by Melinda Gallo

Our first day in Corsica

My friend Marie told me about the convent at the top of the hill, but I figured it was farther up the hill or somewhere else. When I woke up this morning, I realized it was outside our bedroom (there are four: two face the water and two face the mountains). I decided that if I wasn't going to walk up there, I could at least take a picture from our window.

Living in Florence :: Our first day in Corsica

Dave keeps mentioning to me how much he likes the weather here in Corsica and I fully agree. It's hot (at least the sun is quite hot when it beats down), but the air is cool and dry. Marie told me that because we are about 400 meters up, the air is supposedly cooler and fresher up here. They say in Corsica that it's always windy. And once in awhile there's a big gust of wind and then nothing.

We woke up late, drank coffee and ate croissants, worked, made lunch, worked, took a nap, and then left for dinner at our friend's aunt's house on the other side of the "cap," which is the tip of the island. We spent the entire day at the house, didn't see a single car, and heard two people talking outside as they walked by the front of the house. It's so quiet here that my ears buzz from the silence. It's a world away from Florence. We're lucky because our apartment is very quiet for being downtown and we never hear any cars, but the people talk very loudly in the apartments, in the staircase, and outside.

When I first arrived yesterday, I had to think of what I wanted to say in French. I haven't spoken French since August when we went to Paris, so my first inclination is to always speak Italian. It's like I have a foreign language button inside my brain and when it switches to foreign language, it used to be French, but now that I have learned Italian and live in Florence, it's set to Italian.

I can't keep both languages going in my head that easily. If I speak French, I think in French and if I speak Italian, I think in Italian. I can't just flip a switch and speak both together. I feel like I'm back in French mode and can't remember much Italian either. I can't wait to go back to Italy to have all my friends tell me that I have a French accent again! Actually, I just went to a shop in Florence the day before we arrived here and she asked me if I was French! I haven't been asked that in a long time.

I've been very impressed by the French/Corsicans that I've met so far. They all seem so jovial and welcoming. It's such a nice feeling to be with people who don't want to make you feel left out. One time Dave and I got invited to dinner with two friends of ours who ended up inviting two other friends. Dave didn't say a word because they only spoke in Italian and asked me to translate and I tried to interject in their conversation where I could to feel a part of the group, but never quite succeeded. In the end, I just sat back and ate. I didn't want to talk to Dave too much in English for fear of excluding them, so Dave and I just smiled at each other and enjoyed our food.

We are enjoying our time in Corsica, taking each day as it comes, relaxing, working a little, and just enjoying the refreshing gusts of wind and the peacefulness.

Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!