Wednesday, May 21, 2008

First Coffee

Those who have read Hatchet probably get the reference. The recklessness of being in a new place had somewhat worn off, and now I'm settling down to the task of everyday life, which presents its own set of challenges. The language is still difficult for me, but I think that that's normal. I learned in Italian class today how to buy things and order things, which makes my life a lot easier. Then immediately afterwards, we went to a gigantic open air market that is held every morning about a block from our appartment. For 1 euro I got a gigantic bunch of basil and some bread without really messing up at all, although for the bread I ended up pointing to the loaf I wanted. No one, not even Sicilians, really knows the proper name for the different shapes of bread here. I don't really care what shape it is in. It's all delicious, or at least I hope it is. I haven't tasted it yet. We are going to have it for dinner.

Last night before the lesson on food, I went out to a local grocery store to get some coffee. Have you ever tried buying coffee in another language? It isn't fun. Then I couldn't find sugar, and when the clerk told me where it was, I didn't know the word for "left." So, you see, it's kinda difficult sometimes. The milk I randomly bought was delicious, though. I made coffee by heating water in a saucepan, and pouring it into the coffee I bought, which luckily ended up being instant, although it was much stronger than American instant coffee. Does anyone know how to use an espresso maker (the ones that look like a pitcher and are evidently heated on the stove)? We have two of them.

My luggage actually did end up coming in, so you get picture extraordinare, my treat.

We will start with general things, like the school and where I live.

Siracusa is divided into two parts based on the lay of the land. There is a smaller island off of the mainland called Ortigia (Italian for Quail) and that is where the historic district is. That is also where I live near the oldest temple on the island, dedicated to Apollo. It is a perfectly lovely ruin now set into a hole on the sidewalk.
I never fail to find it inspiring as I walk past it every day. Yes, every day. I live in the ally that goes by the church behind it. Today was the feast of Saint Rita, so that particular church acquired a red cloth over the door and a few more flowers. Religioin is very visible here. You go down the alleys and find little shrines like the one below set into the walls.
Sorry that it is sideways. I will have to fix that as soon as I'm back in the states, but all of the labels for various things on this computer are in Italian. Not that I'm complaining. It just makes complicated things like turning a picture by ninety degrees difficult.

If you continue down the alleyway that this shrine is in, you come to my appartment. Is this an appartment?The girls in the last picture are my roommates from left to right: Bri, Brittany, Alli, Lydia, and Allison. We don't all sleep in the same room. Brittany and Lydia are in a nearby appartment. We get together on a regular basis to eat and fix dinner and talk. I need to finish this soon for that reason. I'm fixing green beans tonight and I need to clean them. Sauted with garlic and olive oil and a little black pepper, they are delicious. I also need more milk. It was too good. The milk that was mentioned yesterday when I was composing this post didn't last long. The food here is too good. Cappuccinos, Gelatto, and paninis are all in ready supply and all delicious. Then you go and relax and eat them while taking in the beautiful scenery. It's not at all strange or tourist-y to do that. Everyone else does it too, and they are proud of it.

I'm having slight technical difficulties right now (I think I used up all of the available space for pictures), so I will just publish this post and be done with it, but now that all my technology is here, I can continue doing one of these things every day so long as the electricity and internet holds out. Yesterday it failed. That's why this thing is going up today, and it's still shaky. Take care, everyone. Ciao!


MO said...

Relax? What is that? Oh yes, I remember, it happened once when I was young.
Perhaps we could all do with a bunch of green beans, pepper,garlic, and olive oil dinner and a look out on the ocean. Ginny will love that!

Harold said...

Nice pictures!
We are all following your posts with interest. All the four years I was in Germany, I never got the chance to visit Italy. Now I am visiting it with you.

Allisande said...

Well, remember that Sicily is quite unique in several respects compared to Italy proper. There is a lot of arabic, spanish, barbarian, african, greek, etc... influences here.