Sunday, December 3, 2006
Now that we have sistemato la nostra casa (arranged our house) most of yesterday, we were able to do a little bit of shopping today. Being that we're getting close to Christmas, almost all of the shops downtown are now open on Sundays. There seem to be many people roaming the streets in our area.
We went shopping at Coin yesterday to look at a few things for our new place and via Calzaiuoli was packed with people shopping. I was surprised at how busy the shops all were. I usually don't go out to shop on Saturdays because it is crazy, but we didn't have time to go sooner.
We love our neighborhood. No more dodging dog poop when we walk down the streets or risking our life to avoid getting hit by cars or motorini (scooters) as we walk down the narrow streets. Our area also feels quite benestante (wealthy/well off). The buildings are solid and quite beautiful, and the sidewalks are large enough for two people to walk on them side-by-side at the same time.
On via dei Servi, we walked into a shop to buy a bilancia da cucina (kitchen scale). I had recognized the man working there, but I didn't know from where at first. In Florence, it seems like I always see the same people.
Suddenly I remembered that I'd seen him in another electronics shop. I asked him, "Non lavoravi prima in un'altro negozio in Borgo degli Albizi?" (Didn't you used to work in another shop in Borgo degli Albizi?" He said he still does and that the shops are the same. Not only is the shop nicer with so many beautiful light fixtures on display, but it was also much larger; at least four times larger.
The man asked us where we were from and then he told us about how he lived in Charlotte, North Carolina for a few years. He explained how he's dying to go back to visit his friends back there. He said that he has gone to the US many times and that he has visited many of the states. He said that he visited smaller states, like "Illinois" and that made me giggle. Illinois doesn't seem that small to me.
?Before we left, he told us his name, shook our hands, and said, "Piacere di avervi conosciuti." (Pleasure to have met you.) I was quite surprised because we've been living here for two years and it seems that within the last few days, things have really changed for us in Florence. People seem to be extremely nice to us and are making an effort to know us.
We went into a few other shops and had very similar experiences where people were very pleasant, friendly, and open. I don't know if it's because we have changed areas, but I can't imagine what else it could be due to? I can't believe that we could have changed so drastically that so many people treat us differently in a span of a week.
For the first time in a long time, we had two groups of friends come over because I talked so much about our new place that they had to see it. My friend Debora knows that I'm not the type to exaggerate.
Our friends had seen our previous place, which they liked, but they said that our new place feels more like home for us. Debora said, "Il vostro appartamento è stato fatto con tanto gusto. Hanno pensato a tutto!" (Your apartment was done with a lot of taste. They thought of everything!) I was so happy that our friends like our place too. It's nice when people come over and feel comfortable in our space.
There are so many people we'd like to invite over to our new place, so we're planning on having a house warming party this month. It is really exciting for us, but also a little scary. We wrote up a list of all the people we want to invite and we don't know how they are all going to fit!