Thank God for Visuals

In Florence, Italy by Amanda B.10 Comments

So there’s this small thing called a language barrier and it’s just slightly a struggle (sarcasm here, if you couldn’t tell). Like when you’re supposed to move your luggage but instead you stand there clueless while your bellhop explains himself 4 times over, only speaking faster each time. Or like when you really need a fork for your overflowing sandwich but don’t know how to ask and the claimed wifi won’t work for you to google it. Or like when you go grocery shopping and can’t read a single thing so you take some wild guesses and pray you’re right. My default action is now smiling, nodding, and then jettin’ right out there in case it was actually a question. I’m pretty excited to start learning some Italian in class next week…

We just got back from an evening stroll (about 2 miles round trip actually) to a grocery store called Coop. Apparently it’s the cheapest and best one, but it’s a little far when you’ve got a raging metabolism and skyrocketing appetite like me – my shoulders are definitely gonna be sore tomorrow from carrying those bags back!! It was really cool and pretty similar to our grocery stores here. You know, besides the fact that I had no idea what any labels said. But it’s cool, I was able to find most things by what they look like – besides my (hopefully) greek yogurt – we’ll find out tomorrow. The deli counter was also really cool to look at!

These are the handy Italian grocery store tips I learned today:

1) You MUST wear gloves to pick up your fruit or produce.

2) They don’t do the work for you. You must weigh your fruit/produce after bagging it, select your item on the screen, and have a label printed out with your price , which you then stick onto your bag.

3) They also don’t bag your stuff for you. It’s aaaalllll you.

4) Eggs and milk aren’t refrigerated. Don’t freak out. It just has something to do with the way they’re produced… I forgot but I read it on my research prior to our grocery shopping excursion! It’s totally safe.

I purchased greek yogurt (or not, we’ll see), pasta, chunky tomato sauce, giant nectarines, bananas, carrots, cereal, mortadella, eggs, tomatoes, fresh mozzerella, a bunch of fish filets (no idea what kind though… bummer), and a fresh-made pizza. It was 20 euros ($26). So now I have some breakfast/lunch, and sometimes dinner, and can save some money!

We didn’t do much today, but we did do something exciting – GOT OUR APARTMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We’re about a mile from our school, but it’s not too terrible because I’ll enjoy walking and checking out everything each morning. Our street is so cute and peaceful. And our apartment is a LOT nicer than expected, and furnished with everything we could possibly need, besides a toaster. I. LOVE. IT. The doors are really weird from the inside though. They’re gorgeous on the outside with wood and decorative handles and knocker things, but from the inside it looks like a creep jail door that’s heavy duty and spy-like. Here’s pictures of our wonderful little apartment <3 (look on my facebook for MORE pictures!!!) We have all brand new appliances and so much kitchen stuff and a flat screen! We got SO lucky.

Goodnight all! Hoping to finally get some sleeeeeeeeeep!

PS. It didn’t rain today like was forecasted, WOOHOO! It must have gotten it all out in the gnarly thunderstorm last night. That was some seriously large and bright lightning!

Amanda B.Thank God for Visuals


  1. Holly Terrones

    You’re doing GREAT..I remember the same experiences in Munich, a guess at stuff to buy is fun! How about an old fashioned book for translation?

  2. Ron Brookshire

    The meat counter looks amazing… visual overload. It looks like your kitchen is very nice, I am sure a lot of gourmet Italian will be prepared in there!

  3. Carrolyn Brookshire

    It is totally awesome only $26.00 dollars for what you bought. Wow I wish I had that store…..course it would be scarier not knowing what the labels said, but you will learn so fast you will be speaking italiano in no time LOL. Love you

  4. Terri Sonn

    Sound like you have it going on. I was thinking when you said your shoulders were sore it was from shrugging them from not knowing what they were saying. Lol

  5. Mom

    Mandy – dont you have one of those translation APPS on your phone? That would probably work great in a pinch and if not…send a viber message to Cherida! I love you sweetie!

  6. Cherida Bush

    Hahaha, I finally got to read your lovely blog here, it’s amazing! It’s funny to see what you find so different while it’s so normal here… makes me wonder how it is in the US! Like… you refrigerate eggs?? Anyhow, you’ll have visions when you try pizza here… northern Italians aren’t so good at making pizza. 😛

    Congratulations on your beautiful blog. 🙂

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