Thursday, October 17, 2013

A World Away

So life in these past weeks has been different to say the least. I no longer have easy access to essential-to-my-life condiments like Skippy Peanut Butter, Heinz Ketchup and Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, I no longer have a wide variety of clothes to choose from in the morning, and I don't have that wonderfully polluted NYC air seeping into my lungs with every breath I take. I miss it, but instead I have plenty of all natural marmalade, homemade tomato sauce and Nutella, an interesting (and growing) assortment of handmade jewelry, and... secondhand cigarette smoke making my risk of lung problems skyrocket, I'm sure. While day to day life has changed significantly in the time I have been in Florence, in the grand scheme of things, it somehow feels right. I walk through narrow streets, surrounded on all sides by buildings that have been standing for centuries. I use historical and artistic masterpieces as landmarks on my walks to unfamiliar places. I see, touch and have an entire experience with the art I have always studied and admired. It is like a dream.

I can only wish that some of the values I see existing in daily life for the Italians follow me back to the States. People here take time to get dressed, because it is important how they present themselves to the world, they take the time to shop for groceries daily, because fresh food is better for them, and they take the time to slow down, because each action is important and it should have all their attention. The pace of life is drastically slower here than in the States, particularly in New York City. I can't even remember the last time I sat with my family to have a meal. It was probably last Thanksgiving. I hope that after living here for four months I can go home and try to change that.

Other than that, as everyone can imagine, I'm having an amazing time and I can't wait for the upcoming weeks here in Florence and abroad!

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