...and somehow I ended up living in Sicily?
Trip Start Jan 02, 2011
20Trip End Sep 14, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
I spent my last couple days in the land of fromage with my Korean friend from exchange who is renting a flat in Paris for the month. If there is any perfect companion for several last indulgences in Paris, it's her... I learned quickly that Korean blogs are the place to look when trying to find hidden gems in big cities. My partner in crime was even more enthusiastic about trying new foods and finding interesting things to do than I am, so my last jour francais was jam-packed with many good experiences. On top of being a food connaseure, her dad is quite high up in the fashion business and she is one of the most stylish girls I know... As a result I found myself with an expert guide to the best vintage shops north of the Seine and had to practice some serious self restraint for the sake of my bleak financial situation. All the (window) shopping was followed by an amazing last dinner indulgence courtesy of an extremely generous Canadian friend, and I could not have asked for a better way to say goodbye to France.
Unfortunately, Ryanair didn't seem to keen on my leaving on a happy note, and thus we arrive at the disastrous part of my trip to Sicily. After rearranging my bag about 10 times, I gave into the fact that I would have to pay an extra 24 euros to check an extra bag... Not so bad, I thought. But no, the language barrier got me one last time and instead of paying vingt-quatre euros I paid quatre-vignt, aka EIGHTY euros. As I hadn't slept too much the night before, and was breaking into a massive sweat from transporting and rearranging my overweight luggage, I was a little overwhelmed to find out I would be throwing away so much money to the worst airline in existence. Already on the verge of a breakdown, I made my way to security where I discovered that I no longer had my boarding pass... It took me another solid 15 minutes to realize that in fact it wasn't lost, and I first had to go pay my fine at a totally separate booth and only then could I have my boarding pass back... Of course. By the time I made it to the gate I was sweating profusely, nearly crying and my carry on bag was overflowing with random things that couldn't fit into my eighty euro luggage. Still in disaster mode, its a miracle i managed not to lose anything else at the cafe where I frantically tried to grab some breakfast.
Thankfully, I made it on the plane, and at this point my luck changed for the better. Somehow I found myself sitting next to a Sicilian aerospace engineer, who I might mention was not so bad looking either... I guess Karma wasn't completely working against me after all. Although I paid way too much for the worst quality flight of my life, in a sense it worked out to my benefit. By the time we landed in Trapani, I had learned some key words in Italian, scored a free bus ticket halfway across the island, and most importantly an offer for a private plane ride if I decided to visit Palermo. This was also the beginning of my realization that, in Sicily, it truly does pay to know people, especially aerospace engineers. While I waited for the bus from Palermo to Catania, I ate the one of the best gelatos I've ever tasted and soaked up some sun, stoked that Ryanair hadn't managed to ruin my entire journey to Sicily.
Due to a pretty large Internet deficiency, I am now finishing this entry in my new, spacious, wonderful room in Catania. After living here for a week, I can say for sure that I don't know why I even thought twice about taking this opportunity. Sicily, a place I never even thought about visiting, is paradise in every way imaginable. In addition to pristine mediterranean waters and endless beaches, there is the unique Italian feeling to top it all off and add extra appeal. In between eating some of the most delicious meals ever, living in an amazing house with an awesome family, and watching sunsets with a volcano backdrop, I haven't found it too difficult to fall in love with Sicily. I expressed my slightly anti-French sentiments enough on here, and thankfully I don't think I will be writing anything that would even come close to being anti-Italian. Additionally, after six months of a semi-crazy exchange student lifestyle, my body is anxiously welcoming the subdued vita Italian that I am adapting to. And a fresh start with a brand new language is a lot more fun, and also much easier, than I could have imagined. Even after one week I feel way more immersed in Italian than I did with French; however I still feel pretty stupido while struggling to conjugate the excessive amounts of irregular verbs that exist in this language.
Anyways, although I truly am quite disconnected from the Internet, I am hoping to blog weekly to keep my brain from melting away in the heat altogether. The only thing I have to study is Italiano, and so far 'work' isn't looking to strenuous as I might have anticipated ;) until next time, a dopo!