Cibo Cinese con Olivia

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

I unfortunately spent a majority of class in bed today! I ate some mint leaves last night in a drink, and I think they must have been moldy or old, because I woke up this morning feeling pretty yucky. I made it to my 9 AM though where we had a survivor of the Holocaust come tell us her story and answer our questions. It was very chilling and moving simultaneously. She seemed very appreciative of our curiosity and efforts to learn. She was also an adorable elderly Italian woman– very put together, well dressed, and her delicate wrinkles showcased her wisdom and strength.

After resting in bed for several hours, I made it to Cafe Oblate to journal with the Italiano studenti. Like always, I was asked by Italians my age if a) They could take the chair next to me and b) If I had a lighter. I said ‘Sì’ to one of those requests 🙂 I love Oblate and have done a lot of writing and studying there. Here’s why I love it so much:

  • Stunning view of the Duomo (you feel like you’re more on its level)
  • Many Italians (local flavor)
  • Individual tables with bright, colorful chairs
  • Great place to people watch
  • It’s absolutely huge! So many rooms, books, levels, study areas
  • There’s a bar to get a coffee and snacks
  • Dogs are welcome and often spotted

I met Olivia for Chinese food after my two hour journal session. We absolutely revel in eating Chinese food in Europe! There are many restaurants near the train station (a whole strip of Chinese ones), so we popped into one that caught our eyes. I was a little too shy to practice my Chinese tonight, but I did ask for a bottle of water in Mandarin. Our waitress (occupied by her Chinese TV show on her phone) had the most adorable puppy at her feet! Olivia encouraged me to try some new Chinese dishes, so we shared plates of crispy duck, steamed buns, a beef dish, and fried rice. I also had a hefty bowl of wonton soup (my personal favorite).

Now’s the time to reflect on our year here, and we laughed about being stranded at Formentera in Ibiza all the way back in October, scouting the Christmas markets in Budapest, and relaxing in southern France for Easter weekend. This was certainly not the last Chinese meal in Europe! xo ~ e.

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