Greetings blog readers, I have been a traveling man as of late. Attached I have a photo of me and my friends in front of a castle in Budapest. Some trips here in Italy and in Europe are harder to plan than others. The easiest trips are the ones where you can take “Tren-Italia” “or “Flix Bus” directly to your final destination. This is not always the case, sometimes you have to just use google maps and run with whatever public transportation they tell you to use. I try to avoid taxis like the plague. It seems to me like any major city that I go to the people seem to know English at a high rate. Who knew Europe was so English friendly? The biggest obstacles I have faced while abroad so far is differences of culture, but they are minimal. So far, I have visited Milan, Hungary, San Gimingnano, Siena, Croatia, Venice, and Bologna. Some advice to you, keep an open mind and try what the locals love. Wake up early and go to sleep late, you can sleep when you are dead.
Let me give you some more advice if you visit the city of Florence (now that I have lived here for two months). Go see the Statue of David in the Galleria Academia, check out The Uffizi for magnificent artwork, and make sure to try a delicious trattoria. The David is totally stunning in its’ immense amount of detail and is kind of magical, The Uffizi is the most famous art gallery in Florence and houses the genius artwork of Michael Angelo, and the trattorias around these parts are delicious and pump out homemade “OG” Italian dishes to the hungry Italian and tourists that stumble upon them. I like Trattoria Sabatino for a delicious authentic meal at a low price. It has good roast chicken and minestrone soup and has been running for the locals since 1956. Be careful, the menus there are only in Italian! I could talk about the food in these parts all day. My favorite local dishes are Ribollita (bread and vegetable soup), Steak Florentine (one huge t-bone steak served rare), pizza, and potato gnocchi.
I have faced many challenges so far while abroad. None more daunting then the differences between the teacher and student relationships. It is much different here than in Italy, but I will cover this more in depth at another time. Sometimes the culture is a little tough as well. A motorcyclist dropped something on the road today on a bridge and I was happening to walk by at the time when he dropped it. Rather than him having to get up and get the item I helped him out and picked it up and gave it to him. Do I get a thank you or even a nod? No, he takes it out of my hand and goes away. Florence is a tough city, people are not necessarily as friendly as in other parts of Italy that I have visited. Whatever, life goes on. I am not going to stop doing good deeds just because someone does not say thank you. I just think some people are nice and some people are not anywhere you go in the world.