It wasn’t until the orientation session with Lucio, Lenna, and Charlotte where I realized how different my lifestyle was compared to the Italian lifestyle. Here are just some of the couple things I’ve learned from this session:
Other dressings like ranch do not exist.
The bread served in the beginning is NOT an appetizer.
Tipping people and to-go is a very uncommon thing here.
Shops close from 1pm-4pm and their dinner time starts really late.
Arezzo is an extremely safe city.
When orientation ended, we were taken on a walking tour where we ended up at a beautiful park that had such a breathtaking view. Arezzo is filled with an array of brilliant colors. The scenery looked like it came straight from a painting so it was difficult to grasp it all in.
This walk made me realized how much I would love to live in a walking community. It would be so relaxing walking and enjoying the fresh air once in a while. Driving around can sometimes be such a hassle because you would have to find a parking spot, refill your gas tank, and you don’t get a workout in!
During lunch at Antica osteria L’Agania, we were treated to a very special surprise. A man walked into the restaurant with an accordion and played us a couple of lovely songs. It was interesting to hear live music during lunch because that really doesn’t happen in the USA. I did not know if this man was playing to get money from his audience but I admire how delighted he looked after playing for us even though no one tipped him. I could tell that he was truly passionate about what he was doing.
A couple of my peers were shocked by the men’s bathroom at this restaurant because the toilet was literally a hole in the ground, but since I encountered this in Vietnam, it did not really surprise me as much. What did surprise me was that I was not expecting there to be toilets like this one in Italy. I’ve always thought that they existed in Asian countries.
To kill some time, a couple of us decided to explore the city of Arezzo. We stopped by a few shopping stores and surprisingly the prices of almost all the items were the same if not even more than the prices in the US. This kind of shocked me because I expected Italy to have cheaper things than the US despite being a developed country. However, I did notice that a lot of stores also sold fake items. I am a big advocate of popular/trendy clothing brands like Champion hoping to buy some here when I noticed that they were not authentic. This did not surprise me as much because I’ve always been told that European and Asian countries are known for selling off-brand products at markets, but the stores that we checked out seem pretty legit.
The barbeque at the Duclaux resident was fun! They are truly living the best life here in Italy with their gorgeous house/view and sweet kids. They served hot dogs and burgers but what caught my attention was that instead of using hotdogs they used Italian sausage instead. No lie, that was probably one of the best sausages I’ve ever had and this is coming from someone who’s not a big fan of sausages.