It’s the coldest winter they’ve had in Florence for ten years. Enzo keeps laughing during dinner and saying, “and it’s the semester you and Owen are living here!” We find it slightly less amusing. My morning run up to Fiesole was not improved by a couple inches of unplowed snow on the road. “But Becca,” someone will say. “Isn’t it a bad idea to run along the side of a road in the snow and the ice when you almost get hit a couple times a run without ice?”
Yes. The answer is yes.
But I wanted to run. My rationale for running in the ice was that the reason I almost get hit on normal runs was that the drivers weren’t paying attention around turns, but that they’d be paying more attention in the snow because they didn’t know how to drive in it… I’m not saying this is smart. I’m just saying that’s what I told myself. It turned out to be a safer run than I’d expected. All of the cars on the road had already spun out and were being dug out, or else had already been abandoned, by the time I started up the mountain that morning.
Starting yesterday morning, it’s Syracuse University’s spring break. I got up 1t 4.30 and was waiting for the cab outside the house with Owen the specified 7 minutes before it was scheduled to appear (We both laughed about the strange arbitrariness of that time). Neither Owen or I was particularly confident about our odds of making it to Germany together. Although our ages are about 12 and 13 apart (Owen is older, though slightly) together we’re both about 6 years old.
We made it through our first two flights unscathed and then went to the bus station to wait for the final leg that would take us into Heidelberg. When the bus arrived, however, we learned that we’d bought tickets for 12:30 am instead of in the afternoon. Owen and I heard this, sprinted to the parking ticket pay station to try and buy tickets, realized we couldn’t buy tickets there, and did the walk of shame back to the original bus driver and bought tickets from him.
It was not warmer in Heidelberg. Owen and I went immediately to the hostel where we added more layers (Owen had on a record breaking 6 shirts on) and went back out. I took us confidently in the wrong direction. When we figured it out Owen said, “It’s half my fault. I should’ve realized that when you said, ‘I think we have to go forward and left’ we really should’ve gone right and back.”
We got pastries for lunch. My six second opinion is that Germany has better bread and pastries than Italy, but Italy has better coffee and pasta. Apart from the fact that Germany revolves primarily around the production of meat, I’m not sorry to have different food options. Owen and I aren’t even sure what you can eat in Italy if it’s not pizza and pasta.
After lunch we split up for a bit and I found my way up one of the wooded side mountains to overlook the city. I get the feeling it would’ve been very pretty if the sun had been out, but it was snowing and dark. I met Owen back at the hostel around 6 and lay on the top bunk watching cars pass outside the window. I must’ve fallen asleep because I woke to Owen flashing the lights on and off like we were having a bomb drill.
For dinner we walked to a German restaurant and I endured the cringe of the waiter when I asked if they had anything vegetarian. We went to bed pretty much as soon as we got back, sharing the .18 of a travel toothpaste that I have. We don’t have towels either, so when I showered in the morning I showered with my duvet cover and came into the common room to try and avoid the woman who was hacking up phlegm into the bathroom sink. She followed me in, opening the window (It’s freezing outside) and continuing to hack out the window onto the ground. So I’m ending this post by leaving and going to find somewhere better to sit while I wait for Owen to wake up.