Sometimes here in Florence I wish I had the desire to start smoking. Chances are that if you are reading this, it is because you care about me and my well-being, and each of you can rest assured that I will never in my life take up smoking. It’s just not for me and is not consistent in any way with the type of lifestyle that I want to lead. But with that said, whenever I see someone really enjoying a cigarette (not an unusual site here in Italy), I sometimes feel a little pang of longing, like, “ohhh… I want one!” but the truth of the matter is that it is not the cigarette that I want, but the instant comfort and familiarity of something, an immediate reminder that, no matter where I am in the world, I can pull out a magic little stick, light it, take a drag, and –poof!– I am instantly transported into a familiarly pleasant situation. I don’t know if that is how it works in real life because I have never been a smoker, but at any rate that is sort of how I like to picture it. I will say, however, that is about as far as my sympathies go, because the instant that someone sits down next to me on a park bench and lights up, I wanna pluck that magic familiar happy stick out of their mouth, stomp it into a thousand pieces and reprimand them for ruining my sunny park bench experience. But fortunately for them, my mother did not raise a barbarian.
So spring is here, finally! There was a lot– a lot— of rain this year, and it was starting to get us all down. Italians have a word for this: meteopatico, which describes a person whose mood changes with the weather. At last I have found an entire country with which to empathize! The weather here reminds me a lot of the weather in the South, only without the nice mild spring. It basically went directly from cold and rainy to hot and very humid. Though it has not really gotten about 80 degrees yet, I know this kind of heat. It’s the kind of heat which is bearable at that moment, but which makes you sort of shudder inside knowing that the following weeks and months are going to be utterly oppressive. But you know what? That is alright with me. I can take the heat!
Florence is beautiful in the spring. There are flowers on nearly every windowsill, and though there is not much green inside the city center, all it takes is a short walk to my favorite little park to make me feel all happy inside. I think everyone has a favorite piazza in Florence, but for most it is a touristy site like Piazza del Duomo (where the main cathedral is) or Piazza della Signoria (Uffizi Galleries). Mine, however, might not be as glamourous, but it is very local and very sweet. I don’t know if you all remember several weeks ago when I said that I fell in love with Florence, but it was here, in Piazza Massimo D’Azeglio. (Click images to enlarge.)
Speaking of this gorgeous spring weather, I better get out there and enjoy the day! With six hours of class every day, I don’t have much time during the week. But I PROMISE to come back and write about my weekend at the sea!!!