Umbrella Etiquette

Florence weather is incredibly mild. There are lots of mosquitoes, and a healthy spattering of tropical-looking plants – we call it the mediterRAINean.

They don't really have winter winter. I hear rumors that it snows a couple of times a year (gasp!), but instead of frigid November winds and slush, I'm experiencing my first rainy season. It's fucking annoying, mainly because dryers for laundry are a rare commodity here. Everyone just hangs their clothes out to dry on clotheslines, which would be fine, except for the fact that it's raining 60% of the time. 

On Tuesday it rained in torrentially all day, and I finally discovered a major downside to living in such an ancient city. Apparently, Florence has a pretty primitive sewage system... so, when it rains really hard for a long time, certain parts of the city – like my school – literally smell like shit. And I don't mean just a minor whiff. I got a headache and got damn queasy pretty quickly. Sorry to be gross, but omg it's so gross!

On a lighter note, today on my way home from school (in the rain, of course) I saw a father walking with his son under an umbrella. Well, the father was walking under an umbrella, and the kid was trying desperately to jump in every puddle he saw. The dad was attempting to keep both himself and the kid dry with the umbrella, and holding onto the kid's jacket to keep him from getting himself and everyone around them wet from puddle splashes. If I personally had been walking this kid home, I would have been very humorless about the situation, but the dad was laughing along with the kid and seemed pretty lighthearted about it all. Fucking heartwarming. Anyway, at one point there was this huge puddle that completely blocked the bike path, and as the dad went to step on the curb to bypass it the kid made a break for freedom, and ran through the puddle with the most violently splashy steps possible, laughing like a maniac. It was so cute... I started laughing out loud. Kind of wish I was that kid at that moment. He looked like he was really enjoying the rain. I on the other hand, have big holes in both pairs of shoes that I own, so I kind of dread the puddles because it just means I will have soggy feet for two days.