Here and There

Here we go again.

It doesn’t feel real. I was becoming accustomed to life in Florence, although I still remained on a tumultuous learning curve. Suddenly, I was pulled away from process of settlement, placed back in the life that I temporarily put aside.

Here I am sitting again on the freccia (rossa) 9 something, reading the Corriere della Sera, piecing my big vocabulary back together. Its an exhilarating yet mind numbing process; I love growing in this language, but it just eats at my insecurities. Why can’t I just know it already? I keep trying to remember that the learning process is the beauty of it all.

Anyways, back to writing. I have three projects (yes, an overload and maybe not the smartest move for 9 days.) I need to focus on my thesis yet I feel the most detached to it [of the 3.] SO, I will keep writing, drinking (mostly coffee,) and eating tons. Hopefully it will do something to my senses so that I find some buried fever to make my thesis have some sort of brilliance.

I am starting to hate nostalgia.

My melodramatic self is jumping out of its skin at the sight and feeling of each detail, whether eating a probably microwaved train station cornetto or fighting people in line for the bathroom. I live for these details. I do not know what it is that keeps me entangled in every inefficiency and peculiar detail of this country, but I keep on coming back for more.

I need to pray more.

Maybe if I start praying before meals I can figure things out. A note to god then a bite of a carciofo all romana or rigatoni alla gricia, sounds like a holy plan. Yes, I am in Rome (well technically on the train to Rome, currently somewhere on the border of Lombardy and Emilia Romagna.) I guess this post is gonna turn into something about nostalgia, my neediness, and a hella lot of pecorino and carciofi (artichokes.) So, the rest will be food and tiny anecdotes. If you are reading this, maybe you can relate a bit. I think sharing may help me pull my big girl pants up and get on with my work.

And for the food… just a start…

The first vegetable eaten in Rome, a carciofo alla romana.  The best way to eat it for me (fried is great too, but I am a sucker for anything braised really.) Taken @ Dal Pollarolo 1936, a decent spot for a bite by Piazza del Popolo. Candidly speaking, do not go in here wearing your American flag on your forehead.
A new try for me; the contemporary Roman restaurant Molto in Parioli. Parioli is a rather “bougie” residential area in the Northern end of the city. Great place with amazing ingredients, with the price to fit. This simple filet of beef holds thin layers of lardo di colonnata and generous bites of porcini. Some potatoes and ju and you may rethink who does beef and butter better, the Italian or the French…
Not carbonara, but gricia. Maybe my favorite Roman pasta dish. Think amatriciana but no tomato. Like many people, I have a highly acidic stomach so tomatoes aren’t always my friend (neither is fresh cheese but I can ignore that,) therefore gricia is my answer. Pecorino, guanciale, and black pepper baby what else?? @ Al Pompiere, in the old Jewish Ghetto.
Crostata… no need to say more. Whether its breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I am down for it. This one with ricotta and chestnut jam. Italian chestnuts are fantastically creamy. Fresh ricotta is so simple and light, too bad America seems to always get it wrong.

I only have a few days, but this is how it kicked off. I think everything will turn out fine if I keep eating like this. I would show wine, but the wine game has been odd because my mother, who decided to accompany me on this trip, refuses to share any bottle of wine that is too fruity, oaky, spicy, tannic, and with an alcohol content above 13%. Help.

Now is a great time to continue research, after a 4 course meal and 2 shots of averna. Can’t sleep so lets beat down some procrastination…

Guess that it is all. Goodnight world.

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