Archive for the 'By Bicycle' Category

May Day and Clouds in the Park













From the Future

I come to you from my hostel in Amsterdam, 5 flights and almost a month since my last post and with more things to write about than I can process right now.

So, I urge you to be patient and come back soon (week or three).  Thanks for reading!


Andiamo nelle Biciclette

Gabby, Anna, and Derek hanging out at the park by the Arno

Gabby, Anna, and Derek hanging out at the park by the Arno

For the next week we stuck around SGV, enjoyed the Festivities.  One night got pretty crazy, there were tons of teenagers, mostly girls, screaming for these singers that came to town.  We just watched from a safe distance and decided to go for a walk instead.

The Star Friends, no lo so.

The Star Friends, non lo so.

Later in the week there was a trip to Sienna with school but Anna and I had waited to long to sign up and couldn’t go so we decided to rent bikes instead.  We had heard it wasn’t far to Montevarchi, another small town nearby, so after marveling at how easy it was to get bikes we were off.

The school has you give them a 10 Euro deposit per bike, they give you the key for the lock and you go downstairs and grab it and best of all when you return it you get your money back, simply wonderful.  We should do it more often in the states, plug for my Dad and his bike co-op plans, which I linked below:

At first it was all gravy, San Giovanni is pretty easy to bike around and there were always other people on bikes to follow if in doubt.  However once we got on the main road out to Montevarchi we ran into some roundabouts, which, with the speed of Italian drivers and Vespas, made us a little hesitant.

The roundabouts seemed to keep getting bigger and the weather was pretty hot but, soon enough we were parking our bikes in Montevarchi and enjoying a stroll.

There wasn’t much to see, we walked around the entire town, stopped in an antique shop, went to the park to refill our water bottles and were back on the road. This time I was much more comfortable with the ride and so I started taking photos while riding (pushing the button while the camera was on my back).

I love the signs when coming into a new town, big red line through the town you were in and the new town is senza the red line.

When we returned we locked up our bikes and went to Gianni’s Pizzeria to meet with the others.

During dinner there was another event going on nearby (part of the festival that I mentioned before) where all the local dance classes were performing.

I thought the outfits for one teen group were a bit too provocative (short black satin slips) but then again I’m coming from American culture where nudity and sex are much more scandalized.  Sorry I didn’t snap a photo of it; I did get a few of the other acts.

kids doing the tango, matto.

kids doing the tango.

The next day after school we decided to go on another bike ride this time with Aneja and Gabby as well.  Not quite interested in another small town with nothing to do we went for the countryside instead, guessing at each fork in the road.  It was a perfect ride, we ended up in a little pack where we stopped to talk about politics (Italian and American) and languages.

Gabby is English but she studied to become fluent in French, Aneja and Anna speak their countries languages (Slovenian and Polish) but also English and Italian.

In American politics we all agreed about Obama and our fears for McCain, with Italy we talked mostly about some cultural clashes.  Gabby was saying her host seemed really liberal about everything but then out of nowhere had this racism against Albanians.  We exchanged stories about our experiences in our home countries and here in Italy.

All of it was really interesting and made me feel fortunate to be around such intelligent and observant women.

After a bit more exploring we rode back singing little pieces of Italian songs we knew.  The next day each class was singing different Italian songs in front of the whole school so we were trying to practice. When we got back Anna and I headed to il Pozzo to practice our songs with Aneja, Alex, and Takafumi.  Then it was home to bed before the big performance.

then we showed each other where we were from with Google Earth

then we showed each other where we were from with Google Earth!