Italian Survival Kit: PASTA

Here’s another post about how we Italians are trying to adapt to the American environment.

As most people know, Italians love pasta and we are quite stubborn on how to cook it. For this reason we “forced” one of the Italians, who was going to Italy for her graduation ceremony to bring back a huge suitcase containing some of the delicious food of our land.

When she came back, we had a great wild boar meat sauce. However we needed one thing: the legendary “pasta al dente”. But what could we do since we do not have a kitchen? Non-Italians would say “maybe it’s better to wait three weeks until we live in New York City as we will have the cooking utensils there.” Being Italians and starting to dream about pizza, we decided that we couldn’t wait! But the problem remained…how to cook it?

We found a way but I want to warn you before telling what we did. If you are an Italian reader, please forgive us for what we did but we were kind of desperate! So what did we do? We found some suggestions on the Internet on how to cook pasta in the microwave. For those who have not read my previous post, about a month ago, we bought a rice cooker. We boiled the water using the rice cooker, and since we do not know for how long it keeps the temperature hot, soon after the water started boiling, we poured the pasta in it and afterwards we put everything in the microwave for five minutes. You are probably thinking that the result was a disaster but in the end, if there is good wine being served, we Italians always smile. So, even if the pasta had a plastic texture, the dinner felt a bit like being back in Italy and then you know, “dove c’è Barilla, c’è casa”.

The BULL is BACK

Hi everyone!!
It has been a while since last time I wrote here. We have been quite busy these last few weeks, trying to survive exams, assignments and projects. Despite this, we are doing our best not to get buried under the books and to go out at least on the weekends!
One of the best nights was the day Erica came back from Italy. After our italian dinner we went to Joe’s East West, a country pub here in New Paltz! We had a lot of fun, not only because we learned country line dance but also because some of us tried to ride the mechanical bull!!! It wasn’t easy and it was a little bit painful..but so fun!!!! Unfortunately the mechanical bull is in town only once a month..but I really suggest to those who still haven’t tried to do it!!!
Here are some pictures of that night!! (we also have some videos, but they will remain private..they’re too embarrassing!!)

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Free Movie Theater for the SUNY Students!!

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Today I want to talk about a new and good initiative by the SUNY students. They have created a weekly Cineforum, and it’s on Saturday evenings, at 8 o’clock.

They use the lecture center conference room as a Movie theater, with the dolby surround and a big witheboard. The best part is that the atmosphere, is like being in a real Cinema! It is also a great opportunity to meet other students and meet new friends.

If you’re still uncertain, they give you unlimited popcorn! It’s a good motivation to go.

Surviving the S N O W

So, it should be spring by now but here in New Paltz the weather doesn’t really gets it. Its snowing, it has been raining and its pretty cold. I already got used to the cold, but for the people that we come from really hot weather its a big deal to go out in this type of cold. What I mean is that in Monterrey kids don’t go to school if the weather goes lower than 1ºC.

For me snow means fun, so that’s why we really enjoyed when Nemo happened a couple of weeks ago. We went out and took some nice pictures enjoying the snow, we had a snow fight as well, it was really fun.

I don’t know what am I going to do when I go back to Monterrey, it will be summer and the weather is going to be near 40ºC.

We miss you!!!

My roommate Maja has been sick for a few days now. But I am taking good care of her: I try to not wake her up in the morning when I get ready to go to school, I buy her magazines, cookies, ice-cream and chocolate and I try to comfort her as much as I can since she is sad not to live the campus life with us.

I’m writing this post to tell her how much we miss her and that we all hope she’ll feel better soon!!!

Italian Survival Kit

Changing countries for 4 months, when you are 23 years old, is a challenge! We have tried to address this in a creative way so we have identified some elements that you NEED to have in your room if you want to survive the IIB program 🙂 :

1) SUIT: we have to have an internship so it is a must to have at least one suit! (preferably not hot pink) So you have to remember to pack: black shoes, black jacket, black and elegant skirt and white or solid color blouse… and if you forget it?? No problem, you can always look for a CK or Armani suit at the nearby outlet…in the end we are always Italians 😉

2) WINTER CLOTHES: I think the sweetest way to describe winter is the image of falling snow but to avoid becoming a giant snowflake you HAVE to fight with the COLD that characterizes this area… I’m just saying that when it is 4 degrees, it is a hot day for us …

So you have to remember to pack a heavy coat, gloves, a hat (possibly thick…don’t do like me!), warm scarf and boots!

3) SOMETHING FROM HOME: 4 months can be a lot of time if you are not used to staying away from home…so a suggestion from a person who comes from the land of “big babies”: bring something that reminds you of home!! And…if you forget it? Well do not worry you can always buy Nutella 😉

4) WARDROBE ORGANIZER: at this point you are probably thinking … we have not filled too much our luggage?  … how could we fit everything into a motel room? After a moment of panic (I’m sure I heard my best friend yell at the closet the first ten minutes I was here) we found a solution: the wardrobe organizer! Probably, if you’re like me and you find all your clothes cute on you (even if your friends do not agree) it can also be useful to have plastic drawers;)  After all, what kind of holiday did you have if you do not come home with 3 suitcases?!

5) RICE COOKER: we have arrived at the fateful question… how are you going to be able to wear your clothes if your stomach is not used to eating American cooking? I can’t afford sushi  every day otherwise I won’t be able to indulge myself in the New York boutiques!! We have found a solution also for this problem: rice cooker!!!

For now, New Paltz offers me other challenges but with a kilo of rice in one hand and Uggs on my feet I am ready to take on anything!

Like Americans do

Three weeks are already gone and there would be so much to tell..it’s really hard to decide what to talk about!

We all love to travel, as proven by the fact that in three weeks we have already gone to Boston and to New York City and that we are already planning to go to the Niagara Falls, Washington D.C., Philadelphia..someone (including myself :P) is also dreaming about going to Miami, Las Vegas and why not..Hawaii!! Anyway, I didn’t mean to talk about travelling (you should know that I get distracted very easily)!

Since we’ve got here, we tried to absorbe American culture in every aspect, such as American food, American coffee (I’m Italian, these are the first things that came to my mind!) and, of course, American sports!!

We went to see the basketball match between New Paltz Hawks and Oswego Lakers and we ended up cheering as if we were attending SUNY for years..HERE WE GO NEW PALTZ, HERE WE GO!!

In order to become more and more like Americans, last Sunday we made a reservation at McGillicuddy’s to watch the Super Bowl!! Someone (again, including myself) painted two black stripes on their cheeks, thinking to blend with American fans..but at the end we were the only ones!! ..tourists..! -.-‘     Only Jenny knew football rules and she tried to explain them to us.. but without success.. Anyway, we enjoyed the game, the commercials and most of all Beyoncè’s show!!

We are only at the beginning of this amazing adventure and we still miss a lot of the “American style” .. but at the end of these four months I hope we can say we tried everything!!

Cuisine of SUNY New Paltz

All the international students come in America with the intention to eat junk food for a semester. And they think they will miss the home cooked food.

But surprisingly here in SUNY New Paltz we have so many different choices! Hamburgers and pizzas? No Way! In the campus you have the opportunity to eat in a good sushi restaurant, which is really fast and genuine, or a salad. This makes you stop eating junk food and maintain your normal eating habit.

But most of all, it’s the Hasbrouck hall restaurant. In fact here we have a vast selection of food, from the Mexican to the Italian Pasta, to the, American Hamburgers (of course).

And the quality? Don’t worry guys, I’ve seen with my own eyes the chefs checking the temperature of all the plates over there, and change the food every day. So who think that in the U.S. we eat onlybadfood, should rethink again.

Hasbrouck hall 0_o

Hasbrouck hall 0_o

Already a family

We’ve been here for almost 3 weeks and it feels like we have known each other for so much longer time. We are already acting like a family and its very comfortable to feel that you can trust 17 new people who, out of the blue, appeared to form part of your history.

For example Jenny (the best roomie ever) got sick the first week and we were all very concerned for her health, some of the girls brought her a big bag full of things to do & eat while she was resting so she would not get that much bored at the Super 8. Also last week was Nora’s 22 birthday and we had many surprises for her that day, Jacopo created a FB group just for planning her birthday, and I’m sure that Nora loved her birthday and all of her birthday presents!!

We have traveled as well to Boston and New York and we have had an amazing time!

Everyone is different, but we are the perfect combo! Differences brought us together. We are having a great time, and time passes so fast, we are already searching for the internships!!

Italy, Sweden & Mexico united in the Super 8 motel.