Settling down in Florence

The last couple of weeks were indeed hectic. So we didn’t have much time to do anything, let alone write in this blog. I’ll try to catch up later.

Right now though, I feel I’m home. I have felt this way the minute we got in Italy. Everything is familiar, the language isn’t that much of a barrier here, and the people are as friendly as in Lebanon (even more so sometimes!).

I needed to get back in my own skin. First, I needed an Internet connection. You can get that from many providers here. I found the services provided by 3 very convenient for what I needed: 300 hours for 19Euros per month. There’s a catch though: you need a 23 months contract to get that, otherwise it’s .90Euro/hour!

The friendly lady at the tre store under the Firenze S.M.N. train station was kind enough to mention there is one way out. I could buy the USB key/modem (chiavetta) for 52Euro, get a contract and cancel it at any time without any penalty (since, as she put it, I have already bought the key). That sounded good, but I had to ask my friend Daniele to do the paperwork as the offer was only valid for Italians. Bureaucracy. *sigh*

So now I have Internet (now downloading the pilot episode for Defying Gravity at 150kbps/s, I hope it’s worth the bandwidth). The next step was to find a supermarket. It turns out there’s a huge mall 5 minutes away (walking) from our house. Go figure!

Pia and I went there yesterday (very hot afternoon), and got into a shopping frenzy. We got food, soaps, coffee, etc. All the absolutely necessary stuff. As we arrived to the checkout (cassa) it was obvious there’s no way for us to carry all that in the flimsy nylon bags they hand out. Pia asked the lady at the cash register for a small cart on 2 wheels we saw a elderly couple  using. We got one of those for 12Euros (expensive!) and carried our things in it (+3 large bags!) We’re at home…

Among other things, we got some fruit yogurt. The 8 pack is about 2Euros. Good stuff. I couldn’t find any real yogurt though. I would rather make my own combination. I’m eating one with Peaches (pesca) now. Oh, and I also learned how to make coffee with the espresso kettle. That wasn’t very obvious until our friend Simone explained how it worked (silly me). He also explained I needed to make at least 5-10 pots of coffee in it before it starts tasting good. That’s true; I’m now at my 15th pot and it smells and tastes great.

Pia is looking into some routes to take and things to do (other than work), we should get started with that soon. I have service with Daniele this afternoon. Him and his wife Irene are taking us for a swim this Saturday.

So, I should say we have settled down, or at least I have, for now. Plans for Thailand are still far along the way *evil grin*

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