Most places are closed by 10 p.m., but it is still easy to find people walking about the streets with family or significant others while they take in the beauty of the city. I took this night as an opportunity to break away from the previous week of continuous group activities to roam about and take in the beauty of the ancient city in the candlelight-colored lights that flooded every street corner and alley.

Nobody seemed to be in a hurry to go anywhere.

Usually, when one think of an alley, an image is conjured up of shadowy, dangerous places that are to be avoided. Not in Rome. An alley is simply a smaller street(that cars will use a a road) that offers more surprises and treasures to be discovered. Curious shops with doorways framed by climbing, winding vines, or caf├ęs with funky-colored lights and live music, or even hookah bar.  I happened to find the latter on the same street as a particularly not-so-good restaurant I'd stumbled across.  

The Sciam Hookah Bar.  

Some of the many glass lanterns in Sciam.

For those of you who don't know what hookah is, just imagine the giant caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland. But, alot less trippy, as this is involves flavored tobacco that is vaporized for a clean, smooth smoking experience. It was very calming to settle into the Arabesque atmosphere, the place complete with throw pillows to sit and lean on. As well as exotic-looking carpet from wall to wall. I called up my mom for the first time and let her fuss at me for being out alone after dark. It was a pretty good night. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A First Impression

I'll preface this by saying that I was asleep during most of the day, so most of these pictures are either taken very early or very late. I attempted to combat jet-lag by sleeping as much as I could on the plane, but still ended up taking multiple naps throughout the day. Wonderful lying-down-in-a-bed-with-a-real-pillow kind of sleep. BUT, fear not, as I was not tired! I just sleep alot.I did, however, later find that my stomach was still on Mountain Time and wanted sustenience at 3 a.m.

 My roomate, Brandilyn Hamm, and I share an apartment with six other girls where there's four bedrooms. Three girls in one, two in two of them, and one (the assisstant) in the last.

Our quaint room facing the neighborhood street.
 One of the first things I noticed about Rome were how tiny the cars are in comparsion to the "compact" cars of the U.S. A small Toyota there is a luxury-sized boat in Rome. Even the mini-vans are mini.

Among the largest cars I've seen 

 Rome also has one of the most useful public transit systems. There are plenty of busses and trams and I've never expereinced having to wait for one longer than 5 minutes. They're extremely packed during the morning rush and in the early evening. Really packed. Shoulder-to-shoulder packed, but I'll get to that later.

The tram stop

In this large city, pedestrians NEVER have the right of way. Even if you do, you don't. It takes serious concentration to not get run over by a bus, smart car, or scooters. Even if you happen to be on the sidewalk(which can be as thing as a baby's shoulder width or non-existing).

Notice how tight the space is between people and vehicles.

In the photo above, our group, consisting of ETSU students taking the Digital Media Photography class and the Architectural class, is heading to a restaurant for our welcome dinner. By far my favorite part of the day. FOOD! Nothing can describe the richness, the tantilizing sweetness, the dancing of aromatic herbs and spices across my tongue. But, here's some visulaizations!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Ride Over

This post is getting to you late due to some technical difficulties, so bear with me!  :)

Starting not too early in the morning, I boarded a regional flight in Johnson City to Atlanta. It was a pretty comfortable ride, but it was hell from that point forward. Not due to strict security searching for explodable underwear or combustible flippy-floppies.

I couldn't get any SLEEP!

Honestly, the true meaning of jealousy comes in the form of watching the person next to you, in the convenient window seat, snoozing away in a comfy little corner while you feebly attempt to sleep sitting almost vertically against your seat.

Sure, the seats let back a little, but with elderly people sitting behind me, but I did not want to encroach on their space if they had to go to the bathroom.

After 8 hours of watching movies in Italian sans English subs, dozing off for periods of 5 minutes, and walking up and down the isles to prevent bed-sores, it all paid off the moment I saw this.

Dawn over the Alps

Saturday, May 12, 2012

It Begins!

Departure Day!

Day of my flight out of the States, and I've just finished packing about an hour ago. This wonderful opportunity to travel abroad for the first time is finally starting to feel real. No pre-travel jitters. No expectations. I'm just open to the experience.