Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009!

[Image: Josef Litobarski, 2009, Attribution 3.0 Unported]

Having returned from my holidays, I now realise that there are only two weeks left until my first exam. Bum.

But even if I fail all of my exams and exploderise from stress for want of study time and revision - this week away will still have been worth it. We went to Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance! In the middle of winter it was our playground - and I had the opportunity to wander through deserted medieval streets after midnight. Tourists were so scarce that we somehow managed to get in to see Michelangelo's David without queuing - and we were staying in an apartment just around the corner from the Uffizi!

[Image: Josef Litobarski, 2009, Attribution 3.0 Unported]

The Duomo (cathedral) in the centre of Florence is awesome in the original sense of the word... it towers above like a great stone phallus scraping across the heavens, crackling great sparks of wonderous potential; a high-medieval power structure - a Renaissance Wall Street skyscraper for the Medici bankers that built it. As you can imagine, I was absolutely thrilled.

Elsje and I met up with Nitya and her brother Prashant, friends of Elsje's that she hasn't seen in fourteen years. I hope we get a chance to meet up with them again, because they were both really great to hang out with! We rented an apartment and all cooked Christmas dinner together. Elsje and I exchanged gifts - we had decided to make things for each other this year. I gave Elsje a little book which I'm writing for her and illuminating in the medieval style with little cartoons of dragons and roses - a biography of her life as told by me! Elsje hand-made me some tokens which I can use to buy massages, home-cooked meals and breakfasts in bed. This will make the next few weeks a bit easier for me. :-)

After three days in Florence we explored Bologna - the food capital of Italy. We couch-surfed with some amazing people and celebrated New Year's with our friends from Trento. A good time was had by all (although the party's host had to remove baby Jesus from the nativity scene for his own safety).

Unfortunately, however, now that I'm well and truly re-energised I no longer have an excuse not to bury my nose in my textbooks and get studying!

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