Monday, March 30, 2009

Italian food vs British food

This is the sort of thing I think about on Sunday nights when there's nothing good on tv!

I'm not talking about lasagne vs bangers & mash; but random things you can get in both countries, and obvious things like pasta & pizza are off the list!

Italy
  • Ice cream (of course! Though I do miss my Ben & Jerry's...)
  • Coffee
  • Fruit. In general! Everything seems to taste much fresher!
  • Crackers (Rosmarino crackers ftw!)
  • Olives, I don't like olives at home, funnily enough they're better here :D
  • Hot chocolate. Italian hot chocolate (as long as it's not too thick & sickly) is amazing!
Britain
  • Bacon, how I miss proper bacon...
  • Chocolate (Cadburyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy's!!!)
  • Tea (It doesn't matter what tea bag or milk I use, tea in Italy will always taste like tea in Italy, it's just not the same!!)
  • Milk, randomly enough! Long life milk in this country is disgusting!
The grey areas!
  • Biscuits. How I miss my chocolate Hob Nobs, but biscuits for breakfast? Awesome.
  • Crisps. I love salt & vinegar flavoured crisps, but plain Italian crisps. Are. Amazing.
  • Cakes (more junk food!!). Homemade sponge or crumble at home, and little pasticcini you can get here, no comparison!
Hmm. That's all at the moment I think.....

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's my birthday!!

So today I reach the grand old age of 23! 23, hmmm, that's going to take some getting used to... I don't think I ever properly came to terms with hitting 20!! This's my second birthday away from home; when I was at university my birthday was always during the Easter vacation. The first birthday I celebrated away from home was in Italy too, when I celebrated my 20th during my year abroad in Urbino. I don't usually make a big deal out of birthdays, they're usually pretty quiet, spent at home with my family, and then usually a night out on the town with my friends. This one's going to be a quiet one too, to be honest I haven't given my birthday much thought, I don't usually I guess, maybe I really don't like the idea of getting old...! But tomorrow I'm treating myself, I'm going shopping (I've not decided if it's going to be in the city centre or Corso Buenos Aires; it's been a while since I've had a wander round Corso Buenos Aires, plus it's closer to home...) and then in the afternoon I'm getting my hair cut. My hair desperately needs a trim! I'm leaving the colour as it is, I'm going to grow it out, I figured there's no point dying it blonde in a country where my natural hair colour's considered to be blonde; plus I can't say I'd trust Italians too much with blonde hair dye, they just wouldn't be as used to it as the hairdressers at home... So yes, tomorrow should be fun, I'm just hoping I'll find enough clothes, I don't have enough Spring stuff with me, and clothes shopping in Italy isn't all that easy unless you're proper skinny!!

It's overcast in Milan today, colder than I thought too! We've had some gorgeous weather this week, beautiful sunshine, temperature in the high teens. I'm hoping it'll be quite nice tomorrow, or at least that it doesn't rain!

Oh, and diet update, 2 kg (4.4 lbs) lost in 3 and a half weeks, awesome!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Homesickness

The longest amount of time I've been away from home (Italy, university, anywhere) is 3 months and 7 days - from the beginning of January to mid April '06 when I was studying in Urbino. This stint in Italy's going to hit 3 months at the end of the week (Friday to be precise). I don't know what it is about reaching 3 months away from home, but it's usually at that point the homesickness starts to kick in. Maybe it's because I used to go home every 3 months or so from university (even when I was studying in Italy), so maybe I got used to that sort of fixed timetable of holidays. But this Easter I'm not going home. When it came to thinking about going home for Easter, I didn't really feel like I needed to at the time, plus I'd only have 4 days off without taking any holiday (I'm trying to save my holidays up for certain special occasions), and it's so much stress getting home! It's fine this side, it's just a matter of getting on a train at Lambrate, and then a bus at the station in Bergamo and I'm sorted. But it's always so stressful after arriving back in the UK, I wish there were an easier way. But my mam's coming over for Easter, so that'll be nice. I'll have to think of what she can bring me over from home! So yeah, I guess a bit of homesickness is inevitable, being this far from home... Maybe I should make some plans to go back there for a bit??

Thursday, March 19, 2009

This Week I'm Mostly Loving...

Seeing as I've got some time on my hands...

1. The smell of freshly cut grass wafting around for the first time this year!

2. Sophie Blackall's new blog, Missed Connections, http://missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com/

3. Royksopp's Happy Up Here (finally!) being played on Italian radio, once albeit...

4. The suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun!!

More illness!

It seems I'm always bloody ill in this country, it's never anything serious (apart from that stomach flu I had) - colds, sore throats, and bad stomachs. And this week I've had a tummy bug, it's been on and off since Friday. I'm off work today again, and I'm a bit fed up of this really. I don't remember being this ill all the time when I was studying in Urbino! Eating everything in bianco when I've been home ill's doing my nut too, where's the fun in plain rice or pasta?? I think I should count myself lucky I don't need to use any public transport every day - especially as I live on the skanky green line!! - I can't imagine the bugs & viruses I'd pick up!

On a chirpier note, it's nice too see a lot of my friends have joined Twitter recently (I can't possibly think why though ;)), I've been on there since December, to follow my tweets, look for a Nezza27 :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This week I'm mostly loving...

Some love to balance the other day's hate :D

1. Wearing my sunglasses at like 8.30 in the morning on the way to work, and it being completely normal!

2. Caffè al ginseng (Ginseng coffee). There's a place near Lambrate which makes a mean ginseng coffee, it sort of tastes like coffee and Baileys, just without the alcoholic kick! It's so good!

3. Being able to see the mountains again from the office!

4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElO4x_BZ1As
Ace song!!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Nerys's Milanese Pet Hates, Part 1

People who ride their motorbikes on the pavements.

Honestly.

Ok, so the postmen-on-motorbikes are absolutely fine, I understand they're doing their jobs, but randoms who ride up the pavements on their motorini, is that really necessary? What's wrong with the road?? The car drivers try and run me over when I'm crossing the road, and then those muppets on motorbikes try to run me down when I'm on the pavement! Is there no escape??

Monday, March 9, 2009

Shopping trip!

So on Saturday I went on a bit of an epic 4 hour shopping trip :D Mostly in the centre, down Corso Vittorio Emmanuele, Via Torino and Corso di Porta Ticinese; then back out to Loreto to find a bead shop I'd heard about (love my beads I do :D). So it was good fun!! And the weather was lovely, amazingly the Italians were mostly out in their winter coats, I was warm in my dinky little 3/4 length sleeve spring coat! There were a lot of tourists about too, I find it quite nice coming across such a mix of languages of the people visiting the city, marvelling at their surroundings. It just makes me realise how fortunate I am to have landed here. It almost still hasn't sunk in, even now when I'm around the Duomo or the Galleria, it still feels surreal, and I've been here over 4 months now!

As for today, the weather's been lovely! Spring's properly sprung (though saying that, it's probably going to rain tomorrow...!), and if it weren't for that wind, it'd be so warm!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday!!

Blimey, this week's flown by (don't I sound like an old woman? :D), and it's Friday again! Even the sun's starting to come out in Milan, after a pretty miserable & rainy week! The weather's been awful though, and my brolly (my red one which clashes fantastically with my blue coat, didn't think of that when I bought it did I?!) is now pretty much broken! And walking to work means more chance of getting rained on and/or splashed by cars. Lovely. But apparently the weather's on the way up, and this weekend should be nice! Hopefully I can put that winter coat away soon!!

I'm looking forward to a pretty epic shopping trip tomorrow, in & around the centre, there's a couple of streets I've been recommended to have a wander down, it'll be nice to discover some new shops instead of just sticking to around Piazza Duomo and Corso Buenos Aires. Then there's a bead shop around Loreto that I want to check out too, I love making my own jewellery, so it'll be great to have some new materials!

And then Sunday I can sleep - yay!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Residency

Anything which deals with the slightest amount of red tape in Italy is always going to cause trouble..... Though, to be honest, I am quite impressed that sorting out my residency only took 2 days! Well, I say, sorting out, by that I mean going to the ufficio stranieri with all my documents & all that, but at least that's done, I just need to wait now... It meant losing half a day of work, 4 euro in metro tickets, and getting up at 6.30 today, so I'm glad it's all over!!

So, it's March, and the miserable winter weather's back again! What's going on?? It did amuse me, it hit March 1st on Sunday, and the weather completely turned! I want the sun back, it was so nice, properly feeling like Spring, and now we could be in the UK with this bad weather!