February 20-24, 2017: Final Rush Before the Oscars

It’s my favorite time of year: Oscar season. That means it’s the final rush to finish watching all the nominees. Somehow, I miraculously managed to watch all the movies in the top 6 categories and all the writing nominees except 20th Century Women. Evidently, I wasn’t focusing much on school work. Hidden Figures is translated into Italian as “Il diritto di contare,” or “The Right to Count,” which is basically what the movie is about, I guess. Oh, Italians!

With time dwindling away, I want to plan the rest of my weekends. But just like last semester, I find it difficult to plan too far ahead not knowing what school work I might have. There are lots of places that I wanted to hit that I’m just not going to have time for, some that were really cheap in the winter and now I’ve missed my chance. There aren’t enough weekends in the year. School really just gets in the way.

Will and I are authentic Bolognesi now. We decided that every Monday and Wednesday, when we don’t have afternoon classes, we are going to do lunch and just hang out like unemployed Italian youths. Rosso is only 10 euro for lunch on the weekdays—you get primi and secondi and water, no coperto, or you could substitute one of the courses for dessert. It’s the best deal in town. They change the menu every day. Lunch at Rosso is going to be one of my fondest memories of Bologna. After lunch, we just hang out at a café or a gelateria without any worries. We put all our work off. I am not taking very reading intensive classes this semester. Week-to-week, I don’t actually have too much homework. We want to do more day trips and see more of Bologna. We are seeing the local cafes and shops. We go to Cinema Lumiere once a week after dinner, for just 4.50. I wish there was a place like the Cineteca in the US that screens old movies and new movies for less than 5 bucks.

Our Italian class went out to aperitivo with Claudia at Osteria del Sole. It’s a very popular place among Unibo students. It’s always packed. You bring your own food and you just buy wine there. We had a nice spread of meats and cheeses. And it’s great hanging out with Claudia. I think it’s cool that in grad school, it’s normal to hang out with the professors. Maybe it’s not a grad school thing, but at least in Bologna we are a pretty tight community.

The wontons at the new Chinese restaurant were not that good, and they didn’t come with noodles. It was just the wontons. They were kind of spicy. The xiao long bao seemed just like frozen dumplings. The dan dan mian was pretty good though. And the restaurant’s dishes are good. They’re insanely spicy, it has good flavor.

On the old fish market street, there are a bunch of little stores that sell prosciutto and cheese. And they often sell fresh tortelloni filled with the meats and cheeses too. I found an interesting one filled with emmental and pear. It was pretty good. There is a very light hint of pear.

There’s also a new Mexican restaurant on the other side of town. It’s far and kind of expensive but the food is pretty good. Bologna is finally getting some variety. Mexican food is not very popular among the Bolognesi, but it popular among SAIS students. We always know when new non-Italian places open up.

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Giant pizza from Spacca Napoli, the best pizzeria in Bologna
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