European Travel: Home Away From Home by

Journal Notes

First of all, I must admit that I'm pretty bad at managing my money. I went to Europe for 5 weeks with what amounted to about 600 Euro. Really?! By the time I arrived in Florence, I had 10 days left in my trip and enough money for small meals and 2 nights in a hostel. I did manage to have some money sent from home, but it wouldn't arrive until after my checkout time at Ostello Sette Santi.

My second night in the hostel, I was outside smoking where I met and had a conversation with the chef. I honestly don't remember how it came about, but he offered me a place to stay for the remainder of my trip. I was a bit wary and decided to sleep on it. In the end, I asked if I could leave my stuff at his apartment until my money came in and he agreed. When we arrived at his apartment, it was a different story altogether. He showed me my bedroom, told me where I could store my clothes, and let me know where everything I might need for my stay could be found. I decided to go for it and I'm very happy that I did.

He was very sweet the entire time. We would have coffee in the morning, smoke cigarettes and do a bit of language exchange. After that it was time for each of us to go about our days. Through Massimo, I learned new words, fell in love with stove-top moka makers, and became acquainted with port wine. Yummm! He watched my old videos, looked at my photos, and shared stories about his family with me. He wouldn't accept money for my stay so I decided that each day I would clean a different room of his apartment. In the mornings, I would get up and make the coffee. In the evenings, if I was still awake when he returned from work, we would chat a bit more over that delicious port wine.

I threw caution to the wind and took a chance on this man. After 8 days with Massimo, I am extremely glad that I did. To this day, we still chat every now and then. He has since moved to Rome, but I know that if I'm ever in town, I have home away from home waiting for me.


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