by Melinda Gallo

Florentine blues

Some days are like this. I wake up and don't feel all that excited about being in Florence. I guess it could be anywhere really, but I feel it more here because I chose Florence. It's like when you fall out of love. One day the person you love has no faults (or they just look "cute") and the next day that's all you see.

I realized today that I don't have that many Florentine friends. Most of them are from other places in Italy and live in Florence and only a few were born and raised here. There is a difference. If you're not from here, you seem to be more open to meeting new people.

Meeting Florentines is not that easy either. I go to a place to do yoga and I'm on friendly terms with only a few of them and 8 out of 10 of the people I have met (and who even talk to me at all) are not from Florence. But we're not on such great terms that we see each other outside of yoga. We don't have each other's phone numbers although I do have one girl's email.

I feel like I've gone down this road before. When I was in my junior year at the university in Lyon, France. For 10 months, I went to my classes, took notes, which I happily shared with my classmates (even though we didn't even know each other's names), and lived with a family of six. In the end, I became friends with only one girl from the university and she wasn't even from Lyon!

That summer, I worked in a café/bar on the rue Mercière for a few months before going back to the US for college and had a stack of phone numbers and addresses to take back with me. A few of those people are still close friends of mine.

But what changed? I certainly didn't. But, maybe I was just more available, more open, and even more "out there." I guess working at home doesn't help either. Dave and I are fairly secluded. We live and work in our apartment, so we hardly go out except to go shopping or to the gym/yoga place. To think that even our neighbor across the hall has finally talked to me about maybe getting a drink/talking sometime. And, of course, she's not from Florence; she's British!

When we walk around all most people see are two tourists/foreigners. Who would want to become friends with people who are just passers-by? Only other people who are just passing by.

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