When we first got here, one of the first things Dr. Ringleb instilled in our minds was that he wants us to get on the wrong bus, going the wrong way, with the wrong language, the wrong currency, no cell phone, or any means of communication. The reason being that after that experience, he knows he will have found a true leader. This is a saying that we have definitely joked about to make light of some situations that didn’t go quite as planned. Well, what started off as a journey for some Chinese food soon made at least the first three of those criterions true. It all started with the thought that we would be smart and take the local bus system. This trip ended up about an hour in the opposite direction that we wanted to go. We should have known we were getting on the wrong bus as it was five minutes early. Let that be a lesson that busses will never be early here! Anyway, it was actually a really cool town. I think it was called Montebelluna. Everyone was super nice there and quite accommodating. We walked around a bit and since we had some time to kill we stopped at a local café. We ordered a drink, and before we knew it the owner was bringing us mini-sandwiches and offering to make us pasta for free. We were upset that we had already bought our ticket to get Bassano del Grappa (our intended location).
We shortly left and got to Bassano. Bassano was a lot more happening place than I expected. I would definitely recommend taking a trip there just to hang out. Not only did we get great Chinese food, but got to see an award presentation for a Rally Car race that happened earlier that day. There were tons of Rally cars sitting in the main strip and people enjoying themselves. We also had a chance to see the bridge there that is pretty well renowned as it is extremely old.
In terms of school and campus events this week, it was also a very busy week. Early on, we had a dining etiquette seminar, which was pretty interesting. Who knew I did so many things wrong at the dinner table? I can now say, however, that I know where to put my napkin when I leave the table, how to decipher through an Italian place setting, and how to signal I am done to the waiter without words. I also learned how to hold my wine glass properly! This seminar was a prelude for our first formal dinner, which was on Thursday. The dinner was at Hotel Fiori, and was amazing! I definitely think it was my favorite CIMBA sponsored event to date. When we first got there, they started serving tons of different appetizers. I don’t know that I could tell you what everything was, but I do know that it all tasted delightful. It was cool how all of our teachers were also there, which gave us a chance to become even closer to them in a social setting. The antipasta portion was followed by the main course that was located in a different section of the hotel. Here, we were served many courses of some great food and wine. The courses included a risotto, spinach ravioli, mixture of chicken and peasant (as it was described to us) with vegetables, a sweet (literally and figuratively) dessert, and espresso. We also got to try three different wines that were distinct to the region and quite tasty. Overall, it was just a fun environment, where everyone dresses up and has a great time.
The week also included a town hall meeting. This was more like an informational meeting to help us with our travel week and news in the local community. Additionally, we had a busy week of classes, intramural ultimate frisbee, and things of that nature. Classes were more strenuous this week as many of them had our first round of exams and papers. It feels good to get a lot of that out of the way. There was one really cool thing we did in Italian for Travelers though! We had the opportunity to go to the nearby town of Asolo for the class. This included walking around and learning about much of its history, a tour of the CIMBA graduate campus, and the great café breakfast. The only catch to the breakfast…we had to order in Italian. It was also a fun and tasty experience.
I am excited to say that today marks the start of the first Travel week! I could honestly not be more excited. We leave at 6:00 PM today to catch a train to Venice. This will be followed by Oktoberfest, Berlin, London, and Amsterdam. I guess I’m okay with that line-up (yes, that is sarcasm, haha). I will be sure to report on this experience when I get back!