Monday, September 12, 2011

I'm not promising that this will be edible...

Today I cooked for the first time in my new apartment! After class this morning, the lovely Kelly and I returned to my apartment and attempted to whip up a gourmet lunch… the key word being attempted, because I was only ½ sure I knew what I was doing. We mostly just freestyled our way through it… and it turned out pretty good! It was rigatoni pasta and chicken with a white wine/cream sauce. We ate on the balcony and talked away the afternoon, and it was a good time!

Here us a brief photo tour of my crib:
Bed. Personal balcony at left (don't be too jealous, it's covered in bird shit), large window at right. Not pictured: Kick ass sofa bed.

Kitchen with balcony.

Balcony/terrace thing off kitchen. Note drying rack in background.

With each passing day, I’m becoming more and more accustomed to the apartment. I can now successfully open the door, turn on the lights in the stairwell, and take trash out. You’re probably reading this and thinking, “Seriously, Lindsay? You had to learn how to open a door? I thought you were a brunette…” Yes, I am a brunette, thank you very much. Italian doors are tricky—so tricky that I have been stuck in hallways several times for over 10 minutes as I tried to figure out how to exit the building. It literally took me 20 minutes to figure out how to unlock the door of my apartment—and that was only because someone passing by took pity on me and showed me how to do it. You have to stick the key in the lock, turn it once around, pull the door super hard, turn they key  around again, and then push—and voila! The door opens! I would like to think that I would have figured it out eventually… but I probably wouldn't have ever figured it out —I would probably end up getting caught sleeping in the apartment stairwell like a hobo.

Then there’s the light for the apartment’s stairwell. I could not for the life of me figure out how to turn that damn light on! The past two nights I’ve had to use my cellphone to light the way up three flights of stairs! I finally asked Med Student (AKA Giuliano) how to do it; he looked at me like I was crazy but entertained my request. Apparently you have to press a button next to the elevator—one that resembles all the BUZZERS next to the doors. Who the heck would assume that you need to push the button (which looks like it would ring the buzzer) next to the elevator, which is tucked in a corner about 20 feet from the stairwell? Who invented that treasure of an idea?

And the trash—oh my goodness is the Italian trash system complicated. For one, in my apartment we have 5 (yes, FIVE) different baskets for various garbage/recycling—one basket for organic matter, one for plastic, one for glass, one for paper, and one for “none of the above” garbage. Each one of these baskets has a corresponding dumpster that’s located a FIVE MINUTE WALK away from the apartment building. Is a five-minute walk a long walk? No, but you usually just assume that dumpsters would be located directly next to the apartment and not down the street, around the corner, and past the stop sign. It’s ridiculous. That and people will throw you dirty, dirty looks if you accidentally throw a newspaper in the plastics dumpster. Based on the intricate garbage/recycling system, you’d assume Italians were crazy eco-friendly. Yeah, no. I have never seen a single recycling bin on the city streets. Every 20 feet there’s a garbage, but you need to find a recycling dumpster (which are few and far inbetween) in order to throw away the plastic bottle you’ve been carrying around for hours. So redonkulus.

It’s amazing how impractical Italians are… at first it’s endearing and quirky, but after two weeks it just gets annoying. Can’t the streets just have one name per street instead of 10? Can’t there be an easier way to get out doors? Why do restaurants close at lunchtime? I don’t know… I don’t even think Italians know why they do the things they do. For the most part, however, people here have been very welcoming and tolerant. Some people can be douches—like waiters who try to pull a fast one and charge you for an extra meal, or newsstands that will try to charge you more for a newspaper when you can see the price directly written on the paper, or grocery workers who snap at you for not weighing your grapes—but I have met some of the nicest people here, too. My favorite Italian so far has to be Nino—or I assume his name is Nino—from Ristorante Nino on Via Volturno. Not only is the restaurant absolutely amazing, but the service is great, and everyone who works there is super friendly. Whenever Nino (again, I’m not sure if this dude is Nino… but he’s my favorite so I just assume that he is…) sees me eating there again, he comes over and says hello and will usually bring us out some sort of free dessert or limoncello. Bless that man.

Tomorrow Med Student is going home to Naples for a day and a half, and instead of hanging out by myself in an apartment that makes a lot of weird noises (banging doors, creaking windows, random rattling noises…), I’m inviting a bunch of BCSP people over to have dinner and drinks. I will be cooking dinner, which may lead to interesting results, but hopefully no one cares too much about my lack of cooking skillz. They’re getting a free meal, and they’ll like it, dang it! In the meantime, I will continue to sit around eating my “Biscotti integrali” that I got from the grocery store for 94 cents. Cheap cookies! I’m definitely a fan!

I saw this graffiti-ed on a wall and laughed. Enjoy!

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