Today I went to Il mercato di Sant'Ambrogio near my house where I go at least a few times a week to buy groceries. It was like a breath of fresh air. The people are nice to me since I go there a lot. They give me little discounts every time. I consider rounding down to the nearest Euro a discount.
It was such a change from the San Lorenzo market from the day before where people will try to steal your money without touching your wallet. I hate going to places where I know I'm going to get ripped off. It's as bad as going to a car dealership to buy a car. You just know you're going to end up spending more money than you want.
The mother and daughter at the fruttivendolo (fruit/vegetable stand) talked to me about their previous vacations cruising around the Mediterranean. The daughter told me that next year she and her family are going to Cuba. It's a place I've heard a lot about, but have never been. She said it's really beautiful and is worth the trip. I didn't tell her that I'm American and that I can't just go there directly.
The blonde girl at the bakery, where I've gone back to now that they make new pastries that are truly delicious, talked to me when I go to the counter. "Dicevo alla mia collega che vengo con te in California." (I was telling my colleague that I'm coming with you to California.) We talked about California and she wants to see the beach although I didn't have the heart to tell her that the water is ice cold up where in the northern part of California.
I felt quite happy as I left the market today. Each one talks to me in a friendly manner at the market, which I now call "my market." So no matter how "down" I get sometimes about Florence, I know that those people that I have come to know here in Florence are always kind. And that gives me hope for the rest of the Florentines.
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