Pierre my driver was so nice to me. When in the outskirts of Florence, he took me to a bus stop that would take me straight to the centre, bought me the ticket, and recommended a lovely place for lunch. Not only was the food delicious, but they where nice enough to keep my 20-kg backpack while I could wander in the streets.
If you haven’t read the story of my car share to Florence, you might want to catch up on that.
I had to go to the train station to by my ticket for the next day to go to Ljubljana (Slovenia). Because of technical problems, the sales assistant could only issue the Florence to Venice leg of the journey, but not the two following international legs to Austria and then on to Slovenia.
Never mind that, I walked in the streets, sightseeing and observing life as I love to do. Florence is indeed a museum city with so many monuments, statues, bridges and elderly people. There was a fair weather and a light atmosphere, but it’s hard to tell local life when there are so many tourists, and foreign students.
As I was getting tired in the afternoon, and didn’t want to meet my couchsurfing host as a zombie, I decided to take a nap by the river. Three bridges away from the Ponte Vecchio, there was a peer with some people resting there. I slept for an hour. When I woke up, groups of Americans had gathered with drinks.
I went back to the train station for another attempt to by the missing tickets, but because of a regional train strike and many tourists, the booking office was overcrowded. I gave up the idea, and went to collect my bag at the snacking place.
Meeting my host
I walked to meet my host directly at his place. It wasn’t too far. I had to take an underground passage below a railway. The wall were covered with graphs. Street art really. I took a few pictures. The place with busy with local passers by. Pedestrians, bikers, runners… and suddenly there was this strange man. Watch the video I made in this underground.
When I got to Micheal’s place, he offered me a warm welcome. His place was barely furnished, he was staying here temporarily. There was a large lounge, a table and three chairs and an open kitchen. The place was spacious, bright, and clean, but no couch. He had warned me, there is only a thin covered foam mattress that will be my bed. Modest, but just what I need.
After a life saving and relaxing shower, we shared a glass of Sicilian wine I had just shopped around the corner as a thank-you gift and we started chatting. He is of Brazilian origin, student in London at the UCL in human rights laws on an exchange programme with the university of Florence. He had just married his Israelian girlfriend in January, but they had live separately for a few months since she had to return to Israel for her studies, and he had to come to Florence. They will reunite soon, but they don’t know when and where. Skype helps…
I soon got news from Pierre, who was suggesting we should him and some friends on a square nearby. Perfect! Michael and I finished our drinks and joined them. They were just sitting around on the large square by the main central statue. It was a lovely and warm evening and lots of people were outside for late aperetivo. A bar in a little kiosk was playing Cuban music and selling drinks and snacks. Pierre introduced us, and we started to mingle happily. Americans, one Welsh guy and Italians. Students, teachers, and the people from the snacking place where I left my bag during the day.
A taste of Italian lovers
To avoid the unavoidable “where are you from? what do you do?” with each and everyone of them, I decided to engage into a slightly different conversation with Megane, a 30-year old art teacher at the American university across the square (yes, I had to ask the minimum anyway). So I asked her what she knew and thought of “Italian lovers”. Well the certainly had an experience and an opinion…! “They are amorous. They love to fuck you all night long. Actually, they would do it anywhere, any time, everywhere, all the time! My vagina hurts!”
I’m only summarizing here. She indulged in many details that enlightened all my senses.. I had been aroused all day by the view of tall, slim, dark-haired, blue-eyed stunning guys, I almost missed out on monuments and statues… I suddenly got a clearer picture.
But the picture remains the fruit of my imagination, and didn’t turn into the real fruit of sin.
By 1am, it was time to go to bed. I had to get up early to catch the train. Moreover Michael had already retired to chill out at his place, and I felt a little embarrassed.