Monday, August 18, 2008

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostro viaggio / Mi ritrovai in una casa dello studente, davanti al computer...

Me I'm funny, eh? Two euros to whomever knows whence the title of my post came. (It's very appropriate to the country in which I find myself.)

Ciao a tutti e a tutte! Sapete che mi mancate? Ve lo giuro!

I'm just past halfway through my trip and I still have much to do and see. Today we had our first day of 08.30 classes. And last night most of us went to bed at 02.00 or later. So it was a little rough waking up, but I still managed to be pretty nerdy and woke up at 07.00. Anyway, rambling as usual, I am! Yesterday was my birthday, and as I found myself in Prossedi, the town in which my paternal grandparents lived and live, I celebrated it there, amongst long-lost and finally found family members, and lots of lovely food (as usual). And, as usual, Laurie and I were very well taken care of; Italians have to be the most generous and thoughtful people in the world. I may be making a vague and generalized statement, but I am in awe, still, of how in Canada and possibly the U.S. and other places, it is a burden, almost, to others to have to cater to a vegetarian, not to mention a vegan, but here, it is a welcome challenge and it is accepted without any judgement whatsoever. I really appreciate that and all slight changes to menus and dishes that were made for me. GRAZIE MILLE!!!! I must confess, however, that I have been feeling slightly weak as my protein intake has been quite low in comparison to my intake in Canada. I have brought some vegan jerky from home and some granola bars and mixed dried fruits and nuts, but that hasn't seemed to suffice. I've been consuming delightful vegetables GALORE but my diet has been relatively devoid of protein. So, I must make a point to drink a glass of soy milk each day, or else risk being tired and energy-less all the time. I feel good today, though, despite the random fruity drinks that I was fed last night. I haven't drunk at all for this entire trip except for one or two quarter-glasses of wine. Nevertheless, I am fine and dandy today and looking forward to the week ahead.

This upcoming weekend, I will be heading to Milan to visit some family. The final week in Italy I believe will be spent sightseeing or something. I found out today, actually, that there are no courses next week, except on Tuesday we have our final exam (based on...?). To be honest, I haven't learnt anything new, but it is still a pleasure to sit in class, you know, because I'm nerdy and all, right? Oh! Also! There's a local newspaper here called La Provincia, and photos of some us (myself included!) were published in it. The professor gave us a copy today, and I look forward to showing it off when I get home. Ha! Also, a friend I made here, Josh Botticelli (best last name ever), had posted some of his photos from this trip, so I made a point of finding myself in some of them and tagging myself so that you can all see what a good little student I'm being (and that I'm still pasty white. Yay SPF 35 sunscreen!). So run to my Facebook page and see me being Italian.

I suppose that's all for now. I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to write again before I come home (seeing that my first post on this trip was at the beginning), but I will do my best to keep you updated. I'm having a kickass time and I will be ever so sad to leave the people who have become such close friends of mine in such a brief period of time. All of us on this trip have been so blessed to have received such a magnificent opportunity. Imagine that: a free return-trip to Italy, paid food and board, priceless family visits. Who could ask for more? Well, the only think that would make it truly complete, as I've expressed many times before, is having my loved ones with me and sharing this cultural experience with them all.

Ah, one last thing before I go buy some bananas and make myself some rooibos chai tea (with soy milk!): Thank you all for your wonderful and very kind happy-birthday wishes. I can't wait to get home and BAKE and have a mini party when I get back. Yes, someone asked me today what the first thing I'll do when I get back is: I said bake. And what shall I bake? Suggerimenti?

A presto,

Vegan in Suburbia

1 comment:

Gaia @ Viva Granola said...

You really make me want to visit Italy!
Of course, I always wanted to but now, it's like pressing :p