Bolognese Beginnings

Tonight and last night have been the first signs that summer is ending.  (Thank God).  These are the first nights that I can close my bedroom window instead of having to leave it open, hoping to get a little breeze, but instead just hearing the insanely loud garbage truck violently shaking out the empty wine bottles from the canister in front of the wine bar down the street at 3:30 am.  This means no more sweating as I walk to school, no more fanning myself as I sit in the living room on the weekend, glued to the couch and sedated by the humidity.  I hear the wind and rain are equally as debilitating in the winter, but for now I’m ready for fall.

my room

bolognese bedroom

I’ve had one full week of classes, meaning that I’ve already learned (supposedly) one quarter of a semester’s worth of microeconomics.  I’m well on my way to being able to comfortably calculate scary-looking economic functions.  That’s right, I actually got the calculus questions right on the math diagnostic quiz.  Although I was initially unsure of my capacity to comfortably link math with economic theory, I think that actual application of functions is what might finally help me understand math… hopefully in a way that doesn’t just slip right back out of my ears, like math tends to do.

Along with the econ comes the survival Italian.  As in, “Ciao!  Mi chiamo Emilie.  Sonno americana dalla California.  E tu?”  As my mother said, this is always the beginning.  I can already tell that one of my econ procrastination methods will be to study Italian instead.  I’ve been devising new methods of guilt-free procrastination, such as studying Italian or reading the NY times or cleaning my room because I can still claim that I’m doing something productive.  My least productive, but most enjoyable way to procrastinate is gastronomically.

on the way to school

on the way to school

One of the best parts about discovering Bologna is the food.  There is a restaurant directly across the street from our apartment that has a delicious daily menu for (relatively) good prices.  Last week I had the most amazing cylindrical gnocchi in a cream sauce, tossed with fresh arugula.  We also shared a litre of wine for 7 euros.  The wine here is pretty incredible.  The region seems to be well-known for its Sangiovese, and spending 5 euros on a bottle of local wine is enough to give you something smooth and delicious.  So far, I’ve never been anywhere where the wine has been so consistently good for such good prices (although someone really pushed it at a get together this weekend when they brought a bottle with a twist-off top).  Back to the food…  last night we splurged on a fancy dinner that included shared appetizers of red snapper and grilled vegetables, creamy risotto, and….  veal tongue.  Yes, I finally ate veal and it was delicious.  Cameroon has definitely positively affected my willingness to try new things.  For the main course I had steak tartar with local mushrooms.  I only wish I had more dispensable income to throw at these places.  There is so much you can eat and it is all so fresh and delicious.  Sigh.  I know, my life is so hard.

raquel and emilie, off to a dinner party

raquel and emilie, off to a dinner party

This weekend, I went to Ravenna, a city famous for its beautiful mosaics dating back to the Byzantines in 500 AD.  They were absolutely beautiful.  I’ve never seen anything like them.  Being in Cameroon for so long made me forget how much I love art.  I was surprisingly moved when we walked into a mausoleum where the whole ceiling was covered with mosaic stars.  Florence and Cinque Terre are only train rides away.  One weekend soon…

the empress theodora in ravenna

the empress theodora in ravenna

Now, I just need to find a way to smoothly integrate studying, socializing, feasting, traveling, and working (the last one to hopefully balance the two right before), and still get eight hours of sleep a night.  Maybe not possible.  At least I can substitute sleep with perfectly crafted cappucini.  Yes, in case you were wondering, the plural of cappucino is cappucini and one grilled sandwich is actually a panino.  Don’t worry, I will talk a lot more about food in the future and try to keep the econ references to a minimum.

Side note:  Today I taught someone the Oscar Meyer Bologna song.  I hope to do this much more frequently in the future.


~ by Emilie on September 6, 2009.

2 Responses to “Bolognese Beginnings”

  1. yeah, but I wanna know if you’ve had pizza yet!

  2. You are making me HUNGRY.

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