I can’t believe I’ve been here a week; I need to accept that now the holiday is officially over. This is where it starts getting real and I can’t use the excuse “oh I’ll sort that out another week… right now I’m just finding my feet.”
I woke up today feeling pretty homesick. Granted, it might have been Saturday’s hangover still poisoning my veins (Jay-sus CHRIST that was a bad hangover. Worst. One. Ever), but all I could think about was Pops, my sisters and my auntie. I just kept thinking about them all at home, starting to celebrate Christmas… you know, putting up the tree, eating a roast together. And I was just here in my little flat, pretty much alone.
It’s strange. One of the main things pushing me to do this in the first place was so that I could BE alone. Away from all the drama, all the things that didn’t matter. Just to be in a place where I could focus 100% on myself, build an exciting career and live in a magical place. And that still stands. But now and again you just get those moments where you think, damn I could do with a little cwtch right now.
Despite this little bout of homesickness, I can’t deny that this week has been pretty fantastic. I love my job. Love love love it. It feels amazing to be doing something so creative; and having the freedom to really explore new opportunities. I wake up and I’m excited to go into work! And not even just for the work itself; the people and the atmosphere are just everything I could have hoped for. It’s so Italian! Little cups of coffee to start the day, sharing bread and oil over lunch, listening to conversations in Italian and trying to pick up little bits. It’s perfect.
Most evenings I’ve just taken to the city for an evening stroll. Florence is even more magical at night – especially with the Christmas lights swinging from street to street. I just walk along in my little dream world, drinking in all the languages around me, feeling a part of my own little fairy tale.
A couple of nights I’ve met people – a glass of wine wrapped in a blanket outside, a rummage through the outdoor Christmas market in Santa Croce; the whole time I’m just thinking “I can’t wait to bring the family here when they visit!” Especially Papa B… jeez louise I can’t wait to show him the sights.
I’ve tried as much as possible to sample some of the delicious food of the city as well, rather than just cooking risotto every single night. Pastries, gelato, pizza… oh god, the pizza! I happen to live on the street that does, wait for it, the BEST PIZZA IN ALL OF FLORENCE. Let that sink in for a moment. And I’ll tell you something for nothing; it was the best damn thing I’ve ever eaten. And yes, I did eat the whole thing #sorrynotsorry.
So we reach the weekend; and my very first blind date! Before you start picking out your best hat, it was a friend’s blind date. That’s an actual thing here! Because, really, how else are you going to make friends? I’d never really considered it before I got here… but it’s damn hard to meet people. Long story short – it resulted in (as mentioned) the worst hangover of my entire life. The strongest cocktails I’ve ever sampled in this adorable underground margarita bar (my first evuh margarita might I add!), shots and then two bottles of red wine = a bad, bad, bad mix. But, I’m happy to say, I got to hang out with two of the loveliest girls I’ve met in a long time. Amber – 1, World -0.
Fast forward through Saturday (non stop throwing up from 7am – 9:30pm – you stay classy Amber) and I decided to take to the streets once again. The plan was to spend the day in the Uffizi. Little did I realise… you don’t just walk into the Uffizi. Lesson number 1! A nice alternative was the beautiful Palazza Vecchio where I climbed 418 killer steps to receive the most breathtaking view I’ve ever seen. A 360 image of Florence; what more could you want?
The rest of the day consisted of walking, more walking, coffee, bruschetta (Christ on a bike, the bruschetta!), more walking, shopping and eventually home. All in all, a pretty cushty Sunday. Basically, it’s been a grand first week. And I really am going to pull it all together from now. That means practicing Italian every night, getting fit again, sorting out life admin, widening my social circle. Wish me luck…