the 19hrs of travel, and the first few hours in Pisa
18.06.2010 - 19.06.2010 10 °C
The trip to Pisa was VERY long and semi-boring.
The flight from Calgary flew to Minneapolis first, for a short stop over, then to New York City where I had to go from Laguardia airport to John F Kennedy airport. The first flight I sat between two men who were from minneapolis and were in Calgary doing business (both oil of course) they were extremely nice and we all talked most of the flight, mostly about where I was going and what I was planning on doing and things like that. On the flight from Minneapolis to New York I was sitting in between two women, the woman to the left of me was very nice and when we were about to land in New York she showed me the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn bridge and named a bunch of other famous buildings.
Then I took a taxi from Laguardia to JFK and my driver was also very nice and was showing me different things along the expressway and I sat in the back and tried to take pictures (like a true tourist). Then we got to JFK which has to be the biggest airport I think I have ever been to in my life, it was amazing. Inside there were stores like BCBG and Barnes and Noble but suprisingly the food court, well the one that I found, was only 4 fast food type places, and a lounge that I couldn't go into because in America I'm still under age. The security there though in the delta terminal was garbage. The woman that should have been paying attention to the scanner that scans what is inside the bags was not paying attention what-so-ever, she was reading papers that were in her hands, which made me nervous but I wasn't about to tell her how to do her job. I basically just hoped that no terrorist went through security thing while she was "working". The flight from NYC to Pisa was LONG and I did not sleep at all. I was again seated in between two men who were also very social. At first I thought that the man who was sitting to the right of me was creepy because after sitting beside him for about 10 minutes he just put his hand out and said "Hi, I'm Mike" then continued to interrogate me and ask me where I was staying, and when I told him what the village is called he pulled out his Iphone and google mapped it. (I'm not staying right in Pisa, I'm staying in a village just on the outside called Agnano). He teaches Italian language and Literature at Yale university and so every summer he brings students over and shows them Italy, he also taught me how to properly pronounce the name of the village I am staying in. It's pronounced An-Yan-O. The man on the other side of me was from Montana and was travelling with his wife and 3 sons. They rented a villa outside of Lucca for a month (must be nice) and he said they didn't really have plans they just wanted to see as much as was possible in 30 days. Which is probably a lot because in this area there is so much to do and florence is only about an hour away which has LOADS of museums and historical type areas.
When we were about 20 minutes to when we were supposed to land in Pisa they made an announcement saying that there was heavy rainfall in Pisa and we ended up circling around in the air for about 45 minutes until we could land. So when we actually landed and got off the plane I was so relieved to finally be in Pisa. I went through customs, which was weird because they hardly look at your passport and don't ask any questions, they just stamp it and your let go. Then I got my bags and walked down a hallway and through some sliding doors and was then greeted by my Italian family who both gave me the typical kisses on both cheeks and a hug and we went to the car. On the way back to the house they showed me what everything was and at one point we were driving down this road and you can see Agnano because it's kind of up at the foot of a small mountain and it was absolutely stunning, It's beautiful here. When we got to the house they showed me my room and around the house, they then made lunch (pasta and salad) and poked fun at the fact that I have to learn how to twirl spaghetti properly around my fork using only 3 fingers and no spoon or knife or I will quickly identify myself as a foreigner. I was already really sick to my stomach before eating and figured that food would help this but that was not the case, I think I had 4 fork fulls of spaghetti before I felt as though I was going to throw up. They noticed this and told me that they wouldn't be offended if I didn't finish my meal. After I was done trying to force myself to eat - which was very unsuccessful - I went upstairs and had a nap because I was so exhausted. I slept for about 5 hours and then Silvia woke me up because it was dinner time. They had another family over for dinner, a mum dad and daughter, who were extremely nice and all fluent in English. Dinner was really good, some potatoes, tomato salad, roast beef, there were also some delicacies like chicken liver paste which was spead on some crustini, as well as another spread which was ostrich meat. I tried neither of them. Maybe somewhere down the road I will be a bit more adventurous but for today I stuck pretty much to things I already know. I then called my mum and told her I was here and all was well. I miss my family a lot already, but right now I'm pretty confidant in saying my Italian family has made me feel at home and I can't wait to see and do more things around here with them. I start language school on Monday which is also a very exciting thing so that when people are speaking Italian around me I can hopefully start understanding them not just picking up on a couple words and guessing what their conversation might be about!!
Thats pretty much all for the now, I need to get to bed!!