It is official, I am at the halfway mark of my journey in Florence; time is flying by but at the same time, it seems as if I have a year until I have to fly back home. I would have to commend anybody who travels to another country of a different that what you have been accustomed to because it is not for the weak. Furthermore, in this week’s blog I want to talk about my two favorite things and how Italy has made become a feign for them even more than before. Anybody who knows me, knows that I have a very sweet tooth and I love flowers ( it’s the girly girl and Haitian combined in me). It has been like that since I was a goober and from the looks of it, that’s how it will stay until I enter my grave.
Onward to my second favorite thing, SWEETS !! I love anything that is sweet, chocolate, donuts, ice cream pastries anything. I think it is an inherited trait because my grandmother is the exact same ( she keeps a hidden stash a sweets for me when I come home). Over my childhood, sweets became like a comfort relief in times of anxiety, stress and pain.Usually lasting no more than five minutes, whatever sweet I was having made me feel warm and calm. Every semester when I return back to school, my mom would buy me a pack of chocolate to keep in my desk for times when I am craving something sweet. I have woken up in the middle of night and gone to late-night campus stores for something sweet and now in Italy I have walked streets after streets looking for a sweet indulgent. In Italy, there are many sweet shops around, Pasticceria they are called.Left and right, the air is filled with smells of fruity tartes and the sights of cream cheese-filled croissants and sugar-sprinkles donuts are the hardest but tasty temptations that you will encounter. Through my roomates I was able to find this cute caffe that allows me to indulge while on a budget.On top of having at least one pastry each day and buying a pack of pastries and bag of M&Ms each week, I have made it a little routine of having a cup of gelato every Sunday evening as a way to refresh myself and start on a positive note. Although I haven’t had extreme cases of homesickness, allowing myself to have a sweet treat is a way I remember to be in the moment and just relax. It is my way of giving myself compassion; it’s simple but “sweet”. As I enter my last three weeks here in Italy, I will take time to smell the roses and remember the sweetness of life, all while smelling the roses and having a scoop of gelato.
Since coming to Florence, I have been enamoured by their beautiful natural scenery, from their mountain tops and gently flowing rivers to their aroma-filled gardens. They have reminded to breathe and enjoy the view. One of my first excursions was to a garden on a steep hill and it was the first time that I was actually delighted by the smell of flowers- I don’t know why but the smell of flowers to me was always like grass- the smell of the roses and peonies could have become my perfume fragrance. By the end of the first week, I had prioritized gardens over monument sightings and caffe dinings. I do not really know why I love flowers so much especially since I can’t take care of them longer than a week, but it was always something about how they started off as a little seed and then blossomed into this pretty vibrant plant that could beautify any space.FOr no matter where or how they grown, flowers were a reminder of life and seeing how much they are adorned in Florence and care given to maintain their cultivation it could not be a better equivalence to how I view the people of Florence and how I want to be: beautiful, free and living. For the past three weeks in Florence, I have seen the ability of people to be lax and responsible in their everyday interactions including working. It’s different for me because of my upbringing as well as America’s culture of being constantly being professional, it’s hard to think about being casual and still being professional. Florence is pushing me to ask myself who I want to be outside of and after the critical essays and weekly quizzes. I don’t know yet but I am going to continue going to gardens and maybe it will hit me like a sweet smell.