Sunday, 13 March 2011

March 10, 2011

March10, 2011

We got up late. I made a great breakfast from the groceries we bought yesterday, and we headed out.
Near our house is a piazza called “Santa Maria Novello”. Around the corner from that is the “Duomo” which means “Big Dome”. The duomo is attached to a very architecturally ornate church.
Here was a large crowd of folks around the duomo, taking pictures and eating and doing tourist stuff. A young, apparently healthy woman approached us and begged in her best heart-breaking voice for money. She rattled a can with coins in it and generally did a good job of begging. We wanted to give her some money, but all we both had was 20 euro notes, and that was too much. We went looking for change. All the tourist souvenir stands were too expensive and they wouldn’t give us change unless we bought something, so it took us a while. When we finally had change, the young beggar lady had vanished.

Rachel wanted to shop, so I sat on a bench for awhile. A couple came up speaking German, and the guy sat down next to me, and his wife went off. He and I commiserated about shopping wives and bored husbands. He spoke a limited, broken version of English, and all the German I know comes from war movies, so communication was limited.
Rachel returned and I said goodbye to my benchmate, and we went to the central market of Florence. At the market I was amazed to find that every clothing vendor had the perfect sized fake leather jacket for ME!!

After shopping we looked up a tour bus. They have busses here that go around the same circuit all day and for a price you can hop off at any stop, stay as long as you want, then hop on again. The busses also have a narration running that you can hear in your own language in earphones. The narration tells you everything a good tourist should know about all of the attractions. Of course, this leads to extreme information overload, so I don’t actually remember most of it.

We have a hard time figuring out which way is up, here. We started out to take the jazz kids out to dinner at a place called Acqua Al2, which was recommended by Rabbis Gary
and Laurey. We walked a long way and then figured out that we were headed in exactly the wrong direction , so turned around and headed in the other direction. Ended up still beating the boys to the restaurant. Jazz folks are generally laid back, so they are frequently late, and not bugged by that fact.
We had a great dinner and wonderful conversation with the guys. I am trying not to call them “kids”, after all they ARE 19 or 20 and are getting along in a foreign land on their own. Anyhow, many of them are wise beyond their years, and great story tellers.
The dinner ended up calling us much lees than it should have, due to a
gift from Rabbis for our family which we extended to jazz kids.
At the end of the wonderful evening we went our different directions and eventually made it home.

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