On Wednesday night, we went downtown with a group of teachers and had appetizers with them. We then decided to head down the street for Chinese food. Alex and I had walked past the Chinese restaurant and never even known it was there, because like all things in Italy, it was a bit hidden. Above all of the shops was Chinese food and we didn't even know it! We had a good laugh looking at the menu. Although most of it was in Italian and we struggled to understand; words such as "spaghetti" (lo mein) and "ravioli" (dumplings) threw us for a loop.
On Thursday after school, we went back downtown in search of shoes for Alex to play tennis on Saturday. We were thankful to find a pair, although Alex will soon be searching online for a more sturdy set. The only shoes in his size are velcro closures. Although they weren't terribly comfortable, they worked so he could play on Saturday!
Friday afternoon we had appetizers and wine at school in the staff lounge - all provided by the director and his wife. I'll admit it, it's weird drinking alcohol in school, but I'm now living in a culture where wine goes with just about any activity. After our rendezvous after school, a few of us met up at our house for dinner (trofie with pesto, salmon and green beans) and board games. We taught the group to play Ticket to Ride and they loved it! Here's a photo I stole off of my friend's blog (thanks Randeen!).
Later in the day, we met up with some of the other teachers in Nervi, a nearby suburb of Genoa. Nervi is on the sea and boasts a beachey posh vibe. It's a place you go to relax, enjoy the (nice) shops, and grab dinner. It seems that the farther east you go in Genoa, the nicer and wealthier the neighborhoods get; very different than in Denver, where everyone wants to live west of I-25!
First, we walked around the town, made our way to the beach, and enjoyed the boardwalk. Being the tourist-teachers that we are, we took quite a few photos throughout our walk! When our stomachs began to rumble and the rest of the group joined us, we went to a restaurant that was recommended to us by three different co-workers earlier in the week. Sole Luna has Napoli-style pizza; puffy crust is what sets this pizza apart from the rest. It was delicious, quick, and very affordable, too!
Thanks, Randeen, for another great picture from your blog!
We would appreciate your prayers as we continue to seek out a spiritual community to grow with. Right now, we are thinking that we may need to find an Italian-speaking protestant church. We're just not sure how to find it!
Following church, we met up with Randeen downtown and wandered around trying to find a place to eat lunch. One thing you must be aware of when visiting Italy is that most stores are closed on Sunday. What we didn't know was that other stores will open for the morning or the afternoon on Sunday. We spent a few hours downtown between waiting for Randeen to make it to us, searching for stores that were open, and deciding which restaurant to eat at, and in that time, we saw many open and close. I was thrilled when I found Lush tucked on a quiet street! It has been difficult to find products, since I can't read the labels. However, I am familiar with Lush's line AND the staff spoke English. I've been enjoying my showers ever since our visit!
A highlight of our afternoon was the hamburger I found. It may not have been the best hamburger I've ever eaten, but it was the first non-Italian thing I'd eaten in a while. There is, after all, only so much pasta one can eat... or so I think!
We went home and got prepared for the school week, as well as did some laundry. There aren't clothes dryers here, so everyone has clothes lines outside their windows that they use to drive their clothes. I felt very Italian hanging my stuff outside!
Now I know this is completely a first-world problem, but I have been missing internet. I've got the largest data plan on my cell phone (for this month), but it's still limited me. There isn't much video watching in our house and our families are under strict instruction to just talk to us instead of video chatting when we call. We can support no internet for a while, but not if we want to feel like we belong here in Genoa and aren't simply on vacation. I know I'm going to need it once culture shock begins to set in.
So what did we do after school today, you ask? We went to go get internet! It takes at least 2 weeks to get a phone call to set up a date to have them install it. So we are several weeks away from actually having internet, but we were at least able to take the first step!
I'll leave you a picture of us outside of our internet provider's store. One of us was more excited to be photographed... I'll let you guess who! ;)