Jet lag is starting to catch up with me. I woke up at 4am today and could not get back to sleep. The sun had not risen yet, but the birds were singing their songs loudly outside of my window. I watched some TV shows I had loaded on my iPad until the sun started to rise. I opened up my window to watch the golden rays pour over the red tiles of the houses.
Around 8am, I got dressed and left the apartment. I noticed my house-mates still had not arrived. I exited my building into empty streets. Shop owners were just starting to open up their businesses and the drowsy muttering of Italian could be heard. It is still strange to hear a different language spoken all around you. Most of the Italians in Orvieto do not have a very good concept of English, unlike in bigger Italian cities, so it is a little difficult to get around without a foundation in Italian. I know enough to have basic communication but I’m finding that I’m unable to hold any sort of conversation with the native Orvieto residents.
I walked down Corso Cavour to a cafe that had a simple sign posted in their window: WIFI INTERNET. Caffe del Corso is a fairly small establishment with a glass counter full of pastry items in the front and a wall of espresso makers in the back. I walked towards the back of the store where the shop owner was standing. She was an older woman dressed in an ancient looking dress. She cleaned an espresso cup with her crooked fingers.
“Buon giorno,” she said.
“Buon giorno,” I greeted back. “Un cappuccino per favore. Wifi?”
“Si,” she said.
She started to make my cappuccino. Normally, I am not the biggest fan of coffee but I figured I should probably try some while I am in Italy. The shopkeeper handed me my cappuccino and a business card with the wifi password written on it.
“Grazie,” I said.
I walked to a nearby table, logged on the Internet and tried my cappuccino.
Although I am not a fan of coffee, this was delicious. While I was sending a few emails, a man walked into the shop and made eye contact with me, smiling. He walked over to my table and shook my hand. He asked me where I was from in English. I told him. He said he was from Nigeria and would I be interested in buying stress-free socks (whatever that means). I declined.
I am not sure if this is something that is found all over Italy or not but as I walked around the city more that day, there were a lot of Nigerians walking up and down the streets trying to sell trinkets to any tourist they could find. As I sat in the cafe longer, more peddlers came in looking for an easy mark. A pair of American guys came in who had blonde hair so I was left alone. Luckily, I have some Italian features which will get me off the hook as long as there is someone who looks more foreign around me. I’m able to bleed into the background.
After about 45 minutes, I decided to leave and walked next door to a small grocery. I picked up some bread, Nutella (Italians love this stuff), and some fresh provolone cheese. I came back to the apartment and ate some lunch of cheese, bread and some tuna fish I had brought from home in order to save some money.
Around 2pm, I started to feel completely exhausted again. I laid in bed and watched a movie, trying hard to stay awake. I was unable to keep my eyes open any longer and ended up sleeping until 6pm. After waking up, I contemplated going out again but I decided that it was best to stay in and try and recover from this jet lag.
Around 9pm, the bell to the apartment rang and I walked to answer it. One of my house-mates, Luis, had just arrived from London. He had been there for four days visiting friends. I told him that I was still jet lagged from yesterday and went back to bed while he went out for dinner. I was awoken at 10:30pm to the sound of someone trying to get into the apartment. It seemed that Luis’ key doesn’t work. Hopefully we can get that sorted out tomorrow. I ended up drifting off to sleep around midnight.
research / travel / musings
This personal blog contains a variety of topics, both academic and not. I post sporadically (for now).