20041108

how can it be cold as hell when hell is supposed to be hot?

i love florence... i want to live there. it's so quiet and clean [well... compared to rome, it's clean] and pretty and lively and wonderful... i wish that i'd been able to stay there this semester instead of rome in a way - i know that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and what have you, but i think that it would have been marvelous to study in florence for a whole semester. speaking of studio: why don't we do the whole 'moving studio' thing like most schools do? i mean, why only see/experience one architecturally/historically significant european city in a semester when you could see many architecturally/historically significant european cities in a semester? i think that would be a rockin' semester abroad... granted, i am having a blessedly wonderful time, but i would have liked to be able to see berlin, moscow, prague, leon, bath, edinburgh, dublin, etc. while in europe... not to mention that flying/travelling by train, etc. from rome is absurdly expensive... to go to the netherlands over thanksgiving, it's going to cost each of us [there are 5 of us going] about 300 euros just to travel... that doesn't even count hotels/hostels and all that glorious junk... oh, and just to fly to paris it costs 200 euro [by train, it's about 350]... how crazy is that? blah... i'm rambling... on to more interesting stuff [i think...?]:

so, the duomo in florence has 466 steps... count them: 466. my crazy-ass classmates decided that it would be a marvelous idea for all of us to haul ass all the way up to the top when all of us were stupidly tired and hungry... does that sound like a good idea to you? ...[pause for effect...] ... no? yeah, that's what i thought. not to mention that it was hot... yes, that's right... it was hot in florence in november [now it's cold as hell, but i'll get into that later...]. so after we desperately race up all 466 stairs [me, counting all of the way up because i'm obsessive compulsive like that...], we are sweating and huffing and puffing and relishing the view from the top of florence while trying to catch our breath [you know the position: bent over, hands on your knees... head down... trying to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth - which, i might add, is quite difficult when you have a sinus infection ...]. all of the sudden, david pops up and says, 'i can't breathe... i need a cigarette,' proceeds to light one up, pull in a deep inhalation of sour smoke, hold it for a second and let it go slowly. 'that's much better....' i chuckled hartily and proceeded to take as many pictures as possible. when we came down, my legs were shaking from the climb [so was almost everyone else's]... we proceeded to have the most expensive self-service lunch i've ever had and the food wasn't even good... just average... you know? the whole business of putting food in your mouth and routinely swallowing but not really liking what you're eating? ...

anyway... i have this little theory about our school trips: the university of arkansas school of architecture is cursed! every time we go on a trip, the weather is horrid and everything we try to see is somehow altered... take florence for example: not only does is rain while we're there... oh no... every single building we tried to go see was covered in bloody scaffolding, under construction, or closed to the public for 'works.' arrrrgh. the laurentian library was closed [we were, however, able to see the staircase in the vestibule... sigh]... palazzo medici was covered in scaffolding, palazzo della signoria was covered in scaffolding, santa croce was covered in scaffolding - outside and in, the duomo was covered in scaffolding, and of course, the vassari corridor was partially under restoration, and requires a two-week-in-advance reservation to enter... frustration... frustration... frustration...

anyway... i loved my trip. like i said, florence is beautiful and quiet... i will never take silence for granted after this semester... ever again...

so... it's really bloody cold in rome today... it was 80 on thursday and now it's 45... but it's a really cold 45... i am wearing 2 shirts, my heavy jacket, jeans and such and i'm freezing my friggin' butt off... studio is cold, so i can't really concentrate, my apartment [aka hobbit hole] is also freezing [warmer than studio, though] and i just want to go home and take a nap - which i think i will do right now...

2 comments:

trinity said...

florence was one of my favorites, too! when the medici's were in power, they would use the hooks at the palazzo vecchio (you know, the ones that are about 4 stories up, on the facade) to display the heads of people recently killed... =) just imagine... a facade decorated with bloody heads =)

enjoy thanksgiving! michael and i went to saas fee, switzerland on our break, spent WAYY too much money, and had a fantastic time =)

natalie said...

yeah, i am really looking forward to seeing amsterdam and rotterdam... and on my way back, i get to stop in pisa... which should be really nice... i have a VERY VERY VERY limited budget for my trip, so i have to be as strict with myself as possible, which really puts a damper on how much i can do while i'm on vacation... c'est la vie... hopefully i'll get to come back one day when i don't have such a tight budget [which only allows me to go to a few museums and eat very very lightly while i'm away...]