Saturday, September 24, 2005

ugh, phase 2 of studying abroad.

If you've ever studied abroad you'll know what I'm talking about, if not, you can imagine...

There's this part of my life right now where I've scratched my head and realized, "Hey! I'm not on a vacation in Italy- I live here. I won't be riding on an airplane to end this two week vacation. I'm here for three more months."

I think this is the second of the four phases of studying abroad and I don't like it. I don't think I'm homesick, but I would rather be where I'm comfortable: in a dorm, at the DC, going to Chapel, speaking English, etc. Pray for me, please?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

22.9.5 photo of today.

yes ladies and gentlemen, here is the birthday picture. i had my first cosmo tonight (yikes). yes, i also waited until i was 21 in italy to have an alcoholic beverage. i'm kind of a dork, i know.

this photo does not qualify for second place or even a spot in the running, but this is how many mentos i had today (within 25 minutes) because i didn't have a birthday cake.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

21.9.05 today's photos.

this is my roommate, steph, looking out to the city from the duomo.

this photo won second place. gotta love the tourists.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

the place most recommended: cinque terra

It's Saturday night in Florence and I'm exhausted.

Grocery Stores...The grocery system here is SO different than in the States. For example, if you want milk or cheese you go to the local Lateria. If you want bread you go to the corner bakery. If you want meat you go to the butcher shop (the one with the pig heads in the window and the family of mini pigs sitting around a table enjoying themselves while eating another pig). My roommate found a great place called Standa; it's the closest thing to a Vons but it's about ten blocks away so it's kind of a pain to carry potatoes over your shoulder.

Classes...I am officially in all of my classes and I think it is going to be fantastic. Interior Design is going on a field trip to Verona on Monday. We are going to the second largest furniture expedition in the world, it will be fun. Photography is phenomenal; Romeo (pronounced Row-may-oh) is a professor who cares so much about his students and their work, while pushing us to get better- it reminds me of Westmont. Jewelry class is great too, no explanation. Lastly, Italian class. So hard, but good at the same time. I am getting better, believe it or not. (Mi Chiamo Emily. Sono studentessa d'Italiano. Abito in Firenze. Arrivederci! = My name is Emily. I am a student of Italian. I live in Florence. Goodbye!)

Mosquitoes...The bug from hell. I have 6 on one ankle, 8 on the other, 5 on one elbow, 3 on the other, and 2 on each wrist making the grand total 26. Tomorrow I'm sure there will be a new count. For some reason I thought that they would just stop biting me as time went on but that is probably the worst idea I've come up with this whole week. I need to go to a "hardware store" to get mosquito killer.

Cinque Terre... The place that [probably] 14 of you told me to visit. Well, Meg and I made our way there on Friday morning. Meg and I are both E-N-F-J personality types and if you know anything about Meyers Briggs, a "J" is generally not spontaneous, has to have things perfectly planned and organized, and is very structured. Meg and I went with out a place to sleep. We just got on a train. Should I repeat that? We didn't have a place to sleep. SO UNLIKE ME. It was so adventerous of us, I can't believe it. Some of you are thinking "What's the big deal" while I smile in my new found spontaneity. We stayed for one night in a great place and ate like real Italians- appetizers and a meal over four hours.

Planning Trips... The island of Elba and Pisa next weekend, Mom comes for the next two weekends, Prague after that, then Barcelona, followed by London, then off to Paris. Fun, huh?

How am I... Good, tired, adjusting. There is so much that happens in a day that it has been hard to just sit and think. I have been journaling a lot and I really appreciate it. I have class M-T-TH starting at 9 so if I want to get up and be productive before the street vendors come out, it needs to be at 7 in the AM. When I came back from Cinque Terre it was good to walk up to the apartment and feel excited to be "home." We are going to church again tomorrow and we went to the church dinner this past Wednesday. It is real comforting to go to an American church here. I think that this semester will be one that is real lonely-- even though I am surrounded with a few friends here, it just will be. That is what college has been for me...freshmen year, @ Urban, as an RA, now in Florence = lonely. It is a good lonely though. No need to worry. God is becoming so much bigger here, especially in this city that feels so religious, but so apathetic at the same time. I am learning more about myself and what I do and don't like.

Things I like: Peace (Pace in Italian). Children at the train station who love to be photographed. Julie Pointer's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Personal TV screens on long airplane rides. JG's 'A Brighter Green'. Being bored on vacation. The book of James. Adoptions & Children. The enunciation of most words in Italian. When people are so sure and they say 'Absolutely!'

Things I don't like: War. Language barriers when trying to communicate. Abortions. Girls who cuss (Yes, I've stopped for the most part.) Awkward lip rings. People who don't keep themselves informed.

I miss you. Here is my address in case you forgot:

Emily Katz
c/o Studio Art Centers International
Palazzo dei Cartelloni
Via Sant'Antonino 11
50123 Florence-Italy

Five days until I am an official adult. I don't like the idea of that. Ughh, do I have to? Twentyone... after Carter turned twentyone I called him old at every birthday. In my mind everyone under twentyone is young and everyone over twentyone is old (Michele, we can talk about this later- you aren't old). When you are twentyone you get the privilege of being somewhere in between, wait... is that a privilege?

On that note, off to bed.


Sunday, September 11, 2005

An Italian Weekend

Give me a call, it's free for me and well, probably expensive for you unless you get a calling card and then it can be cheap for you. My number: 001-39-3-363-0276. (My actual number in Italy--339-363-0276, but I guess you don't need area codes when you call from the US) Remember that I am 9 hours ahead of you if you're in try not to wake me up.

Classes start tomorrow, and I'm real excited about it. I'm taking Interior Design, Drawing, more Photography, and ITALIAN!! I was thinking that I would stink at Italian cause I was awful at Spanish in high school, but maybe not cause I will be forced to speak Italian here. Woooo Hooo!

Meg and I have been hanging out and exploring the city a ton; Orientation was on Friday (9/9), and Saturday night we walked to the river and found the sweetest stuff-an outdoor Orchestra!! It was incredible and so fun. Is it weird that I had Chinese food? Probably.

Today is September 11 and we went to an Episcopal Church that is all done in English. Meg and I both loved it. We met a couple who live an hour and a half away and they drive here every Sunday for Church and also on Wednesdays for College dinner night. Meg and I are going to go and hopefully get the in with this older couple so we can go to their house on the coast of Italy. Okay, that's not really why. But they were sweet people.

Alright, time to go. By the way, I found PEANUT BUTTER!!! And it's the natural kind...very exciting.


Friday, September 9, 2005

Goodbye Rome, Hello Florence

I'm here... in Florence. Moved into my apartment today and it turns out I live two doors down from the school I am studying at (SACI- Studio Arts Center International/

Nervous, anxious, excited; all of the above. It's good that a smile is so universal; it really helps when someone smiles back at you when you are feeling all of the above.

My bed sucks- it needs an egg crate (Jeff, will you send me one?) and new sheets. Where in the world do you buy sheets in Florence? I miss California already, everyone smokes here, anywhere and everywhere.

I got my first passport stamp and it was in Denmark. I was only in Denmark for 2 hours. I was all by myself and I wanted to jump up and down and be excited with someone but it was only me in Denmark, looking around for someone I knew. No one. Then I flew to Italy and they didn't even want my passport, no stamp, no customs, nothing! I want a passport stamp from the place that I will be living in for 3+ months. Please people, let's be official.

I came from Rome and it was great, but I can already tell that I like Florence better. Though the Vatican was fantastic; am I the only one who didn't know that the Vatican is its own country? Yeah, well don't feel stupid if you didn't know that. So we (Zac Gordon from Westmont and myself) went into the Sistine Chapel and there are clearly marked signs that you do not talk or take pictures, or use a flash in anyway. Let me tell you, Michelangelo would have been pissed! It was SO loud and so many people were taking pictures. It made the whole experience a lot less enjoyable, especially with the guards yelling "No Photo! SHHH!" every 27 seconds. All in all, it still was beautiful.

Mon (9/5): Arrive and walk around Rome... Spanish steps and some fountain that I should remember the name of.
Tue (9/6): Colosseum and Ecstasy of St. Teresa (Marble Statue) @ this amazing church
Wed (9/7): Zac's birthday, Vatican city, Sistine Chapel, rain storm
Thur (9/8): Rome to Florence by train, only 22 Euros! ($27 USD), checking into SACI, unpacking and settling into the apartment.

Last days in Rome/First day in Florence

I miss you. Comment on this or email me at I like snail mail!!!! (Seriously, who doesn't?)

My address is:

Emily Katz, Fall 2005
c/o Studio Art Centers International
Palazzo dei Cartelloni
Via Sant’Antonino 11
50123 Florence - ITALY