I had a bit of problem trying to contact our host in Firenze. I almost wanted to give up and get ourselves booked into a hostel instead. Imagine not having his contact and address just before boarding the plane, hoping that we would have a place to stay by the time we arrive.
While we were at Siena, I finally managed to call him and get directions to his place. From the train station, we had to drag our luggages through the cobblestone roads to his house. Imm had a bit of problem with hers because of the wheel and we were afraid it might not survive the journey.
We finally reached the street of our host's apartment. The numbers on the side where we were standing at didn't look quite right so while Imm went to the other side to check, I waited with our luggages.
Shortly after she had crossed to the other side, she stopped by to talk to a man dressed in long-sleeved shirt and what had looked like a sarong wrapped around his waist. He looked kinda dark and had curly hair.
Suddenly Imm hugged and kissed the man. I knew it was an Italian thing to hug and kiss even for strangers, but I was shocked that she was doing this to a mamak-looking man! You have to forgive me for sounding stereotypical but I come from Asia, and he really looked like those Indians we have in Malaysia.
For Imm to do this is even stranger, and I was bursting out laughing because my imagination ran wild and I thought she had suddenly became friendly with an Indian in Italy. (We had earlier seen many Indians selling their wares in Roma, we had expected Chinese instead!)
Anyways, of course, later I found out that he was actually our host. He was on his way to top up his credit for the mobile (which explained why he was not responding to my messages), and had asked her what she was looking for.
Our host in Firenze was more of an arty person, havin trained as an architect and now working at an advertising agency. His house was littered with paintings, photos, and many decorative items I would simply categorise as art. It had an air of a hippy around it, whatwith the eclectic arrangement, colour scheme, mirrors in everywhere, and his recreational junkie habit.
As weird as that sounded, he was nice enough to cook us our first home-cooked pasta that evening. He looked like a professional Chinese chef, tossing up the ingredients in the pan without the aid of any spatula or spoon. Just the pasta in a boiling water in the pot, onions+capsicum+tomatoes+cheese in the frying pan.
Sounded really simple, but good home-cooked Italian meal nevertheless!