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Quattro Formaggi: My First Italian Pizza and Communication Fail July 18, 2011

Posted by savannahcookson in Travel Log.
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Man, I am so behind on this stuff! I can’t believe I have been here for two weeks and managed to post once. It probably has something to do with my choppy internet. Moving on though, I had my first pizza in Italy on my first full day.

Ordering was interesting.

We got pizza while we were wandering the city and getting ourselves repeatedly lost and unlost. The streets here don’t actually run parallel/perpendicular but branch at odd angles, so you think you are walking in one direction but you really end up further or the same distance from where you want to go. Finding our way back was particularly interesting. We happened upon this pizza place at a moment when the hunger was overtaking our tummies, and we caved to the pressure.

This was our first experience with total lack of communication. The servers didn’t speak any English except for one younger server with broken understanding. It’s truly mindblowing the first time you realize that other languages aren’t just things you learn in school because it’s cool; these people think and communicate in this language. They don’t just associate an Italian word with an English correlate, the Italian word IS the correlate.

It’s equally impressive how much of a grasp a lot of people have on English despite the fact that they don’t speak it at all. If an Italian person came to America, for the most part no one they encountered would attempt to communicate in Italian, let alone truly know how to do so. I actually feel bad that I have come to a foreign country without at least a firm grasp on the basis of the native tongue, because I know that I am getting huge concessions that a lot of people wouldn’t have in other places.

Check out Sideways Sweets for more of my thoughts on this delicious pie. Look forward to the next tasty something soon!

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Cannelloni With Marinara and Mozzarella: A Lesson in Airport Food July 17, 2011

Posted by savannahcookson in Travel Log.
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Ciao! I am in Italy! And boy, has it been an adventure so far. But now it is time to share the adventure with you! Starting with the bumpy ride here.

My parentals dropped me off at the airport at about 12pm on their way to Florida. My new Nintendo 3DS kept me company for the wait and the start of the flight. About 5 minutes in, I discovered that I was across the aisle from what would soon be revealed as the quintessential screaming plane child. Little sleep was had, but I have successfully navigated about 30% of The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks and managed to get fired from, ironically, a culinary career track in The Sims 3D.

I arrived at Roma Fiumicino at something like 10am Italy time. My outgoing was at 5. So, understandably, I did some wandering. While Catherine (Hi Q!) was with me, we grabbed some food at a little caffè and met some adorable people from Lebanon. When Q caught her flight, I alternated shopping, sleeping, and eating until boarding. And that’s when I found this gem.

I really had no idea what cannelloni was when I ordered.

You can read more about my first foodie experience in Italy at my food blog, Sideways Sweets! Arrivederci!