My first Italian sunset, right before I realized I was hilariously lost.
It was going perfectly, until it wasn’t. I managed to navigate through London, catch my connecting flight in another airport, and got through Turin before making a mistake. At the Turin Porta Nuova train station, I asked for a ticket to Bra, and it was printed with the destination as “Bra.” Thus, I assumed that the train led directly to Bra, especially since the clerk didn’t mention any sort of transfer. An hour too late, and after some fitful dozing on the train, I panicked when I realized that this line didn’t directly go to Bra, and I should have transferred trains at Carmagnola. Luckily, the first person I asked for help was ludicrously well-prepared and whipped out a complete book of train timetables, and helped me figure out a new itinerary to get “home.” With palpable relief, I stepped off the bus at 22.37, about two hours later than planned. My flatmates came to pick me up in a car, and were overjoyed that I hadn’t inadvertently ended up in France or something. All in all, I have taken 10 planes/trains/buses to trek from New York to Bra, Italy in the last 24 hours, while lugging about 3/4 of my weight in luggage, up and down stairs, through traffic, across bumpy cobblestones. Heathrow might be my new favorite airport now because they offer the free usage of luggage carts. This has been one of the most draining days of my life.
The flat is beautiful, and decorated with all kinds of neat murals and photography. I don’t know if this is handiwork leftover from previous students, or designed by the school, but either way it is most impressive, and definitely better decorated than any of my previous apartments. I’ll try to post more photos of the place tomorrow, but below is a shot of my bedroom. There is a balcony where I can hang clothes to dry and a nice full-length mirror. The kitchen has some china, pots and utensils included, but I’m still glad I brought my trusty 10″ Calphalon. The one thing the apartment is sorely lacking is an oven; we have a large toaster oven, but it’s going to be difficult to do serious baking in that.
After picking me up from the train station, we all gathered round the kitchen and broke open a beer. Many of you will not be surprised to hear I was told several times that I have impressive amounts of energy. Jet lag, schmetlag. Tomorrow, the plan is to get the bureaucratic paperwork out of the way (I have to apply for a permesso di soggiorno residency permit within my first 8 days in Italy) and maybe explore the town a bit. Classes start at 9 am sharp on Wed.