On Sunday night, this is what my plan for my week looked like (apart from normal work):
Monday: meet my landlord and sign the lease for my flat
Tuesday: go to Ikea, buy ridiculous amounts of stuff for the flat and eat Swedish meatballs
Wednesday: go to work meeting, home for tea and then to choir practice
Thursday: stroll around town with an Italian friend and go to aperitivo for French speakers
Friday: use stuff from Ikea to bake Scottish cakes for my friends in Verona
Saturday: go to visit friends in Verona for Scottish street games festival
After I got messed around by a few people in true Italian style, messed around a few people in true Italian style (are national stereotypes true or do we just see what we expect to see?) and caught another infectious disease (stomach pain, a high temperature this time and a strong feeling of being about to vomit) from my lovely children, this is what I actually did:
Monday: stayed in and organised the house
Tuesday: went to Ikea, failed to find most of the things I wanted to buy but did get some candles and eat some lovely Swedish meatballs
Wednesday: felt really sick and spent the evening watching TV in bed with my eyes shut and a new plastic bucket from Ikea beside me
Thursday: went into town to sign my lease and ate ice-cream* for dinner because it's easy to digest :-), then came home and surfed the net
Friday: baked things to take to Verona using makeshift equipment not bought in Ikea, now writing this blog and watching the news.
It appears that eating meatballs in Ikea has been as close as I've got to experiencing continental European culture in the past 5 days.
* From Chocolat, a cafe/gelateria near Piazza Cadorna, that everybody should visit at least once in their lives.