Thursday, November 17, 2005

Little Mexico- in Italy

Last night, my friends from the Boston University program and I brought Mexican food (or whatever was comparable to it) at our local supermarket and made a Mexican feast of Nachos and Beef Fajitas at our Irish friend Aoife's house. It was DELICIOUS and it was fun squishing into her small kitchen and cooking and drinking sangria together.

She showed us her model portfolio. Omg she is gorgeous. She has this slick black hair, striking blue eyes and is so statuesque. She would have been a great flapper in the 1920s. And her boyfriend is so nice and silly in a way that belies the pretentious Italian air he initially gives off.
Aoife (pronounced Ee-fa) met Niccolo in Ireland when he did Erasmus there (to study) and she came back to live with him in Italy and has been here for 2 years, modeling in Milan and Padova.

She showed us her demo (she also does Donna Summer covers!) and, after clearing our makeshift seating on the floor and stuffing ourselves silly, we danced to Beyonce's "Can You Keep UP Baby Boy" like 4 times. I felt a little pressure to deliver on the dance floor, because Ashley and Aoife were like overexaggerating and imitating my dance prowess to Niccolo´s Italian friend, Paolo...I felt a bit embarassed to see my moves come back to haunt me.

Paolo was cute and lord knows I could use a hook up but I wasn´t feeling him...maybe it was the air pelvic thrusts he made after seeing Aoife´´s portfolio. eeehhh...

I forgot to tell you guys how I met Aoife. Its funny- we were craving Mexican food and went to one of 2 options in Padova, and the food was AWFUL. It was obvious that the salsa was jarred and it was like the chips were left sitting out of the bag for 3 days. Here´s the worst part: NO TEQUILA. Is this what Italians thought Mexican food is like? We prayed not, so I asked the nearest table of girls what they thought:

"Scusa! Davvero ti piace la cucina?" I whispered to none other than Ms. Aoife, the irishwoman, who had heard me speaking english and responded:

"No! The other place, Posada, is MUCH better. What do you think?"

"It´s awful."

And from there, we struck a conversation and I went dancing with her international crew (1 Albanian, 1 Moroccan, 1 Croatian) to Limbo, what was supposed to be a karaoke club that ended up being a 70´s disco dance club with 40 year old men and a sea of argyle sweaters. Oh well, we all boogied and I could tell they were a good crew. Aoife and I have been hanging out ever since and I and all my American friends love her! She´s fun, down to earth and honest. I´ll have to post a link to pics of our Mexican night.

One more tally mark for "FRIENDS MADE IN PADOVA" list.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Home Sweet Home

27 with light snow. Thought you might want to know.


Monday, November 14, 2005

Coming to America

Have you guys ever seen that movie? I love eddie murphy as an African prince. Anyways, I wanted to update you guys on my happenings. I have named this post 'Coming to America' as this weekend was an interesting sample of the US of A. So it began on Thursday nite as I was procrastinating doing physics homework that I found from metromix, the 52nd annual Native American Chicago Pow Wow was starting this weekend. As I missed my chance to go to a pow wow this summer with my parents in Traverse City, MI, I knew I must. My companions on my travel included Bizzle "Rebecca" Nikodem, Taylor Fabulous McNutly and Leila (pronounced Lie la) She doesn't like it said any other way. After wandering through an empty, bad part of town according to the guy who eventually gave us a ride to the UIC Pavilion, we got there right in time for their pow wow. Veteran by veteran, all those of elderly age and who had once served in the army, etc. were introduced and led the dance procession after which the dancers competing that night came in and then after several Native American anthems, the audience was allowed to join in, which we did. Besides the dancing, amazing costumes, we delightfully tasted some fryebread with cherries and mozied around the vendors shops. Their crafts are so beautiful.
Alrite, so that capped and end to day 1. Day 2: komal rises and shine early: 2 pm in the afternoon, I don't know what happened. I was sleep deprived. I do homework, read and eat.
Sunday: Komal rises at 2:30 pm after studying til 6 in the morning. Kanye West concert begins at 7:30 pm. Hansa, my sister came to the concert with me and spent the nite. Getting to the concert remined me of the teenybopper hysteria. Throngs of people running to the next open bus to catch a ride to Welsh-Ryan, where the concert was. So Fantasia, apparently an American Idol winner, opened up. Wearing black hot pants, a silver belt, stilleto black boots and a white formal shirt, Fantasia looked like she had potential. She is one who screams alot. All I can say is that she was NOT triumphant. No victory for her that nite. As my sister told me, "today is the day the music died." In good spirit, however I stood and danced and screamed for even her. Then, Kanye begins his show. He looked really good in his white pants and suit jacket. He hit all the favorites, Jesus Walks, Workout plan and Gold digger. Kanye was fabulous...he had so much energy and rapped like none other. It was great, but in order to dodge the crowd, we left a little early as we were also hungry. So the shuttles were no where to be found, but this cab driver with a person already in the cab let us in and drove us to Clarke's where we had a late nite bite. That was my sister, Taylor and I. We came back and went to bed. It's 8:20 in the mornin' on Monday Nov. 14th....alrite, sorry for the detail of it all...but hope you guys are doing well. Love, the koms

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Trying to throw my arounds around the world...

Alrite, so it's a little tragic that on this blog, it has primarily been Debsta, Me, occasionally Yiran, maybe a Rob and Brian posting...where are the others? Please keep us updated, we miss each other...when you come back next year, you won't be able to remember all the stories from each day or each week, we'll here the spark notes version of your year, perhaps the vivid details and that's it. It doesn't matter to me if you have something that you think is boring to post, please post it. For example, my post right now is very bland and although most of you might not read it, maybe there is one who will even if that one is someone just checking out our blog. Later you guys, smile gone KOmi

Monday, November 07, 2005

Rainy days in Padova...

Ciao Amici (Hey Friends)!

I'm just starting to realize that I've been really nondescriptive about my classes and what I actually do in Padova. I guess I figured it wasn't as exciting as my trips on the weekend. I'm in the middle of midterms and swamped with reading. I'm getting a little frustrated that I can't speed read through my books. For example, I have 70 pages of art history reading to do before my exam tomorrow and what would normally take 3 hours may take 7. Well, it's 5:30 and I guess I'll be done at 12:30 am.!
Despite the frustration with the textbooks, I really like my classes. I'm taking Art of the Renaissance, History of the Veneto (the region where Padova and Venice are located), Italian Language and am taking this extra seminar (ie: I'm the only student, which can be a little intense) called History of the Jews in Italy.
My favorite class by far is my Art History course where I learn about all the major Italian Renaissance artists, sculptors and architects. To me, the usefulness of a class is really important, so you can imagine how psyched I am to have the teacher say things like:
"So this guy Andrea Mantegna was a key figure in the Renaissance. He was very important to the development of perspective. He was an innovator but also paid homage to Classic, Roman style. But why don't you check him out for yourself in the NEARBY town of Mantova where he painted the "Camera degli Sposi."
This course wouldn't be as interesting if I took it in the states. But here, I learn about an artist's technique and then my teacher tells me where to go see their work!!! It makes me wish I had some sort of craft or skill. I think it's amazing to be able to produce something, something tangible that you could hold on to or give to others. What kind of artist would you guys be?
Yiran, how are your art courses going???
I think I'd be a sculptor. Or work with mosaics. Like make my own tables and floors. I saw some mosaics in Rome of horses that were so lifelike (while only using stone squares!) that I was mesmerized for like 5 minutes. I know what you'd want to be Komal, you'd blow glass, so Venice is the place for you. They're famous for their Murano glass.
But when I'm not out and about, I am,sadly, at class.
I usually have class from 9 am./11 am. to 5:30 pm. with some breaks in between. I then go and do homework with my friends at local cafès, like the historical Cafè Pedrocci. At 8 pm. I eat dinner with Ashley and my family. They are so cute and Luisa, my host mom, is a good cook. After dinner, Ashley and I do some work. But back to the out and about part!:

On Wednesdays we go out around 11 or 12 (everything starts late here!) but I'm a night owl so I don't mind.

There's this fun dance club "Fish Market" that has Erasmus Night on Wednesdays. (Erasmus is this yearly exchange program for European students) They play good Latino music and you can always spot the Spaniards jumping excitedly to Juanes' "La Camisa Negra." I love the Spaniards. The Italian style of dancing is so different. Much more electronic and impersonal. haha.
As you can tell, Wednesday is the best night to go out in Padova. Early in the night, our school program hold these wine and cheese test tastes. Each week is a different region and I feel so posh being able to swirl, smell and taste the wine "properly." we're given these sheets to write down what we think of each wine. I like to invent ridiculous descriptions to mess with our pretentious wine instructor, Mario. Last week, after drinking red wine, I paused and he looked at me for my reaction...silence..."This smells on an April China. Wait! no no no, definitely Japan. and it feels a baby's pinkie is gently stroking my tastebuds." Yeah, he never called on me again.
I love white wine. Padovans drink this orange drink called a Spritz that is made with Campari and quite sour. As the cold sets in, I miss seeing Italians flock to piazzas checkered with tables, drinking and chatting around sunset.

So November begins the month where Ashley and I are not going to travel much and form some ties to Padova and Padovans. Let's see how that goes. Twice, I've made friends with some crazy Irish people. Two irish guys invited me to stay with them in Dublin for St. paddy's- anyone in London want to meet me?!!!

I miss you guys and appreciate when you update. Please post a quick blog or mass email every once and awhile. We all appreciate it! I promise I'll post a comment.

Ciao for now,