Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Things We Do

Sorry for the short hiatus. We had a couple of lazy days, and I didn't want to just write a blog about how we are in Florence doing absolutely nothing. But I don't want to disappoint, so here we go.

The landlord finally came by to check out our internet. She had claimed adamantly that there was no way it was password protected, and she was clearly annoyed at having to come by on her lunch break. On a side note, I would expect "I'll come by during lunch break" to mean sometime around noon or shortly thereafter. It turns out that, although we were home and waiting for her, her lunch break didn't really get her here until about 2pm.

When we first got here, we had working internet on the network "Libero." It was not password protected, and when she asked us if it was working, we said it was. I pointed out that I thought it was not the right network, and that the one in this apartment was protected. The router says "Infostrada" on it, and the network that was showing up with the strongest signal was called, coincidentally, "Infostrada," and was password protected. She brushed it off and said there was no password and that we were good to go. So, with that back story in mind, here is what happened.

She came over, after some texts on Sunday in which she reaffirmed that there was no password, on Monday. After the texts seemed insufficient, I sent her an email proving that the network was protected. I had simply unplugged the router and we still had working internet. The Infostrada network was gone.

She got here, quickly made this same discovery, and quickly became annoyed. After about 30 minutes of rapid Italian on the phone, she packed up the router, said she'd get it fixed, and left. Turns out, she had set up the network herself, she should have known its name, and by leaving it unprotected, she left it open for anyone who wanted to to protect it his or herself. No admission that we were right and she was wrong, no apology for the rudeness of how she approached the problem. Such is the Italian life.

More Interesting Stuff
Monday was a relatively lazy day. We made some eggs. There was a plan to go see the statue of David, but we didn't make it. We didn't make it again today, actually, but we will. Maybe tomorrow before class.

We met all the French students for dinner at Kitsch, this time arriving early enough to get a table. This place is phenomenal. For 7 Euro, you can get an all you can eat buffet. And this isn't your typical Ryan's, or OCB, or anything like that. The spread was extensive. Everything looked like a home cooked meal, and tasted like one, too. That's no easy task in the modern world of mass-produced restaurant sludge that most buffets offer. I didn't know what half of the choices were, but I filled my plate with some of everything, literally. There was a dip that tasted like spinach and artichoke, but with brussel sprouts in it (good), and another dip that was cream cheese with truffle oil (not as good). There were rices, barley, fresh pizza slices with prosciutto and/or mozzarella. There was even a dish with sliced up hot dogs. One thing appeared to be Thanksgiving day bread stuffing. There was steamed broccoli, grilled eggplant, zucchini, and red peppers. There was penne pasta with red sauce. They had risotto in a creamy concoction. Fresh bread, both white and wheat. Cous cous with veggies mixed in. Grilled chicken cutlets that looked really dry but somehow tasted phenomenal. There were home fries (small cubes of fried potatoes).

For one additional Euro, you could get one of any drink on the menu. Johnny and I both went for Long Island Iced Teas. When getting a deal, always make the most of it. As the saying goes, "When in Rome."

So the food was spectacular. It was, hands down, the best buffet of all time.

After dinner, we went to the Israelis' apartment to hang out. Their place is very swanky. It has a huge balcony overlooking the city (6th floor). At one end is a spiral staircase leading up to a second tier of the balcony (7th floor). At the far end of that is a painter's ladder leading up to the roof (roof). We hung out up there for awhile, but the hosts were nervous having people on the roof so they asked us down.

As it got later, we got the idea to stay up there until the sunrise to see it ascend over the city. Seemed like a great idea, but no one realized the hosts weren't too keen on it until they politely asked us to leave about 20 minutes before the sun was scheduled to come up. This was not convenient. So we hustled out and walked to the river to see it rise from there instead. It was no rooftop view, but it was pretty spectacular.

Another lazy day today. We are about to go to the Asia Market down the street because I am craving Chinese food. Stir fry tonight.



Nina said...

Ok...so how long have you been waiting to use the line "When in Rome..."

haha sounds like you're having fun!! Love the pics!

Sam Says said...

Haha we've been saying it constantly. We taught the French what it meant. Now they use it all the time, too. It applies to everything we do here!