10.07.2009 26 °C
Last night we went around the corner and up the street to this Trattoria that our guesthouse recommended. She said we would have first and second courses with wine for 12 euro, and we’re like sold! They even refill your bread, water and wine included in the price and that’s amazing for Italy! So we head down and the place looks packed, the menu’s all in Italian (which is a good sign) but we didn’t even think that we’d fit. As we were turning to walk away, an Italian lady said, “No, no eat there. Good and cheap.” We’re like, alright and they made room and we sat in the middle of a quaint little restaurant, full of guys. The second after we sit down we look around and there are no other girls in the place, but we’re like, whatever, right? The wine boy comes zipping around giving us bread and wine, and he spoke really good English so that was fun. Next the owner comes around and speaks the menu to us, and we chose what we wanted as he went, it was so cute and personal. Mom and I explained what we couldn’t have, and he changes everything around so that we could have the proper courses too. We ordered bean soup to start and spicy macaroni pasta with salad for secondi, and wine of course! The food was excellent; the soup was to die for and we stuffed ourselves full of pasta until we literally thought we’d burst. All the guys around us were cheersing us in the air, and we ended up talking to the table behind us after we were finished eating. The 4 guys (2 older guys, a dead-on Al Pacino look alike, and Tony) were all in the military, and only Tony spoke English. Al Pacino understood what we meant when we told him who he looked like, and he was really flattered. So we’re all chatting away when the rose seller comes around (they’re all over Europe; they come into restaurants trying to sell roses to the guys to give to the girls, it’s sooo tacky) and of course they go buy us roses. We ended up getting a picture with them, and thanked the restaurant guys a lot as the food was the BEST and the service was amazing!
Did I mention we had downed a few beers yesterday, ad well as shared a bottle of wine before dinner and then had a generous ¼ litre of wine each with dinner? Lets just say we were all feeling the wine, and were really giddy when we got back to our room last night. We were chatting in the room while mom was using the washroom, and we hear this crash! I’m in my booty shorts ready for bed, and Kristel walks into the bathroom to check on my mother and just starts pissing herself laughing. Then there’s a knock on the door, and I drunkenly answer it half naked. It’s the guesthouse lady saying, “Uh, I think you are not okay? I heard a noise?” And I’m like, “Oh, no, no we’re just fine, you know, too much wine!” as I slip my pajama pants back on and close the door. I go into the bathroom, and mom and Kristel are killing themselves laughing, and moms holding the metre long, very heavy heated towel rack that she apparently took off the wall! I’m like, “WHAT is going on!” And mom can barely get the words out that she thought it was a fold out towel rack, so she thought she’d drunkenly and conveniently fold it out for us to use in the morning! Really, it was screwed into the wall, not foldable at all. The ladies are trying to fix it, and I’m like, “Hey Einsteins, how about we fix it in the morning when we’re sober?!” So I put it down and coaxed the ladies into bed. I was watching Gerard Butler interviews (don’t ask :P ) and the ladies could not stop laughing about the rack incident. I finally take my earphones out when the ladies get up to try again to re-install the towel rack. I think I just rolled my eyes and let them attempt it. But oh man, was it a funny night.
This morning we got up to minor headaches, had cereal with warm soymilk (random) and headed out to catch the train to Siena. We quickly bought our tickets from the machine, and it let me press the discounted tickets without having to give a reason (like rail pass or train card) so I was like ok, it’s all good I guess! We grab our tickets and get on the train and wait. As the train gets going and the conductor lady comes around, mom says she’s nervous about giving her the tickets because I had pressed the discount button, and I said me too a little, but we’d soon find out if they were ok. She comes around, turns our tickets over, and says we have to pay a fine because we never validated them. Now, I’ve been riding metros and trains in 14 different countries around Europe. I have learned that you must always validate your metro tickets, but I’ve never had to validate a train ticket, as that’s what they have conductors for. They come around with stamps and stamp your ticket! So she said, “OK? 5 euro each.” And I was like, whoa lady, hold on. We we never told, nor did we see any signs saying we had to validate our tickets. It also didn’t say anywhere on the ticket, or on the ticket machine, that we had to validate. She said, “Oh no, there are yellow boxes, you must validate before getting on the train, 5 euro each makes 15.” We’re like BAH! We didn’t know! I was like, but no where did it say we had to?! And she didn’t even really explain further, as she wrote us what looked like a speeding ticket and put the money directly into her personal wallet! I was pissed, and was just glad it was only 5 euro and not 50. We watched this conductor woman go down the whole rest of the train, fining every tourist on there, including the family sitting across from us, because nobody knew to validate their ticket. We were pretty shocked, and we discussed what this lady might be buying later on with her stupid fine money! SO dumb. When we arrived in Siena we saw the validating boxes, and they are these teeny little yellow boxes set up in the corners of the station! No wording on them, not even in Italian, saying you had to validate your tickets. I think I said bullshit 100 times on that train ride! Anyways, ridiculous.
Siena was ok, but fellow travelers have definitely hyped it up for me. I did have the most amazing chocolate I’ve found in Europe there, but other than that we just walked around and saw a bunch more churches and streets and squares. The outsides of the churches are much more beautiful than the inside here, so we never pay to get into them. We ended up finding a huge clothing market that was closing down, but we browsed for a bit before catching the train back to Florence. Once back, we relaxed with a bottle of wine before heading out for dinner to the same place as last night. Our wine boy was really happy to see us, and the owner made mom and my meal a little different than last night, with roasted tomatoes and spinach as the second course, and pasta as the first. Really cute. We’re halfway through our meal when guess who walks in? Al Pacino, Tony and gang from last night! Apparently they eat there every single night! We asked them to recommend a gelateria for us, and we chatted a little bit with them before heading off, telling them that we really didn’t want to go dancing in the square later on (so cute!). We dropped mom off at the hostel as she wasn’t feeling 100% and Kristel and I headed out to get gelato. We’re just about to order, when guess who shows up? Al Pacino, Tony and gang. Too funny! The gelato guy spoke better English and volunteered to be the translator, so anything Tony couldn’t translate, he did, and we had an awesome time. They even bought our ice cream. We told them we’d get home fine by ourselves, and we exchanged face books and made a date at the gelateria for tomorrow night. It’s always nice to meet the locals.