Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Great Day :D

I had another really interesting day today about my identity haha.  This sort of thing really amuses me and makes me smile!

So I had an early day today, because I had an appointment with the hairdresser at 9AM (i know), because it's time to dye.  My white hairs were sticking out and since I am on my last day of recovery here in Turin, I've decided to finally do it.  So the hairdresser colored my dark brown hair back to black (to my surprise), I guess speaking in Spanish to an Italian doesn't really work.  Anyway, I don't look hideous, so I can live with it.

Today, I also bought a pair of new shoes! Nike Roche Run!  The almost-new ones that I brought with me here is totally tattered and worn out from all the walking I have been doing here in Europe.  So I thought after being sick a few days and not being able to see Cinque Terre (excuses,excuses hehe) that I deserved a beautiful treat! jajang!

my beautiful new Roche Runs!
So today was the first day that I actually strolled around the city by myself.  Walking it today was like looking at a familiar street with new pair of eyes.

The display outside of this store gave me the impression that they were selling wholesale salon stuff because they had hair dyes, shampoos, conditioners, and wigs; but today I was curious enough to take a closer look at the display and saw Ligo Sardines, and I was like wow, Ligo? Curious, I finally went in.

As I entered I realized that the owners were Chinese (as usual haha).  I saw some African people buying cart loads of stuff obviously from home which made me think, this could be like a specialty local store that cater to immigrants (smart!).  As I turn to the next isle, my eyes landed on something familiar, what the?! what grocery is this?  Am I back in the Philippines?  Boy Bawang, Nagaraya, V-Cut, Clover Chips, Oishi Prawn Cracker, Piattos, Chippy, Silverswan Soy Sauce, Datu Puti, it was ridiculous!  It has more stocks than the nearby sari-sari (mini convenience) store near our house! I walked further, Bihon, Toyomansi, Misua, Lucky Me Pansit Canton and my favorite pansit canton, Payless Xtra Big!  OMG! haha I was just thinking about eating this a few weeks ago because this is our regular merienda (afternoon snack) in our office.

I remembered that I do not have enough pasalubongs to give to the friends I'm meeting anymore and so I bought a bunch of Nagarayas and Boy Bawangs and then bought 2 Payless Xtra Big to eat.  As I was walking towards the cashier, I hear some Tagalog and ran into a Filipina who, of course, recognized me as a Filipino based on the products that I hoarded!  She smiled and me and I said, "ANG SAYA DITO!" haha She laughed.

me looking Filipino haha
I walked out of the store with my purchases and was still carrying my old pair of Roche Runs and I know I wouldn't want to be carrying a useless pair of shoes with me; I had the intention of donating it to a church or a homeless person.  Outside the store there were 3 stalls that looked like they were selling old clothes but instead there was a sign that says "TUTTO LIBERO".  I walked up to the woman and asked if all of it were free and she said yes, and I asked if I could donate a pair of shoes and she also happily said yes and accepted my worn out Nike!  How awesome.

Happily walking away, I noticed another store just a block away and entered it.  It was like an everything-you-might-need store.  Went around, grabbed a few things and went to the counter, the owners were Chinese (as usual haha) and calculated everything and said, "si kuai san shi" (4.30).  Haha which then I took out the exact change.  I didn't even bother asking them how they knew that I spoke Chinese haha.  It amused me again and reminded me of my experience in Madrid!

What a great day I had today! :D

Friday, September 18, 2015

My Home in Turin

One of the worst things that can happen to you when you travel is to get sick.  I have been on the road for almost 2 months now and I still have so much to see.

I ended my trip in Spain almost a week ago, after spending almost a month there.  During my trip in Barcelona, on one of the Sandeman free tours I attended, I met a wonderful couple Natalie and Pedro.  We actually didn't talk to each other the first time we met, we only spoke to each other when we attended a Gaudi tour 2 days later.

I am a great believer of destiny.  It does not only apply to lovers, but also to your favorite doctor, to the right dentist, to an inspiring professor, awesome employees or boss, but most especially to great friends.  To state the obvious, Natalie and Pedro and I hit it off once we started talking.  We regretted that we should've talked to each other the first time we met and we could've had more time to spend together.  I then of course promoted Philippine tourism, invited them to come to the Philippines and assured them that they will enjoy their time there.  In return, they invited me to the city they are living in, Turin!  Knowing that I was heading to Italy right after Spain.  We had to say goodbye but promised to keep in touch via Facebook.

As I was planning my trip to Italy, I seriously considered taking up Natalie's invitation to come see them in Turin.  Turin was not even part of my original itinerary but what better way to start a country with familiar faces?

I finally arrived Turin, I got a personal guide who introduced me to the city and the best lasagna and pizza OF MY LIFE (so far, this is my first Italian city afterall).  Got on a free City Sightseeing Bus Tour, spent hours walking and tasting different gelatos around the city, drank wine,  listened to choirs, tasted a traditional tiramisu while weather was cooperating well with me.

ice cream with Kimani their dog

City Sightseeing with Pedro

pigging out!
On my last night before I leave for Cinque Terre, we were supposed to go out and have some ice cream but I felt a little bit of a fever coming over me.  I said I will take a paracetamol and go to sleep and if I don't feel good in the morning, then I'll stay a day more in Turin.  Morning came, drugged, I felt ok, proceeded to head to La Spezia.  By the time I got there, I was wearing a jacket in a perfectly sunny day; and when I arrived my hostel, I couldn't move due to fatigue, drinking water was like swallowing needles, and I was shivering in my hostel dormitory bed.  It was not a good feeling.  I felt home sick and talked to my sister for 2 hours just to feel better along with a few more paracetamols.

My sister and I discussed that if I didn't feel better tomorrow morning, I should just go to a bigger city and go to a hospital and have my throat checked.  My choices were either to go to Florence or go back to Turin.  I sent Natalie a message about being sick and if it were ok that I came back to stay with her and Pedro and if she could accompany me to the doctor; with no hesitation, welcomed me back to their home.

Needless to say, I did not see Cinque Terre.  This is what I saw:

Ostello Tramonti, my hostel up the mountain

Ostello Tramonti Parking Lot
I am such a baby.  I am the youngest of 4 sisters, have always been babied by my family especially when I'm sick and that has made it difficult for me to be alone when sick.  So coming back to Natalie and Pedro's house was like coming back home.  I expected to just have a friend who could help me translate my visit to the doctor but I got family instead!

Natalie went to doctor with me, bought my medicine with me, cooked for me (pumkin soup yum!), fixed my bed, made me ginger lemon tea and just totally took care of me.  I am so grateful!  After being a zombie for the past 4 days, this is the first time that I am actually functioning without paracetamol.  Drinking water doesn't feel as bad as swallowing needles anymore, but more like swallowing fish bones now. haha.  Bottomline is, I am feeling better.

I am now glad that the only thing I have to think about now is where I should go next, Rome or Florence? :)