Buongiorno Ventimiglia!

On Friday (Jan 28), I took the train and headed to Ventimiglia, a small town in Northern Italy. Every Friday morning, there is a market where food, clothes, jewelry are sold. It took about 1h30 by train from Juan-les-pins. The market is really cute. It's settled next to the sea and mountains, so the view is pretty nice. The market sold lots of leather goods, made with Italian leather. I couldn’t help but to notice that so many stands had knock-off Hermes Birkin bags. Out of curiosity, I checked the price ag and I couldn’t believe my eyes: 440 Euros for a knock-off!!  What ?! I mean, compared to the real retail price, it is definitely a bargain. But for a fake one, I don’t think so. Although, it is made with Italian leather. But still…

Leaving Quebec for France wasn't exactly too hard because both places speak French. Even if Ventimiglia was only 1h30 away, when I walked out of the train station, I must say, I was a bit scared. When I arrived in France, I thought I'd feel some kind of shock, but I didn't. Instead, I felt it in Ventimiglia. The feeling of knowing nothing, recognizing nothing and don't know what to do gave me such an adrenaline rush! Luckily, since it was so close to France, most merchants knew some basic French, so I got around just fine. I also picked up a few Italian phrases. It’s such a beautiful language. Listening to locals speak amongst themselves was amazing.
Food wise, the market had a wide variety of cheeses and pasta. Thank goodness I am not doing an exchange in Italy. I would go back to Montreal 50 lbs heavier! Walking back to the train station, I picked up a cannolo (or cannoli in plural) at a café. It was delicious! I am hoping that my mom will come visit me so I can bring her to the market. I know she will like it.

Pasta stand
Notice the male genitalia shaped pasta

Belt stand

Cheese stand
 Cheese stand

Mmm Cannoli

On the same night, Simon (an exchange student from Ryerson University) came over and cooked dinner for Naomi and I. I was very impressed by Simon's skills. He even gave us one of his cooking secrets! We had a great meal and a great time together!

Simon, the Chef
Other than that, it’s been a month since I have left home. I have slowly picked up a routine and getting used to my new French life. Surprisingly, what I miss the most is my family. When I left Montreal, I was so happy because I would finally be free. No parents, no siblings, just me, myself and I.  Being the middle child back at home is not always easy, so I was glad to be away for a while.  However, now I find myself thinking of them all the time. I want them to eat what I ate, see what I saw and share all my discoveries. So many times I sit on my balcony, watching the sunset and I wished my dad was next to me, making dumb comments, trying to make me laugh (which he often fails to do so because I just end up staring at him with the “oh my god, dad…. *roll my eyes*” look). Or, how I miss my sister storming into our room loudly, complaining how the customers she served at work were rude and evil. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am now back on BBM, so my sister and I BBM all the time. To my biggest surprise, the person whom I miss the most is my mother.  It’s weird for me because I was never close to my mom. But during my first weeks in France, I found myself calling her almost every day.  Now, she calls me at random times for random conversations, so I guess she misses me too. I really want her to visit me. I think she might, but nothing is set in stones yet.  Juan-les-pins is so her, she would love it here! It is also one of her dreams to go to Paris, so I really want to take her. 

It’s unfortunate that I had to be in a different continent and in a different time zone to realize how I love my family. However, when I go home in exactly three months, I will be head back with much, much more appreciation for my family members.

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