So, I find myself in Florence, Italy and with some time and luxury to blog again. I will make an interlude from my series of near-death experiences to share some of what is going on in my life right now. My semester is complete (with some success), I am freed from my home responsibilities for the time being, and in a wonderful environment. You may ask, how did I get here?
I am studying abroad at the Institute at the Palazzo Rucellai in Florence through a program at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester. I will be here for a total of six weeks, until July 3rd. So far I have not really left the city, but have had a number of good experiences here. I will try to catch up on relating those as I continue, but first I will start with the most recent.This is the view from our apartment!
Today our Food and Culture of Italy class took a field trip to Il Marcato Centrale, the Central Market. On the way the professor had us try tripe (trippa).
Afterwards, we toured the market. They have giant wheels of cheese, exotic meats (rabbit, horse, guinea hen, etc.), and lots of cuts and parts that are not common in American supermarkets; tripe, lung, brain, and pig penis. I draw the line at tripe...
After touring the market we headed back to the piazza Della Republica to split up for the end of class. On the way there, we were going down a small side street en masse, when a a little delivery truck almost ran over the professor! I missed the beginning of the exchange, but when our professor said something to the driver, it turned into a shouting match with a distinct cross-cultural context; I heard the driver say "Tedesco" several times; our professor is German, and it seems that the gist of the driver's abuse was that our professor was another damn German that thinks he can come to Florence and do whatever he wants, etc. etc., hearkening back to the Nazi occupation of Northern Italy.
Out professor gave a cursory explanation but pretty much shrugged it off.
Afterward, I went back to the market with one of my fellow students, and picked up fresh porcini mushrooms! These only grow wild and are really fresh right now. Yum!
I have so much to relate; I will try to post as much as I can!