Sunday, January 30, 2011

When It's Friday, and Theres No School in Paradise

I exaggerate: I had two hours of english.
I managed to drag my altiste friend through Old Nice despite her chronic fear of muggers (it's a sunny day, at 10am, I'm not the crazy one I assure you!) where we fell upon an adorable little market. We allowed ourselves the indulgence of a hugely over priced basket of strawberries, and other more reasonably ticketed fruit for a picnic on the beach.
On our way down to the pebbled shore, I, who am distantly but surely related to crows, was mesmerized by a jewellery display. I had been oogling for a minute or two before I realized that the guy running the bicycle stand was speaking to me in a misshapen french. Poor thing, I told him I spoke english, and he was so relived to find a fellow Anglo-Saxon that he started recounting the hardships of a vendor in a tourist town come january. He hadn't had a sale in 4 days, and was willing to give me a deal on his handcrafted wares (6 euros a peice, 2 for 10 euros) three for 10 euros.
Inspired by the sunshine, and perhaps egged on by the perplexed and horrified look on my friends face, I told him Id be back in a bit. The friend and I went for another "stroll of the marketplace", just an excuse to get her to pass by the bakery with me to grab him a mini pizza.
We came back to his stand, and picked out our eclectic and unique accessories, and were chatting in english, complimenting his work, when a flock of young tourists came by, and heard us gushing.
His smile was priceless as he was swarmed, and we discreetly slipped the grocery bag on his bike handle and were off, me beaming at the break in his bad luck streak and on a doing-little-things-for-strangers high, the friend shaking her head and deeming me very, very bizarre.
I've been treated of bizarre a few times since I've been here, and honestly if doing things like stopping to call the numbers on runaway dogs collars is bizarre, then I am absolutely, positutly, bizarre!
One way or another, one passageway after another, we wound our way to the beach, and sat, and basked in the 16 degrees and sun.
I realized, sitting with my hair down that I was surrounded by three kinds of people:
the brazen tourists, speaking loudly, shouting after children in their own languages, making themselves at home and bringing great joy to the souvenir merchants.
old folks, who have worked all their lives, raised their families and are now spending the rest of their well earned lives soaking up the sun and love of grandchildren
But look, they're both on vacation in reality, and make up the vast majority of the population of the beach! What do they have that the workers on lunch break don't?
In fact, the ones who have their priorities straight, the ones who have something right, are the
mothers, sitting on the rocks despite sore backs, and drained expressions, and playing with little ones, who drag strollers up and down bumpy shorelines to find a sandy spot for their munchkins to plop down in. They are the ones taking time out of their busy lives, to breathe, and to remind themselves that there is life beyond ones priorities... In fact, I think they're the ones who have realized that to live and be fully alive is a priority.
These are my daydreams, as the turquoise waves crash on the shores with an absent minded vigour, and a metronomic pulse...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

(the extents of) My Italian!

What does one do on a trip to Florence when the friend you're travelling with has a fever of 103? Learn her native language of course! In preparation for my tour of Italy with Nina, Suzanna and Juliette, in 16 days, I have decided to learn as much Italian as possible, so that there will be less touristy oopsie daisies. So far, we have covered the very basics: numbers and because it's Italy, and upon some research in my archives, it can be deducted that FOOD is also essential in Italy. How to structure basic sentences should follow at some point next week.

1 Uno
2 Due
3 Tre
4 Quattro
5 Cinque
6 Sei
7 Sette
8 Otto
9 Nove
10 Dieci
11- Undici
12- Dodici
13- Tredici
14- Quattordici
15- Quindici
16- Sedici
17- Diciasette 
18- Diciotto
19- Dicianove
20- Venti....
30- Trenta
40- Quarenta
50- Cinquanta
60- Sesanta
70- Settanta
80- Ottanta
90- Novanta
100- Cento
1000- Mille 

Pasta- pasta (never plural)
  • Tagliatelle (with egg, like spaghetti, but flat and large) 
  • Gnocchi (round, potato based, gooey)
  • Spaghetti (yum, long round thin)
  • Penne (cylinder, cut diagonally)
  • Tortellini (round, stuffed, served in broth) 
  • Ravioli (square, stuffed)
     with pasta...
  • Pesto (paes-toh); pesto
  • Matricciana (mah-trree-tcha-nah); 
  • Carbonara (karr-boh-nah-rah); 
  • Alle Vongole (ahlay-vohn-goh-leh); mussels
  • Ragu (rrah-goo); meat with tomato sauce
  • Al Salmone (ahl-sahl-moe-nae); with salmon
  • Aglio olio e peperoncini (aeh-lee-oh owh-lee-oh eh pé-pé-rrohn-chee-nee); oil, garlic and gentle hot pepper
Gelato (plural is Gelati)
  • Stracella (stra-cha-tella); chocolate bits, creme
  • Crema; eggs
  • Cioccolato (tcho-ko-la-toh); chocolate
  • Vaniglia (vah-neelya); vanilla
  • Fragola; strawberry
  • Pistacchio (pea-stack-eeyo); pistachio
  • Panna (pah-nah); whipped creme
  • Fior di latte (Fiehor-dee-latteh); creme au lait
  • Amarena (ah-mah-reh-nah); white with pink, bitter berry
  • Caffé (kaffeah); coffee
  • Menta (men-tah); mint
  • Frutti di bosco (frooty-dee-boh-sko); wildberries
  • Limono (lee-moh-neh); lemon
Carne- Meat
  • Mucca (moo-ka); cow
  • Maiale (mah-yah-leh); pork
  • Vitello (Vee-tehllo); calve
  • Coniglio (kon-eelioh); rabbit
  • Anatra (ah-nah-trah); duck
  • Pesce (peh-chae); fish
  • Osso buco (oh-soh-boo-ko); tender meat on the bone
Bibite (bee-bee-teh)- drinks
- Acqua (ah-kwah); water  
     Naturale (nah-too-rah-lay)     Frizzante (free-tsanteh) 
  • Succhi di frutta (soo-ki-dee-froo-tah); fruit juice 
  • Vino (vee-noh); wine
  • Birra (bee-rrah); beer
  • Latte (lah-tay); milk
Frutta (froo-tah); fruits
  • Mela (meh-lah); apple
  • Pera (perra); pear
  • Arancio (ah-rran-choe); orange
  • Mandarino (mahn-dah-ree-noh); mandarin
  • Ananas (ah-nah-nahs); pineapple
  • Fragola (frrah-goh-lah); strawberry
  • Lampone (lam-poh-nay); raspberry
  • Anguria (ahn-goo-rri-ah); watermelon
  • Pesca (pesz-kah); peach
  • Albicocca (ahl-bee-koah-kah); apricot
  • Pompelmo (pohm-pel-moh); grapefruit
  • Uva (oo-vah); grapes
  • Cigliege (chee-leeay-jeh); cherry
  • Melone (meh-loe-neh); melon
Verdura (verr-doo-rah); vegetables
  • Spinaci (spee-nah-chee); spinach 
  • Incalata (In-sah-lah-tah); salad
  • Pomodoro (poh-moh-doah-row); tomato
  • Patate (pah-tah-teh); potatoes
  • Mais (mice); corn
  • Fagiolini (fudge-eeo-lee-nee); string beans
  • Fagioli (fudge-oh-lee); beans
Wheats/ grain type things
  • Pane (pah-ne); bread
  • Pizza (Pitza); pizza
  • Riso (rree-zzo); rice
  • Lenticchie (len-tee-keeay); lentil
Formaggo (forr-madge-oh); cheese
  • Mozzarella (motz-ah-rreh-lah) 
  • Caprino (kap-rree-noh); goat cheese
  • Gorgonzola (gohr-goan-tzo-lah); moldy cheese
  • Formaggo grana (forr-madge-oh grrah-nah); parmesan on pasta
Dolce (dohl-chay); Desert
  • Torta (torr-tah); cake
  • Crostata (kroh-stah-tah); tarte de confiture
  • Creme caramel (crehmeh carramel); flan caramel
  • Panna cotta (pah-nah coh-ta); white desert thing
  • Profitterol (proh-fite-errole); crust with chocolate filling
  • Cioccolato (tcho-ko-lah-toh); chocolate
  • Cioccolato bianco (tcho-ko-lah-toh bee-ahn-ko); white chocolate
  • Meringata (meh-rreen-gah-tah); meringue pie?
  • Tiramisu (tee-rah-mee-soo); coffee flavor

The trip was really special, despite staying at home more often than was intended, since home, has two rescued dogs, and olive orchard, and the most fascinating couple I've ever met: they just returned from 12 years in India working with the untouchables, he's a world class tai chi instructor (I had a lesson!!!) and she's headed for three years in China to perfect her ancient chinese in order to study traditional chinese medicine. Also note, they are both vegan. 
     In the end, the plan for the afternoon with the ladies will consist of lunch at a little restaurant hidden over the main bridge, then off to the Offices to scurry through the art. We'll stop by an artisans gelato shop on our way to the cathedral to see Dantes golden doors, and then to a different restaurant in a back alley for supper before running to see the Pizi palace.
     All this, will be done in one afternoon.
... I hope :)
I had a lovely trip, and hope that my favourite ballerina gets better soon <3

Friday, January 21, 2011

From now until Wednsday

I am off to Isola 2000, then to Florence! My season of endless travels begin!
"Skiing" (I don't ski, or any form of winter sport since my first experience was rather traumatic), then off to do tai Chi and formulate a plan on how to see Florence in one day. Ouf!
It is unlikely that you'll hear back from me before Thursday, however, I will write about my grand adventures.
WIth the luck my class has, it should be interesting:
The week before vacation, our flutist got in not one, but TWO tram addicidents, the opera singer (luckily only) got tapped by a car, our altiste had a messy break up with her boyfriend. Stop. Fast forward to this week, after the plague of bad luck had meandered and spent a few weeks with someone else; French teacher breaks two ribs, three out of 10 of us are sick, and Math teacher took a nasty spill down the stairs and will only be back to school on the 27th because she broke her ankle. So grave was last Friday I don't dare include it in the list, but our english teacher lost her mom to cancer... We wrote her a huge bristol board card, and I made her a heart box, but nothing changes when one day you're saying I love you, and the next you're having to say goodbye.
I can't complain, or insinuate my luck is bad, no need to taunt the Fates. I realize that I am hugely lucky, and look forward to sharing with you all the things I'm looking forward to! 
Sidenote- I'm on an Amélie Poulain kick... If anyone is in the mood for piano atmosphere, it's excellent!
Virtue: Appreciation. Otherwise, you can have it all and nothing at all, or at least not until it's gone.
much love! 

My hike/Lycée/Christmas holiday

My village <3

This is my 'waiting-for-spanish-class' view.
Frohe Weihnachten from my German grandparents.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One thought per day keeps the time thief away!

Honey! I'm hooome!
Miss me? :)
Since my last post: Paris, Germany, weekend at Evas!
Pictures corresponding will be added tomorrow night, because I still have 2 acts to finish reading of Molières' "l'école des femmes" to read before dawn.
Also since my last post, application has been sent to Pearsons.
Virtue of the moment: Patience
Lots of write ups about my voyages to come, along with a synthesis of how the rest of my saturdays were spent, but for now, my pillow is calling :)