Trying to Blend in while Oppositely Managing to Stand Out!

3 Sep


I have a feeling these next few weeks my posts will all start off with the same apologetic phrase, I am sorry! I am sorry for not writing sooner, I am sorry for not writing more, simply I am sorry but you must understand I am a victim in this situation. I have completely fallen under the spell of Florence; I can’t stand to sit in my apartment for more than a second, there is so much going on outside around me and I am desperate to experience all of it!

In fact right now I am sitting at a café sipping on a tea while writing this post (how cliché). I am also eavesdropping on the conversation behind me as I challenge myself to understand what exactly they are discussing (right now from my understanding someone has come to Milan for vacation and is staying at the Four Seasons).

I guess you can say I am enjoying the Italian lifestyle and my goal while being here is to engage and become a part of it as much as possible, although at times I am finding things a bit difficult.

By no means do I know Italian, but I do think I have a pretty good grasp of the basics of the language; however I am discovering that sometimes that is simply not enough! For example I was told by a friend that the café which I am now sitting at is frequented by many locals, so of course I wanted to go! I walked in knowing just how to order my tea (prendo il te caldo con miele).  However my plan to blend in didn’t exactly go as planned, I wanted to sit outside (and of course people watch) but once I walked in and didn’t see a clerk working at the bar I soon realized I had no clue how this café exactly worked, did you order first and sit down or sit down and then order? And when did you pay, after ordering or before leaving? A seemingly simple thing ended up being a lot tougher than I thought and I am most certain that I did not blend in!

This wasn’t the only time I made a fool of myself, I also managed to do that this morning when I went to the market. After a brisk 5 minute walk I arrived at an amazing fresh food market selling everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, to cured meats, cheeses, bread, and eggs.

I had no problem buying fruit and vegetables, you are simply given a bag by the vendor, you then put as much fruit or vegetables in the bag as you like, they then weigh it and you pay….no problem. The difficult part comes with the ordering of the food which you cannot touch, the cured meat for example was an especially tricky task for me especially with the whole kilo thing!

Of course deciding to go to the market on a whim I didn’t bother to look up the equivalence of U.S. measurements vs. European measurements, looking back now I realize this was not a good idea at all. I was debating how much prosciutto to get, I am ashamed to admit I do not know the difference between a pound or a kilo, which one is more I wondered?

“vorrei un mezzo kilo di prosciutto cotto” I said confidently, proud that I had ordered in Italian and apparently had said the phrase right or close enough to being right because the vendor dutifully obeyed without question.

It was only once I saw how much prosciutto he was slicing that I began to wonder exactly how much half a kilo of prosciutto really was!  Once I returned home I told my Dad about my purchase and he informed me that half a kilo is equivalent to 1 pound. I now have a pound of prosciutto (YIKES)! So once again I apologize for not posting a recipe but it looks like the only thing I will be eating for my meals for the next few days will be prosciutto!


5 Responses to “Trying to Blend in while Oppositely Managing to Stand Out!”

  1. ecar5951 September 3, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    Welcome to my world! Weights and messurements are a challenge – a cup.,,, what does that mean? Not only do I live in a metric country where cups are only used for drinking a hot beverage. In the case of the cup I also have to know if it is a US or UK recipe before I can convert. Challenging but also so rewarding to find inspiration outside your local area!
    500 grammes of the finest Italian ham – what a dream. Expensive but so worth it!
    I actually think you learn more from your mistakes than anything else. Två GB är 2.048 MB, alltså motsvarande 15.831 kronor i EU och 245.760 kronor i USA. Per månad.

    • La Cucina Di Kait September 3, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

      Agreed i have learned from my many mistakes, where do you life. I cant imagine it very difficult!

  2. martin September 4, 2012 at 7:13 am #

    Ciao, and thanks for stopping by at my place (! Don’t miss an early morning, or sunset, at the hill across the river while in Florence. Take ponte Vecchio and turn left to the church San Miniato al Monte – the view over Florence is totally stunning! Also Florence is probably the best place to try trippa, I overcame my initial scepsism and tried, very rewarding! 🙂
    A month from now we’ll leave our cold north for 2 months in Sicily, which should hopefully also bring some nice culinary experiences!
    Oh, and enjoy the prosciutto – it’s gorgeous. Try to roast in the oven, a short while in 225 C (not F!!) and you’ll get very nice flakes. Eat as they are together with a glass of red wine, or break in pieces over a fresh pasta. 🙂

    • La Cucina Di Kait September 4, 2012 at 10:34 am #

      Martin, thanks so much for all your advice, do you live here in Italy. I am enjoying my time here and the many adventures!

      • martin September 4, 2012 at 10:56 am #

        Ciao Kait, Nope – I’m Swedish with a sweet tooth for Italy, italian food and drinks. Good luck with your Paleo diet!

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