Thursday, September 6, 2012

"You are in Italy, just relax!"

Traveling with a type A personality can easily become exhausting. Yes, hi, my name is Janina, and I carry a 500 page guidebook - one PER COUNTRY -around with me because I don't want to miss a thing. If it's cheap and semi-interesting I will probably see it and whisper aloud the information my Rough Guide provides if there is nobody else willing to listen. And if it is a MUST-SEE attraction, hell, you know I'll be all over that. Well, this vacation the mantra is 'less is more' and I am trying hard to adhere to it, even if it makes the planner in me nuts. Case in point: today. My plan was to get up early, visit not one but two museums with university oddities, track down the cheapest must-try restaurant and find one of those markets everybody talks about. However, my (amazing, seriously) couch surfing host Salah offered to show me around and my plans were swiftly discarded. Instead, we slept in, left by 11, survived a typical Italian traffic experience by bike, fed his friend's cat at the edge of town, and only got to the center by midday. Plus, we even decided to get back around 4 and only to head out again later! Old Janina gasps appalled, but you know what? Today I not only learned at least 4 of Bolognas 7 secrets (only to be divulged in person), but I also learned that the biggest market only takes place Friday and Saturday (ergo tomorrow), saw two awesome buildings that are in no guidebook (the public library and the university's faculty of fine arts), and ate a yummy Bolognese lunch at the student Mensa for a mere €4.50. Plus we will hopefully meet some more couch surfers tonight. Moral of the story: trust the locals. Relax if in Italy. And: if your time is flexible, you can always do more tomorrow. Don't miss out on the opportunities of today instead! Today's picture (I am right now only using those I take with my iPod) is from the courtyard of the Faculty of Fine Arts. They have so much art and sculptures they are literally just lying around next to garbage. Crazy.

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