Thursday, October 04, 2007


One month to go

01 October 2007

As of tomorrow I will have exactly one month left of my externship. I can hardly believe that two months have passed. The restaurant closes its doors on November 11 – the end of the season. There is an end of the season dinner on November 4 apparently getting drunk is on the agenda. My plane ticket back to San Francisco is for November 6 but I am unsure if I will be on that plane. I had some plans to travel a little before heading back. I know for sure that I will be going to Torino to visit Elisabetta and Paolo…and now my new friends Filipo, Elisabetta’s husband, Valentina, Elisabetta’s friend whom I met on the Nice trip and Max, Elisabetta & Filipo’s downstairs neighbor. Max is a wine maker and is acquainted with Lorenza Di Medici – the matriarch of Badia A Coltibuono. Elisabetta is always scheming to try and get me to stay in Italy permanently…or at least for a longer stretch than I have been. Ten years ago, she thought that I could find work in Italy teaching English. Now, she thinks that she may be able to hook me up with a friend who is opening a restaurant. While a fantastic notion, I think I want to head back to the US of A.

I realize that I had only touched on my travels in the last post. Truth is, after traveling, there is some necessary recovery time before I can begin to write about it (aka, I get lazy)…also, I wasn’t quite able to post photos to accompany those posts…but now that I have flickr pro up and going, I should be able to do both.

This past Friday my package of goodies from John arrived. In addition to the expected Jelly Bellies and tripod, he sent me:

Reese’s Pieces
M & M’s
Baby Ruth bar – which I gave away to Francesco (more on this later)
Kasugai Wasabi Peas
Japanese Curry
Snack Nori
Crystal Light on the go packs
Spam Hot & Spicy

It was too much fun having the guys taste the strange foods. The jalapeno Jelly Belly was met with much shrieking…as was the wasabi peas. Francesco jumped on the Baby Ruth bar. Not because he loves them…in fact, he’s never had one– Baby Ruths cannot be had in Italy…but because he had seen it in the Goonies movie. The next day I asked him if he had eaten it and he replied that he didn’t plan on eating it but keeping it as movie memorabilia. I told him to eat it…and that I would send him another one for him to keep and never eat if he wished.

The tripod, along with the Ipod, Ipod speakers & laptop are on loan from John. He’s been very generous about hooking me up to make my time here more comfortable. The tripod is the solution to the fact that I am rarely in the photos I take. I’ll return them to him when he gets back from deployment. The kicker, he had a layover in Milan on Sunday but because it was just a few hours, we agreed that I wouldn’t make the trip to Milan to see him.

My immediate plans upon returning to California, was to start the process in which I would work aboard the Norwegian Cruise Lines ship that cruise the Hawaiian Islands. My graduation ceremony is on December 8th. I don’t know if I want to hang around SF for a month paying for a room just to make graduation. I might head up north to Seattle to hang out with my sister – if that invitation is still open. A good portion of my plan was to team up with a friend from school, Jeremiah. He’s currently in London doing his externship but aside from the occasional message via, I haven’t been in contact with Jeremiah, and am unsure if we are still on track. Last I heard we were going to visit Paris together but I think out timing is off.

I was gifted some Euros when I first arrived. I still have much of it left and plan on having some to take home. If you didn’t already know, this is not a paying gig. They house me and feed me but that’s about it. I am currently playing the exchange rate game. I discovered that I can exchange my Euros for USD via The value of the USD has been falling against the Euro. If I give the sous-chef say, €100, he Paypals the same amount to me where I can choose to have it exchanged to USD at the current rate…where I would get $142.86. So here is where it becomes a game…when do I make the exchange? A trusted source tells me the USD will only continue to fall and that I should make the exchange at the latest possible time…which would be right before I leave.

Other than bottles of wine, I have not accumulated many things here. I had a slight problem with one of my bags being overweight when I left SF and I am counting on the fact that I have used up some products and will most likely leave some things as well as throw some things out to lighten my load. While in Nice, I made the mistake of telling Elisabetta that I liked chickens. Lo and behold, I am now the proud owner of a rustic French pottery chicken purchased in Antibes. I also have the laptop and tripod to bring back.

Yes the offer still stands, but I will be having Frank's Family visiting in mid December also, if you don't mind the sofa-couch while they have the bedroom, then we are all set. I do have a bigger place now.

While you're here, you could either chill or fine a part time job.
It's up to you, just let me know.
Be careful with the wine, I do not think you can bring them back even in the check in luggage. The moving company did not even want to pack up deme's 85 bottles of cologne since they said it was considered alcohol.
Oh the wine isn't for taking home (to the US). I neither drink at home or alone (which, out here I am always both. Some of the wine is for gifts and others to enjoy with friends in Torino.
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