by Melinda Gallo

Doing my shopping by bike

For fear of the predicted rain that never came, I went to the mercato (market) this morning while the sky was clear. I hadn't been to the mercato in a while and even though it's not that far from my new apartment, I wanted to take my bicicletta (bicycle) because I didn't get to ride it at all yesterday. I have a handy cestino (basket) in the front of my bici (bike) so I knew I could buy as much as I could normally carry.

I saw a few of the guys that I talk to at the mercato, like my macellaio (butcher) and the pizzicagnolo (cheese vendor). They knew that I moved, and asked me how I liked my new area. I told them that I'd be coming more often now that I live closer and have a bici. I am no longer getting my groceries delivered from Esselunga any more as my apartment isn't big enough to store as much food, etc. as I could before. But, I must say that I did miss going to the mercato, so I'm happy now.

After my short trip to the mercato where I bought mostly vegetables, meat, and fish, I went back out to go to the Coop, a supermercato (supermarket) near Piazza Beccaria.

I wanted to take the paved streets because the cobblestone roads can be a bit bumpy. I ended up going down the lungarno (street along the Arno river) and then the viale (large avenue). I had to go a contro senso (the wrong way) down a senso unico (one way) street. After parking my bici by just locking it, I decided that I should find a post to lock my bici up to. I found one spot across the street from the supermercato, and went inside.

I ended up getting more items at the supermercato after realizing that I can ride with a cestino full of groceries and then carry one on my back in my borsa (bag).

I try to be as polite as possible when I ride my bici down streets where there are pedoni (pedestrians). I know that when I'm walking down the street, I hate it when someone on a bici starts ringing their bell multiple times and comes up behind me quickly. I try to slow down behind the pedoni and ring my bell once. So far, almost everyone has been respectful; however, a few people have surprised me by jumping out in front of me to cross the street.

I was so happy with my two trips this morning that this afternoon when I had to go to the Standa to pick up a few more things, I rode my bici. I could've walked, but riding the bici is so much more convenient and fun. I now wonder when I'm going to walk around town again to go somewhere.

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