Feeling at home in Florence, Italy

I’m in Florence. It’s barely rained at all since I’ve been here. It’s cold-ish, but not cold enough to need a hat, gloves, or scarf – just a coat is fine. The sun rises earlier, so it’s light out when I wake up. It’s not sunny all the time, but man have I enjoyed a hell of a lot of blue skies and bright sun, like needing-sunglasses kind of sun. the food is absolutely wonderful, people are nice, the customer service is great.

And yet I miss Amsterdam so much today, and it’s only been ten days. I’ve been away for longer than 10 days before, quite happily. But I miss my bicycle, and I am so jealous of everyone here on their bikes. I saw a woman on a dutch bike the other day and my heart almost broke, thinking about my rusty bike stuffed away in a closet for two months in Amsterdam. I love my bike. I miss it. I am doing something about it, tomorrow I’m going to walk 5km to meet a girl who will give me her broken bike (with locks and lights) if I get it repaired. YES PLEASE THANK YOU!!!! if it costs less that 50 Euros to repair it, it’s just as good as buying a bike, and I can help bring it back to life. This is a bike that has just been sitting there, unused, because of minor repair work. I want to fix it and fall in love with it immediately. I feel like this bicycle is like a guy you meet from a personal ad, having it all built up in my mind to be the most perfect thing in the world. as long as it has 2 wheels, a seat, handlebars, and it’s not too small for me, it will be the most perfect thing in the world.

I just can’t take it, being in this beautiful city and not having a bike. I’m going crazy. I like walking, of course, but… no. I can’t really Florence until I have a bicycle. People here ride bikes! It’s not quite like Amsterdam, but it’s a thing. Normal people ride bikes, not just “bike people.” 50 year old women get on their rusty piece-of-shit bikes and go from place to place. Kids sit on the back or in front. I’ve seen a few people riding double. there’s bike parking and bike lanes and the whole deal. gah, I should have purchased a bike on my 2nd day here, I hate that I’ve even waited this long. I hope I can solve this problem by tomorrow.

Other than lack-of-bicycle-in-my-life, Florence is going really well. I have never asked anyone “do you speak english?” since I’ve been here, and no one has switched to speaking english while I stumble over italian. The Florentine accent is killing me, so I do better with talking to people who aren’t from Florence.

In italian, C is a popular letter. the C in “casa” sounds just the way it does in english (or spanish), like a hard CA sound. “casa mia,” for example. Something you’d say a lot. Except in Florence they don’t use the hard C sound ever, they replace it with an english-style H. Casa mia becomes hasa mia. this goes for C’s in the middle of a word too. However, H is (usually) a silent letter in Italian, but here in Florence, coca cola is “hoha hola.”

Well, off to daydream about my bici.. I mean bihi.

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