On the 29th of May I found myself on a plane with an “I’m-on-holiday” glass of red wine in hand, chatting to an American girl next to me. She was advising me of good places to eat, drink and shop in Florence, although I later discovered she and I were on rather different budgets (mine being considerably more student-esque), so unfortunately I would not be buying my basics at Patrizia Pepe. Nevertheless it was nice to have a chat at the start of my latest solo adventure. As I took my first step out the plane I was welcomed by a brilliant heat, beautiful mountains and beautiful men (yes, the airport workers hee). Needless to say, I began this trip beaming from ear to ear. After I had collected my luggage I made my way to the bus into town. In my head I was totally ready for the lingo – I had been revising my phrase book for a good couple of weeks now. However, as I stepped up to the bus driver I couldn’t even manage “cuanto costa?” let alone a full sentence. Taken aback by my own incompetence I just stared at him slightly angrily with my mouth open, prompting him to sleepily hold up six fingers. I handed him six euros inspecting every coin as I did so for what number it was. I definitely won the prize for being the most foreign foreigner on the bus, if I do say so myself.
I took a taxi from the station to my Airbnb, impatient to shed my huge suitcase. My host, who I shall call Giuila here, welcomed me in with a big smile and a husky ciaooo, buonasera!! She made me a coffee and we sat side by side to introduce ourselves properly. She used all the english she had but really, it had to be done in Italian. I listened to her, trying to understand things, but basically our first conversation was repeated rounds of grinning and nodding. I was just ecstatic to be in Italy!!
I soon popped out to find some dinner. I wandered around until I found a little greengrocers, wherein I picked up some tomatoes, pasta and a fennel. It came to €2.76 and all I had was a €100 euro note fresh from the cash machine. I showed it apologetically to the little toothless shopkeeper. He shook his head and smiled; “Domani!“he said. I wasn’t 100% sure what he meant…did he mean I should come back tomorrow to buy the things or that I come back tomorrow to pay? I asked him several times over (using the language of hand gestures) and it turned out he meant I could just come back and pay domani! I thanked him warmly and went on my merry way back to the Airbnb. Lying in my new bed that night in my colourful little room, I was thinking. To say I loved it here would be an understatement; the minute I arrived I felt so right, the same way I feel when I practice yoga.