Monday, June 27, 2011

italia è pieno di pazzi



This weekend was easy and relaxed.  Friday I sent an SMS to Ilario because I knew he was going to REDBULL FIGHTERS, a motocross event at the Stadio Olimpico that night, so I asked him if he would be returning to Fontechiari in the morning and if he could bring me with him.  He of course offered without a problem, told me to meet him at 11:30 at Anagnina and we would be home in no time!  So Saturday morning I woke up early for some reason, packed my things and went to have a cappuccino and a cornetto integrale at the café I went to daily.  I sat outside reading my book, sipping my cappuccino and munching on my cornetto until 10:12am then I began my journey to Anagnina.  I didn’t know how long it would take me, so I left early because I didn’t want Ilario to be waiting for me. 

Obviously I arrived at Anagnina VERY early, 20 minutes of 11, so I had some time to kill.  I walked around the station for a little, then decided to send another SMS to Ilario because he might have been there already… who knows.  So I asked where I should meet him, he said wherever I wanted then asked if I had arrived, I told him I just arrived and he immediately called me and came to find me because he had also arrived early.  We kissed each other when we found each other then walked to the car where two of his friends were waiting.  I had met one before, si chiama Valerio, and his brother Andrea was driving us back so I said Ciao, piacere e grazie to them both and we were off to Fontechiari.  It was a kind of awkward drive, but Ilario and I were able to make some conversation, him speaking in English, me attempting to respond in Italian.  I feel like its getting harder and harder some how! Its crazy. PAZZO!

We arrived in Fontechiari around 12:30, the boys dropped me off at ILario’s house, then Ilario brought me up to Muto.  Molto gentile.  He also offered to take me out with him and his friends that night, and said he would send me an SMS piu tardi but that it would be around 10:00 that we left (aka my bed time).  Anyways I was happy to be going out with some people!

When I arrived at Muto, Nonna and Nonno were there lying out in their respective chairs just enjoying being outdoors.  Nonna almost immediately got up and took me into the kitchen to give me something to eat after saying hello, and then she explained how its been almost too cold for her to eat lunch outside because its so windy around mezzogiorno.  Anyhow, she shoved a piece of delicious pizza down my throat that had zucchini, tomatoes and cheese on it and was from il forno, I thought that was going to be my lunch so I was content to eat it, but then she pulls out a bag of abbacchio and starts laying it on a rack to take out to the fire that I had failed to see she had started when I arrived.  20 minutes later we sat down to eat the real lunch.  She shoved two pieces of abbacchio down my throat, loaded my plate with fagioli and made me eat 75% of the insalata she had made.  I guess I didn’t really mind being fed well because I barely eat that much all week because I fail at cooking, but boy was I PIENO afterwards.  So full that I had to take a nap, and I fell fast asleep in Nonna’s chair outside and got a wonderful t-shirt tan.  When I woke up I decided to go on a run, but I was stopped by some visitors who I can’t remember their names.  But one had just had a cute little baby, 3 months old, Nicola, and he had a gorgeous head of flowing dark curls.  We chatted with them for a while, Nonna and Nonno telling some interesting stories about Nonno falling in the pond at the farm and having to pull him out with a tractor, and another time where he cut a piece of skin off of his arm right on the veins near his wrist by accident and he told Nonna to prendi le forbice e taglia, take the scissors and cut the flap of skin that was coming off… GROSS. Glad she said no and he went to the hospital to get it stitched! The woman with the baby told a funny story about her aunt who had lived in the states for a while (we had been talking about dialect) because Nonna and Nonno kept saying in goppa? Which apparently meant sopra, up, they kept saying it all day going en goppa, so I was making fun of their dialect… and this woman told a story about her aunt telling her to locka la porta (lock the port) instead of chiuda la porta.   So entertaining the mixing of napoletana, inglese e la ciociaria dialetto.

The women left by 5:00 and then I decided to get up and finally go on a run and then do a whopping 10 push-ups.  Killer. I cooled off walking around for a little bit, it was getting pretty chilly as the sun was going down, then I took a shower.  When I got out Gino Muscedere was down talking with Nonna and Nonno, so I went to say hello.  Soon after this guy from up the hill a little ways comes down and joins us and asks for beer.  I could tell Nonna was irritated with him because I guess that morning he had come by saying his car had broken down so he couldn’t go into Brocostella for coffee and asked Nonna for some instead, along with a pack of cigarettes.  She wasn’t thrilled, it was the first time I guess she had seen this man and years, and then he came twice in a day asking for things… she was sketched out by him, and so was I, and we said he could have one tiny glass of beer and if he asked for anything else we would refuse him.  Nonna and I went inside hoping he would leave, he talked with Nonno for another 15 minutes or so, then finally left. He is one bizarre dude, so sketchy.

Anyways dinner time rolled around, and for dinner the nonni weren’t hungry, Nonna had a yogurt, Nonno forgot about dinner because he was down keeping Giuan (Giovanni, down at the foot of our street) company because Gineta had gone to the hospital that morning, and I made myself a delicious caprese salad. Nom nom nom. Then Nonna and I sat outside for a little until I went to go get ready to go out… by 9:00 my eyes were on there way to being permanently closed… so I got ready then went in the kitchen to make myself a small pot of espresso, boy did that make me feel Italian, haha.  Nonno returned from down the street with no news, and we sat there chatting about all the terrible dialect words I was learning.  Nonna then began to make a conscious effort to use proper Italian for a few minutes, it was very entertaining.  By 5 of ten they were ready to go to bed, they started closing up the downstairs, and Ilario arrived right on time, preciso he said as we looked at the clock in the car reading 10:00. Bravo!  I left the nonni and Ilario and I were off to Sora to look at the makings of the flower art in the street for the festa of domus corpus that was happening Sunday.  We went to go pick up Ilario’s friends, Valerio and Marta, then we headed to the Corso in Sora.

In Sora, the streets were packed, everyone doing their passegiate. I somehow forgot to bring my camera, so I couldn’t document it, but there were just bags and bags and bags of dried flowers of every color lining the Corso, and children small and big, adults, and people of every age helping to make their churches design in the middle of the street with the flowers.  It was a sight to see.  It was probably 11:00 and half of them were half done, so I can only imagine how late these people stayed up in into the night finishing the artwork.  Ilario and Valerio seemed to know every other person we passed while we did our passegiata and it reminded me of how in Wayland I can’t go anywhere without running into someone I know.  We met up with some more of Ilario’s friends then made plans to go pick up Marta’s car and then pick up the rest of his friends and go to a bar D’André in Broccostella to kill some time before going to Isola di Liri. At the bar I had a “Pellarossa Apple” drink.  Some apple flavored thing with ginger ale.  It was pretty good.  After one drink we headed off to Isola (these kids were always on the move).  Isola was packed when we got there at 12:45, we saw the end of a performance, Marta, myself and two other girls (can’t remember their names) went to go get a drink from a bar.  I spoke in English with the two girls because they wanted to see if they could understand me. Speaking VERY slowly one was able to understand the majority of my conversation, but the other one barely anything! So weird!

Santa Ristituta
 Around 1:30, Ilario, Valerio, another girl and I were ready to go, siamo stati molto stanchi, and they were craving late night cornetti! OH BOY. I wanted to resist the urge to buy one, but I had to, everyone was doing it.  The cornetto place was on the way home, it was called Ziegol or something of that matter, and it had a pretty large crowd outside.  Ilario got a crepe, Valerio got a cornetto with half white chocolate half cream, and us two girls got it with nutella.  They stuff them right there for you, and give them to you hot! Amazing, and Amazingly MESSY.  Half my nutella poured out on to the street with my first bite, half went on my face, I didn’t feel too embarrassed because the girl with us had it worse off, the nutella pouring down her hands! Yikes!  I ate most of the cornetto, so light, fluffy and warm, then threw the last part away and went to wash my hands in the fountain. Then we were off to our beds :o)
In bed by 2:10, I had a surprisingly hard time falling asleep… mannaggia la miseria, those damn second waves of energy! However soon after I did fall asleep and it felt like no time had past before Nonna was nudging me to wake up at 8:30 to go into Sora for mass and to see the flowers.

Made myself a cappuccino and two eggs, I ate outside, got ready then drove the Nonni in to Sora in the Uno-45.  It was kind of a struggle, and a little scary because the breaks don’t seem to work great, and lack of power steering is definitely a struggle when backing out from under the fig tree and trying to avoid the ditch on the side of the road…. Ahh!



Nonno & Nonna Relaxing

I couldn’t understand 6 words at mass at Santa Ristituta, but then we walked around looking at the completed flower art and it was a beautiful morning.  Some of the art was VERYYYYYY impressive.  We stopped at the supermarket on the way home, dropped the recycling off in the bin down on the side of the road, drove up to Fontechiari (SCARY) to see if there were people out and if they had done the flowers too, but Fontechiari was deserted, then we returned home to make lunch, eat lunch, nap and do nothing.  Lunch consisted of delicious fettuccine with red sauce, meatballs, oven roasted zucchini and a salad.  Fabrizia called with news that she will be coming at the beginning of August, Nonna’s smile grew ever bigger :D And now here I am at 5:00, writing this blog in a word document on the patio of Via Muto, 12, because there is no Internet.  The wind is starting to calm down.  It’s cool enough for pants and a shirt, it’s amazing how much cooler it gets here at night than in Roma.    Birds are chirping, scent of lavender is emanating from the large overgrown bushes, and the nonni are happily relaxing in their respective chairs.  I expect Nonna is about to get up and force me to eat something before Adriano and Patrizia come by to take me with them to Sora and back to Roma, so I’ll hop to it myself before she gets up!

ME @ MUTO

A dopo!

Friday, June 24, 2011

venerdi

Today I got to 'yell' at a worker because he was missing a receipt that he had written on his note spese for the month.  Wasn't really a yell, Francesca just wanted to have fun with giving him a hard time because he is a younger worker for the company, lui si chiama Manuele.  I was also given the wonderful task of copying a bunch of dates from some kind of an invoice onto another file called a "DAC" by hand.  It literally took me 3 hours, but I like writing and organization, so I didn't mind.


I'm craving going to a discoteca, but my roommates are always studying or going to their boyfriends houses to smoke cigarettes.  They are the nicest and enjoy engaging me in conversation even though my Italian is horrible, but I've yet to figure out if they ever go to bars or out dancing... hopefully the time will come.


Tonight was nice though, Benedetta came out with me to get a gelato that was delicious but turned out to be a disasters because it was melting at a dangerous rate.  We both had our hands covered in gelato, it was so strange.  It was like I was 5 years old and couldn't figure out how to keep it from getting on my body, but seriously I couldn't, I couldn't stop the melting gelato as hard as I tried! I was helpless, as helpless as the tiny plastic like napkin I was given to hold my gelato. Hmph.


We sat and got messy with our gelatos in the park in the middle of Piazza Bologna, then we went to find a fountain to rinse our hands and my nose (gelato everywhere), and we walked down Via Catania to an Irish Pub where we had a beer chatted (her in english, me in Italian) then headed back home.  Molto tranquilo. Tomorrow I'm meeting Ilario at Anagnina to take me home to the nonni back at Muto. 


Ready for some relaxing in the countryside.  I also hope Nonno got the Uno-45 registered because I wanna go take it out somewhere.  So fun to drive that piece of crap :)

due giorn rilassati :o)

Mercoledì a lavoro ho controllato tutti i note spese che abbiamo ricevuto.  Francesca mi dica di rispondere al telefono... avevo paura! E anche sono andata giù per prendere le raccomandata.  Vincenzo mi ha mostrato come si fa recuperare la posta.  Stavo imparando molto!

When I returned home wednesday I was very exited to have the grape leaves that Rehem was making for dinner.  I helped her prepare them as best as I could, and finally around 9:00, they were done cooking, and Rehem dished out 15 or 20 of them on to my plate. Nom nom nom.  She scooped a big spoon of vanilla yogurt along side of them and told me not to hesitate to take more.  She was going to eat hers in her room, while she watched a movie.  I skyped with mom while I ate the grape leaves, and when Rehem entered the kitchen for more, I told my mom to explain to her how she makes them at home, cause Rehem couldn't believe an American knew how to cook such things!  My mom and Rehem chatted for a little while on skype, and then we all went our own ways... me going to bed! Or at least I thought I was.
At Muto

Benedetta returned around 10:00, and she went to see if there were any grape leaves left, so I went into the kitchen with her to socialize because I had heard other voices.  I sat down at the table and listened to Rehem, Marta, Laura and their friend Chiara chiachiono, chatting, them occasionally stopping to ask if I understood what was going on in the conversation.  After we went into Marta's room and hung out while Laura got ready to go out with Chiara, they were listening to arabic music and dancing, it was quite entertaining.  Finally around 11:30 I went back to my room to sleep, and Benedetta explained how she is very shy so she doesn't socialize that much with the other roommates, but she does now more because I just go out and sit there in the middle of their conversations to hear Italian, and she is more comfortable with me around cause I'm shy too!  So that made me feel better!  Benedetta opened up a little bit before we went to bed, told me about a boy she had met (hehe) and showed me some of her dance routine.  Yes... making friends! woot.  Anyways, by 12, I was out cold.

Thursday morning I woke up and headed to work, stopping at the same Bar I've been going to everyday.  The owner now sometimes makes small talk with me, and seriously the barista makes the best cappucino I have had aside from that at Sant'Eustachio.  Also, their cornetti integrali are buonissimo.  Their whole grain croissants are soooo good, and they have a really good apricot jam inside them... mmmm.

Work was relaxed all day.  Had a wonderfully long lunch and cafe afterwards. And all I did all day was verify coworkers expense sheets with the receipts they had provided. I love to organize.  Some of these people had their receipts stapled in the most orderly fashion, it was fantastic.  So I handled those all day, then left by 4:00 and then was home by 5:00.  The plan for the night was to meet Pedro (a friend from whom I'd met in Florence last year) in Piazza Navona at 8:30 and find a place to eat.  Since I was pooped, I napped from 5:00 until 7:00, got ready then walked to termini and a little ways down Via Nazionale, then took the 64 to Argentina.  I arrived at Argentina around 8, so I idled in La Feltrinelli looking for a book to read in Italian... I settled upon a Nicholas Sparks book, but didn't buy it because I wanted to find a second hand book shop somewhere that would be cheaper... then I went off to Piazza Navona to Piazza Navona to meet up with Pedro.

Once I found him out in front of the church in the middle of the Piazza we walked back toward Argentina and went to eat at a place called Rossopomodoro.  Wouldn't have been my first pick, but I let him choose since he should have known the area better than me.  I was surprised at how good I was conversing in Italian with him, it was easier knowing that he couldn't speak english (he is Brazilian), and that Italian wasn't his first language, so he too was making mistakes, and thankfully spoke a lot slower than the real italiani.  I struggled spitting sentences out a little bit, but overall the dinner was very useful in bettering my conversation skills.  For dinner I had fettucine with fava beans, artichokes, peas and a creamy cheesy sauce, and we had Falanghina to drink, which was actually rather delicious.  After dinner we went to get a birra peroni in Campo dei Fiore, watching the performers and the outrageous number of Americans floating around the piazza.  I was falling asleep by 11, so we went to back to Argentina where I caught the 62 to go back to Bologna, and I met a very nice brazilian couple on the bus who spoke english VERY well.  Conversing with them made the bus ride home a lot better, and the guy was very entertaining in explains their travels and their rental car experience.  He said he locked the keys in the car by accident and when he called Hertz they told him to break the window because the town he was in was too remote to get to.  So he asked someone in Greve in Chianti for a hammer and he proceeded to break the window and drive around in it until he got to Roma where he exchanged it for a CINQUE CENTO! (a new one though... lame).  He went on about his fun in his cinque cento but explained how much he missed his Jetta among other things back in San Paolo.  The couple was very interested in talking further, and as we parted ways walking down Via Ravenna, I felt as though my night had been completed by their sincerity.

All in all era una buona serata!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Seconda settimana. Faccio le amicizie

Tuesday morning. Hmph. Monday is finally over, and Tuesday brings a new face to the office, Giancarlo.  I am introduced to Giancarlo, who somehow was fooled by my facade that I was a real italiana, but then Francesca told him that I was American because she knew he had studied in America.  After he found that out he started speaking with me in English because he said it had been two years since he has spoken English, and his friends make fun of him if he ever says an English words, saying things like "oh you think you're american now!".  I found that kind of entertaining.

Anyways, Giancarlo proved to be quite the character, with quite the flowing hair, and the mannerisms of a nantucket prep.  He was wearing a light blue linen polo button up, khakis and sandals, blew my mind.  He explained how he went to school at Berkeley in California, did all four years there and then proceeded to work in Los Angeles for the following two years after he graduated, so he knew the english language MOLTO BENE.  We probably chatted for about an hour, me being very entertained by his stories about obtaining a californian license, about how he gets bored of every place he stays to long and about how it was hard to make friends being in a foreign place not knowing the language (like me now!).  His english was highly entertaining as he was talking like a californian with an Italian accent "you know man, shittt, I mean fuck it was like so hard getting used to it, you know and like all that shit and stuff".  I almost died. hahaha. I'm telling you, CHARACTER!  But he was very nice and said he would get Giuseppe (a coworker) to go out one night, and he would try and help me get connected with some more romans :)

I left work around ten of 5:00 and hurried to Laurentina.  The one day I wear flats to work, I'm rushing down the stairs to catch the metro I heard arriving and I slipped and fell down HARD on my butt and continued to bump down 4 or 5 marble stairs... well done.  Holding back the tears from severely bruised tailbone, I took my book out and tried to act as non chalant as possible while I waited for the next train (because I of course missed the one I was trying to get).  Mannaggia la miseria!  I thought the day was going so well! I was speaking a little more Italian in the office, meeting more people who were interested in finding me friends etc... and then I fall on my cuolo. Boo!


Back at home I had planned to go on a run to a near by villa, but since my but was in pain I decided I would lay low.  Instead I changed my clothes then headed out to fare le spese at the Sma supermercato in Piazza BOlogna.  As I stepped out of the apartment and went to cross Via Catania, ti giuro, I swear to you, I saw Lady Gaga in a short silver wig, silver lipstick, etc, riding shotgun in a small punto filled with what appeared to be a normal italian family, kids and all, that's why Gaga's appearance in the front seat took me by surprise.  Who knows if it was actually her, but she had been in Rome for the Gay Pride Parade over the weekend, and as I went to follow the car that supposedly had Gaga in it, I walked past a set of camera men packing up what appeared to have been a rather large production. Strano. molto strano.

So I guess my day was looking up!  I walked around the block then to the Sma at Bologna where I bought arugula, strachino (cheese), tomatoes, and mare blu tuna fish to fare una bella insalata for dinner. Waiting in the long line to check out I was standing behind a couple who was speaking both english and Italian, so I wondered what they were doing here in Italy.  The woman was definitely american, e' sicuro. But I finally spoke to them as we both watched the cashier to a peculiar thing. She took a bunch of paper, shoved it in a plastic tube, then put it in some tube attached to the register and sent it off somewhere. So bizarre, so I asked the english speakers if they knew what she had just done, and the man went off and asked in beautiful italian what she had done.  I wanna speak italian and english like them. Vorrei parlare le due lingue cosi' bello.  Apparently, every so often she has to send the signed receipts up to the managers office, so that is the story behind the mysterious plastic tube.


I returned home, showered then prepared my insalata around 8:30.  I caught up with my journal, looked for an Italian class to take, but apparently there are ZERO in the summer, and then got ready for bed...  Until I heard Rehem screaming, Marta! Marta! Marta! Ti giuro! Non posso crederelo! so I run to Marta's room and ask Cos'e' succeso??? And apparently Rehem had passed her biology exam!!  I didn't realize it was that big of a deal until Marta explain that she had failed the first two, and had been studying for almost 2 years to take the biology exam, and if she had not passed one exam that she took, she would have to go back to Israel because the permesso di soggiorno requires you to be studying, and an active student, and passing the exams proves that.  So Marta poured us all rum and cokes and abbiamo festegiato! We celebrated!  We chatted for a while as Rehem called everyone she knew, ecstatically happy, and she repeated it to us over and over that she couldn't believe she had past!  It was adorable.  Somehow we started talking about arab cuisine, and I mentioned my mom had made grape leaves, and she couldn't believe that an American knew what they were, so she asked me if I wanted to go steal the neighbors grape leaves with her because she knew of a vine, but none of the other italian roommates would go steal them with her, so I said why not!?  And around midnight we walked of into the night looking mischievous as we hoarded grape leaves into a plastic bag making sure no one was watching us.  Good roommate bonding going on.  It was great!


When we returned with un sacco di foglie Rehem let me go to bed because she knew I had to go to work early, and she started to prepare the leaves that she was going to make for us to eat the next day.  I was very content with how the day ended up, I was feeling more at home, and more confident in my Italian and I was excited that my roommates were interested in doing silly things with the American. haha.

weekend con i nonni

Sorry, its been a few days... (cough Toni Jean)...


I've had quite the long past two days traveling between Via Udine, Muto and Laurentina. Che stanchezzo!


I'll give you a brief update on my activities since Thursday.  Friday, going to work was a little bit different.  Francesca and I had made plans to meet outside the Laurentina metro stop at 9 to go do some errands.  The errands would include getting me a "Superflash" bancomat account at Intesa San Paolo and going to Poste Italiane to send some letters for the company.  We first went to the bank where Francesca was very nice to do all the talking and get everything settled for me.  So after entering my information about 40 times and the computer not accepting it, Francesca finally firmly told the man to not put Boston as my birth city because they don't care about the specifics.  Metti USA!!  And finally everything worked with USA as my birth place.  After 45 minutes I left with a bank card and some kind of electronic key and all I knew was that Francesca could do "bonificie" bank transfers directly to the account, and I would have to put money on the card to have it work because it cost 9.90 euro a year to have.  As for the electronic key thing that has numbers... I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT IS!!!
FIAT 500



So bank complete.  Off to the post office. This was the first time I heard "attraversiamo", the word that Elizabeth Gilbert praises in "Eat, Pray, Love", and she is right, it has that certain likeability that makes you want to repeat and hear it over and over again... At the post office Francesca described to me which of the four different buttons I should press in order to get the right ticket to get in line.  For our purposes we would press the "P" button, which meant something, then wait for our number to pop up at a booth.  We were second in line for "P" so the line went pretty quickly, we put the things in the mail, and she explained to me where she got the money to make the transaction and how you need to keep the receipt so that she can keep record of the company's expenses.


After the ufficio postale we waited for the bus and then rode together to Via di Tor Pagnotta, 94.  We went to work, filling out letters to be sent for Marc, and also searching through CVs for a RF Engineer and TLC engineers.  Francesca, Valeria, Vincenzo, Benedetto and I ate lunch together around 2 in the conference room, me mainly trying to listen to their conversations, and then by 4:00, I was on my way home! TGIF!


Pizza Provola Speck, Rughetta e Pachini, Birra
Since my roommates were all studying and I haven't found any new friends :(  after running, showering and getting organized I ventured down to trastevere da sola to find a restaurant that was suggested in mom's guide "Food, Wine, Rome".  The target was "Ivo a Trastevere", located in the heart of trastevere, and supposedly having the best pizza, suppli and birra/vino della spina. I took the metro to Termini, walked all the way down Via Nazionale to Argentina, then took the tram across the river to trastevere and found the rest of my way walking.  It was a beautiful evening, so I didn't mind walking at all, and when I landed upon the restaurant I asked confidently for a table for one, and the waiters started making jokes.... great! Like I wasn't already having a hard enough time eating alone!  They seated me, I scanned through the menu and decided on a pizza provola speck and a rughette e pachino salad (arugula and tomato).  My food came impeccably fast, the salad was fresh and delicious, and the pizza was ottima as well.  My appetite still not as strong as it is at home, left half the pizza there, but was satisfied with what it had indulged.


After dinner I walked around for a little while, then walked back to the bus stop at Argentina to take the 62 back to Piazza Bologna.


Fontana di Trevi
Saturday morning I woke around 9:00, ready to start a day of walking. I can't even tell you all the places that I walked, but I will try.  From Via Udine, I walked to Termini, from Termini to Piazza Barberini, La Fontana di Trevi, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Campo de' Fiori, Piazza Farnese, into Trastevere, back through the Isola with the hospital on it, up to the Foro Romano (wrong turn), back down to circo massimo then up to the colosseum to catch the metro back to Bologna. What a day. 
Gorgeous weather... I went to a little store to get a sandwich made for lunch.  Prosciutto crudo, mozzarella and pesto.  The guy working the counter liked me, so he gave me a free beer, and I had a nice lunch in Piazza Navona, Panino e birra for only 4 euro.  Some americans came and sat near me so I started a conversation, strangely one of the guys was from Concord, MA! Small world!  I directed them toward the monuments they were looking for, they set off, and then I set off to continue my giro.  Walking through Campo de' Fiori I got a small bag of Ciglige (cherries), they were delicious, and SO cheap compared to cherries in the states!  Walking with cherries in hand I finished my long day of walked by taking the metro from Colosseo to Bologna, and got myself situated back at the appartment.

Piazza Navona


When I returned back to Via Udine, I was wiped, so I layed down on my bed for a few minutes and immediately fell asleep.  I woke up sometime between 7 and 8, and started to talk with mom about what restaurants I should check out for the night.  My plan was to try a place called Bafetto, near Piazza Navona, and use mom's suggestion of Cul de Sac as my back up.  Before I left the apartment, I chatted with Marta and Rahem, and found out it was Laura's birthday (22nd, although they wanted me to tell her happy 29th) and they offered me a little chocolate coconut dolci that they were in the process of making.  After that I set out for my first saturday night, wahooo!


Vino a Cul de Sac

Similar to the night before, I took the metro to Termini, then walked down Via Nazionale all the way to Argentina.  At via del Gesù, I stopped by to look at another of mom's recommendations "Enoteca Corso", but it was chiuso, I guess it is only open for lunch!  So I walked back to Argentina and went into La Feltrinelli (a bookstore) to get a notebook to write all my new italian words in, and to find a map of Rome that had Piazza Bologna and more on it.  SUCCESS.  With my new notebook and maps, I set off toward Piazza Navona to find Bafetto,
and I knew I had found it when I saw a line of 30 people or so standing outside a tiny little place.  The guide book had said that there would be a long line, but I didn't believe it could be THAT good!  It was late and I was hungry, so I went down the street to Cul de Sac where I had my first glass of real wine.  I had never ordered it in a restaurant, so good thing I've seen my parents do the whole taste and say its the wine is decent thing, or else I would have looked pretty dumb!  Nevermind that, cause I still ended up being pretty dumb, or at least feeling dumb.  When my food came, instead of what I thought would be home made pasta with a delicious mushroom sauce, I got a brick of liver.  Mmmm... Looks like I ordered Pate instead of pasta, BRAVA LIA!  Good thing I also got verdure miste della stagione, so I had some dandelions (le cicorie) and zucchini to wash it down with.


Straciatella & Banane
Since the dinner was a little bit of a fail, I decided it was time to have my first gelato.  There was a place that I remembered seeing a good crowd at the night before in Trastevere, so after I paid Il Conto, I walked on over across the Tevere again and found the gelateria Fior di Luna.  I waited in line only sure of one thing, one of my two flavors picked would be Straciatella (kind of like chocolate chip, but obviously better).  So when I got to the case and was asked what I wanted I said "Una copetta un'euro e cinquanta con straciatella.... eeeeeee (word vomit) BANANE!"  I had never tried banana gelato before and it looked like it had been made of real bananas so why not go for it?  It ended up being an excellent choice.  Especially combined with the straciatella.  It tasted exactly like the batter of a chocolate chip banana bread, and at times you would get a really chunk of banana.  It was AMAZING.



i nonni :o)
With gelato in hand, I walked back to Argentina where I would catch the 62 to Bologna and head to bed.  I had a long day at the Nonni's coming up, so I didn't want to stay out too late.  When I got home Laura had a few friends over hanging out in the kitchen.  I went in to say Ciao and Auguri, I met her friends, had another chocolate coconut ball then went to pack and go to sleep, 5:30 am was creeping upon me!


Via Muto, 12
5:30 am mi sono svegliata.  I woke up, happy my roommate had gone home for the weekend, so I didn't need to worry about being too quiet as I gathered my things.  I brushed my teeth, got dressed, grabbed my bags and was out the door headed to the metro.  I took the metro to Termini, where I went to get a ticket for the Leonard Express, leaving every hour at the 22 and 52.  Unfortunately, the ticket machines weren't working so I had a little heart attack cause I didn't want to miss the train and have the nonni worrying about me, so I asked someone where I could go buy a ticket and they said I could get one on the train.  Which I was pretty sure you couldn't, but I got on anyways, knowing in the back of my mind that the last 6 times I took the Leonard Express my ticket was never checked, so I thought I'd be safe.  I was prepared to hand the man 14 euro and explain myself had they happened to come around.  Heart racing for that 30 minute train ride, I arrived at Fiumocino without hastle and without spending 14 euro! I checked the board for the nonni's flight, noticed that the Delta flight wasn't there but an Alitalia one was... sketchy... so I went to T3 and waited by the arrivals.  15 minutes later there were the Nonni, looking tired, but unable to stop grinning.  I knew they were excited to be back in Italy, and relieved to see myself and Marco (the driver) waiting their for them.  I helped them with their bags, ran to grab a cornetto from the cafe since I hadn't eaten, then we were quickly off to Via Muto! Finalemente!


UNO-45 VIVA ANCORA
I tried speaking Italian with Nonna for the first 20 minutes.  It went pretty well, but then my lack of sleep caught up to me and I fell fast asleep until we arrived in Frosinone to go grocery shopping.  I got out with Nonna as we went hurriedly into the Conad to get the essentials that would get them through the two days of no car and strange Italian country store hours on Sundays and mondays.  We arrived shortly after the shopping was done, opening up the door to an already relatively clean house.   Nonna was pleased that there didn't seem to be too many babalocia (cobwebs) and Nonno was thrilled the field of grass was already cut and rolled into bales.  I helped Nonna clean out the fridge, turn it on, get the groceries in, do the laundry and clean other little random things.  I helped Nonno jack his little Uno-45 up to take the rocks out that he had had it hoisted up on under the overhang. We tried to start it but didn't have the keys, so we waited for Gino to arrive with the keys that Nonno thought he had... but he didn't... so we went searching the house for them and eventually found them attached to a key chain that was in the door.  Nonno then went to try and start it and it didn't work, so they made me sit in it, put it in neutral and steer the car as Gino and Nonno pushed it out from under the portico, so we could put the table there instead of use it as a makeshift garage.



Casa
Soon after we were off to lunch at Gino's.  I of course kissed all of the family on both cheeks, and then was swiftly bombarded with offers of bitters, beer and wine.  eeeee.  We sat outside chatting for a while, then once lunch was ready, we all went inside to the kitchen to eat.  Domenico (Gino's son, father of Simona and Samatha, and old resident of Schenectady) spoke with me in english for a little because he wanted to, he said it had been a long time and he forgot a lot of english so he wanted to practice with me.  And Gino was pestering me to drink some wine... I gave in... he promised me it was good, and it was surprisingly very good for home made white!  For lunch we had good conversation, me trying to understand the dialect, and enjoying il brodo (soup) and chicken that Angelina (?) had cooked, and of course le cicorie.  It was entertaining watching Nonna refuse the second and third helpings Angelina was forcing upon her because she does the EXACT thing to me.  Gino was also forcing more wine upon me alongside more food saying that I didn't need to drive anywhere so it didn't matter.  I finally stopped him at glass 2.5, when I hadn't even wanted half a glass to start. mehh!  Around 2, Gino took us home, the Nonni ready to take a nap.  I did some sweeping of the patio, brought the table and chairs out, went on a run (nearly died), and read some while they napped.  When Nonno awoke from his nap he decided the Uno had had enough rest as he had and he tried to start it one more time, and Voila! It worked beautifully!  I've never seen that man smile so wide as he drove the Uno around the patio and parked it in a different space.


Throughout the day more than 10 people came and went welcoming the Serafinis back to Muto.  Its so wonderful how they can just drive up and count on having a nice conversation and a drink whenever they want, and its amazing how 3 hours after Nonna and Nonno had arrived the word had already spread and people were making moves to come welcome them!  That is probably one of my favorite things about there life in the countryside, its just so relaxed, and everyone knows everyone and can come hang out on the patio whenever they would like.  E' normale.


ceniamo


Around 7:00, Nonna heated up the leftovers from Lunch that Angelina had forced her to take.  Good thing cause I would have been eating Yogurt for dinner haha.  We ate out on the patio enjoying the sunset and the fresh air.  By 8:30 we were making our beds, and I was setting my alarm and getting my bags packed to wake up again at 5:30 and head back to Roma in time for work.


Monday again at the office. I arrived tired after waking up at 5:30, leaving Muto, and taking a 2 hour bus ride to Anagnina, then metro to termini, switched, metro to Bologna, unpacked my sheets and towels I took from Nonna, then got back on the metro to go to Laurentina, and end up at Aircom by 10:30 (più o meno).  Right when I got in, I went to work, Francesca gave me a pile of Francesco's receipts from business trips and showed me how to enter them into a Modulo Spese.  I find entering information into spreadsheets very entertaining, because its so organized, so I very much enjoyed this new task, which would happen near the end of every month for a number of people!  Francesca and I did a number of reimbursement forms, then we both left the office around 4, and together we rode the means of public transportation all the way home.  
When I got back to the appartment, the plan was to change into something more comfortable then go down to Via Nazionale to get some shoes that I had seen Saturday night.  So I changed, walked to Piazza Bologna to take the metro to Termini, then I walked down Via Nazionale looking for the store with the sandals I had wanted to buy.  I walked for about 5 minutes then found them, and I asked the store clerk to get me a size 37, he retrieved a pair and then sat there and helped me try them on, awkward.  I liked them, and he said he liked them, so I got them.  Easily sold because I needed a pair of comfortable walking sandals that were also dressy.  

After le scarpe (shoes), I walked across the street to a Despar supermercato to see if anything striked my interest for dinner. I bought a 3 pack of Peronis because they were on sale, and couldn't find anything I wanted to eat/cook, so I headed back towards Termini to go to Piazza Bologna where I would seek out a rosticceria or a tavola calda to bring something home to eat.  I roamed the block a few times, went into a rosticceria that didn't seem to have anything quite that I wanted, then I landed upon a pretty busy Tavola Calda bar that specialized in Sicilian food and I got an Arancino, da portare via! To take away! (A fried rice ball filled with mozzarella, meat and tomato sauce, nom nom nom)  After I ordered it I realized that the other place I walk by every day 'Mizzica' has the same sicilian delicacies, and I guess your just supposed to ask for whatever you want, I'll have to go there soon :)
With my hot arancino in hand I walked back to Via Udine to put my peronis in the fridge and remake my bed with new sheets and blankets from Nonna and get organized.  I did that, and then while I was waiting for the beer to get cold, I sat in the cucina with my roommate Benedetta while she smoked her hand rolled cigarettes and we chatted me in Italian, her in English, about ourselves.  Then she asked me to help her read an English College website that she wanted to enroll in, and I helped her figure that out and send an email asking about requirements for the program.  Finally, I got anxious to eat cause my arancino was getting cold, so I unwrapped it, got a semi-cool birra then ate with Benedetta (she ate a salad and a hot dog).  After dinner I cleaned up and retired to be relatively early, it had been quite the long two days...




Thursday, June 16, 2011

La Lingua deve essere sempre italiano

Allora, la settimana andata bene.  Sono contenta con tutti, e penso che impara molto italiano primo di lasciare in agosto.
Cinque Cento! FIAT 500

Everyday I've been waking up a little bit later realizing that I'm tired and want more sleep, and that Francesca, my boss, is really relaxed and I don't need to wake up 3 hours early when my commute is an hour.  I've been making it into the office by 9:30 no problem.  The first two days I got off the metro at 8:30 and decided to sit on a park bench and read because I didn't want to show up at the office and be awkwardly early.  I've finished the only book I brought (Water For Elephants... SO GOOD), so now I am onto reading my Italian grammar books. CHE DIVERTENTE!!

Anyways, yesterday I decided to be brave and go talk with one of my roommates about how she learned Italian.  Her first language was arabic, so when she moved here two years ago she said she spoke almost worse than me, and Marta (un'altra coinquini, another roommate) was the one who taught her all she knows.  She said she would just try and talk with her and Marta would correct her and eventually after two years she is speaking fluently, and I'm sure she was fluent months ago too.  She says she still makes grammatical mistakes, but I mean I still say "I did that good" instead of "I did that well", so no one is perfect right?  My goal is just to be able to have words flow without hesitation and it won't really matter if I mess up some grammar, everyone does.  I just want to be able to sound convincing, so that I can convince other americans I'm Italian or other Italians that I am Italian at least for the first two sentences I spill out!  So ya, roommates are great.  Very nice.  Always asking me if I need anything.  Marta made me a caffe yesterday while we were talking about how to learn Italian.  They also have been having me repeat a lot of words they know in English because I say them so differently.  Like "Apple" they prounounce "happle", its quite entertaining.

Today, work flew by.  I went to a different cafe for cappucino and cornetto this morning, I decided yesterdays was better for the same price, so tomorrow I will go back to the first one I went to and make it my regular place. I'm already looking forward to that cappuccino tomorrow.  So, Francesca speaks to me in Italian to explain what she is doing and what I am supposed to be doing, she speaks incredibly fast, so I've been hoping that I've been catching most of whats going on, but sometimes she catches me staring blankly and realizes I might not have understood exactly what she said.  I've been helping sort through resumes (Curriculum Vitae), its been tedious, but I have also been learning Italian, that of which she has noted is part of my experience as her Intern.

The Aircom family is very nice, and I'm noticing it grow every day.  There are the regulars, Francesca, Valeria, and me (the only women), Giuseppe and three other men I forget their names I regularly see and Francesca and Valeria and two men generally are always with each other on breaks.  Francesca along with the others have been making fun of me because everytime they ask if I want a coffee I decline, and that happens at least 6 times before 1:00, and they say I don't get up from my desk enough.  So from now on I will make an effort to work a little less, go drink some coffee (which is espresso shots) and take little strolls.

I ate lunch with Francesca and Valeria yesterday.  I learned that Francesca only eats cheese. Literally.  She ate stracchino and yogurt yesterday, and today she ate a yogurt.  I think she only eats dairy, fruit and smokes cigarettes, she is quite an entertaining boss, I'm lucky!  Today we ate together again and with the two guys who they always are with (I'll learn their names tomorrow) and I just sat there as they moved their mouths at speeds I could not comprehend, occasionally pausing to ask me a question.  Nevertheless, they are the sweetest people ever, and just being around all their chit chatting is going to help me learn so much! I already have a big list of vocabulary I've been looking up next to my computer on my desk.  I can only remember like 4 of the words though, fiali -  branches, fuochi d'artifici -  fireworks, sviluppo - development, sfruttare - to exploit, and some bad words. haha.


La Sposa Numero Due!
Colosseo
I left work around 4:30 today, a little earlier yesterday. Yesterday I took the metro to the colosseo, I saw my second bride (mom!)  they stopped the traffic for la sposa!  I walked around taking photos of the Colosseum and then walked toward the wedding cake building to catch the sunset.  I walked up the top of the steps to watch the sunset, coming across a concert at the campidoglio outside of the capitoline museum, then I walked down to Argentina and then hopped on bus 62 to take me back to Bologna.  Yesterday I also went food shopping, it was successful.  Tonight when I got home I debated going for a run, then decided just to walk again cause I don't know the area all that well.  I walked for about an hour then walked past this sicilian place that I couldn't figure out how your order the amazing looking suppli everyone outside had, cause the inside appeared to be only covered in pastries and gelato.  I'll figure it out one day soon.  Instead I went to a pizza a taglio place right next door, getting a spicy piece with scamorza, eggplant and onions. It was delicious.  I ate outside on the sidewalk and enjoyed the people buzzing around me.

Dinner: Pizza con scamorza, melanze e cipolle
Sunset/Tramonto
It's only June 16th, I can't even imagine the things that are to come in the next two months. Woweee.

It better be gifts of fluent Italian speaking!







A dopo :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Primo Giorni di Lavoro

Lots of first days coming up.

I woke up bright and early, 6:45 to be precise, to take a shower and prepare for my first day of work. 6:45 might have been a little early, but I was anxious, and rather hungry. I got out of bed silently, trying not to wake my roommate and went to the bathroom happy to see that the shower was of normal size, and had all normal controls. I took a shower, got dressed and ready to go, checked my email before heading out, then was out the door by 8:00 headed to find the metro 'Linea B' at 'Policlinico'. I think I took a couple of wrong turns, and nervous I wouldn't find it asked someone on the street if I was headed the right direction. I was! Sempre dritto, the woman said, so I walked straight ahead two blocks and found myself staring at the big red metro 'M' on the side of the road.

Brioche con cioccolato and half drank cappuccino :)
I took the metro getting off at Termini, two stops later, in hopes of finding a ticket place to get a monthly metro and bus pass. No luck finding the tickets, but I found a cafe to sit at and get a brioche con cioccolato ed un cappuccino for less than 2 euro total. I had forgotten how good real italian cappuccino are in comparison to one from Starbucks, not to mention like $5 cheaper! So I ate calmly because I knew I had plenty of time to make it to work...I wasn't going to be expected until around 9:45. I walked underground to the metro and waited with a million other people for the 'B' to arrive. The first train that came was so packed I didn't even bother trying to fit in, I had time to spare, and it just looked way too uncomfortable and impossible to squeeze another body into. The next train came 5 minutes later, once again pretty packed, but I was able to squeeze on and in between two americans. I soon found out they were brother and sister from Kansas City, the sister was at grad school for art history with Syracuse University in Florence and the brother was just there visiting, very cool. By the 3rd to last stop, the crowd on the bus began to thin and I was able to snag a seat. And by 8:55 I had arrived at Laurentina, too early!

Via di Tor Pagnotta, Aircom International
Got off the metro and found a park bench outside to read on for a half hour, then I found the 776 bus to Via di Tor Pagnotta and I was on my way to Aircom International. I arrived at 10:00 and immediately got started practicing understanding really fast speaking italian. Francesca (my boss) spoke mainly to me in Italian and very quickly at that. She showed me a few of the basics after I signed a contract, then gave me a tour of the office and introduced me to a few other employees. Francesca explained many things to me, that I'm sure I only understood a brief summary of, and then we had a cafe' around 11:30 with two other employees.

Soon after Marc Penesso showed up! The guy I'd been needing to thank for my whole summer, and I didn't even realize he was supposed to be in the office! I was confused when someone named Marco introduced himself to me in english and then luckily it clicked and we got to talking about Union College, and finding a job that suits what your skills are and what you enjoy doing! It was very nice getting to speak in person with Marc and he gave a lot of good advice and his knowledge of italian is beautiful, so he gives me hope because he knew not a word before going to Italy. After Marc left more explaining was done and by 1:30 she gave me the okay to leave and I was out the door quickly to walk around Roma!

Circo Massimo
I took the bus to Laurentina and then the Metro B back to Circo Massimo, where LExi and I had been in March to try and get to Angela's apartment. Story: In march we were going to Angela's apartment in trastevere and she told us to get off at that stop and it was only a ten minute walk, but apparently I lead us the wrong way and a ten minute walk turned into a 50 minute sweaty hike with two huge suitcases and backpacks stuffed to the brim, along with a Lexi Bascom who need to use the bathroom the moment we stepped off the train... woops. So I humored myself by walking the right way into trastevere and low and behold, I was there in 10 minutes... Sorry Lex!


So I walked down the Circo Massimo to trastevere, did a little loop in and out of trastevere after crossing the walking bridge that takes you to the island with the hospital on it, that I somehow had never been on. Then I walked back across the river to Campo dei Fiori where they were just finishing cleaning up the days market. From there I crossed Via Vittorio Emmanuelle II and walked past Cafe Sant'Eustachio just to smell the coffee emanating from inside. From there I walked past the Pantheon, then headed to Via del Corso to pop in and out of some stores and ended up in Piazza del Popolo. Tired of walking, I got on the metro 'Linea A' there and took it to Termini where I went searching again to find a monthly bus pass. This time I was successful, although I think I could have gotten a student/resident pass for cheaper... then the plan was to walk back to the apartment from Termini to see how far the walk was, but the skies decided to open up and it began to rain, so I did my first trip with the bus pass up to Piazza Bologna. Piazza Bologna looked pretty even in the pouring rain, so I got excited about how close it was to Via Udine (my place) and about going to look at it the next day when it would be better weather. On the straight walk home from the metro I stopped in a store to buy shampoo, conditioner and soap, then I made it home swiftly to relax my legs.
Mio portone, my door


On to day 2 of work!

Primo Giorno

What a day...

Left Wayland and my good friends and arrived in Rome. Pumped, but wishing friends and family were here.
Occupying Alex's room to fill my suitcase after a delicious brunch :)
Thanks for watching me pack by the way :o)


Don't you just love crying babies? I slept the first half hour of the flight then was pleasantly woken by two or three crying babies in a 10 foot radius of my seat. How pleasant! I popped an additional advil PM, put my ipod in to block out the screaming children and luckily by the time a midnight dinner, that surprisingly smelt good, was handed out, I was out like a light. Had I not slept on the plane, it would have been a miserable journey ahead!
Ladies eatin brunch, sipping mimosas before my departure


Waking up to breakfast being served and the lights turned on in the cabin, I was pleasantly surprised to see that all my feelings of anxiety and sadness of leaving friends and family behind at home were gone. I was on the way to commencing an adventure alone, and for some reason I was no longer scared. I think some of the reason why the fear went away was because I remembered my mom had packed me a fresh pack of raspberries, so when yogurt with breakfast was served it was like I was eating in first class when I shoveled all of the raspberries into the vanilla yogurt, haha. That little comfort brought me to realize that I am about to have the time of my life.

The plane arrived in Paris, at Charles de Gaulle, where I had a 4 hour lay over. I went through customs to get my passport stamped, where an unfortunate sight lay straight ahead of me in line... this man was wearing his pants rather low around his butt, and where it normally would have been okay to see that much boxer, it wasn't because he wasn't wearing any! Instead, hairy butt was everywhere. Nice. And sorrry I wasn't quick enough with the camera (scherzo!)...Anywho.... then I went through security, and found my departure gate, then went exploring to find a bathroom, a sandwich and a bancomat. Bathroom, check, sandwich, check, bancomat, check, but the bancomat denied me access, so I was down to 15 euros in my pocket after spending 5 euro on a delicious sandwich au jambon et fromage, delicieux! I sat down by the gate and waited for my flight while reading Water For Elephants (so good!). At 14:45 my flight boarded and at 15:25 I was on the final leg to Roma. I slept peacefully through the entire two hour flight, only awake to attempt to ask for water in french when I was asked if I wanted anything to drink... "l'eau" I said, she thought I said "coke"? and then it got awkward cause the boy next to me who spoke like 5 languages realized my struggle and then ordered himself a big fancy arrangement of drinks in beautiful french, even though he seemed to be Spanish. Hmph, those multilingual people really make me envious.

Anywho, arriving in Roma I got a surge of excitement. Getting off the plane I could already hear the buzz of the Italian language and see the direct change of fashion. I saw my first bright orange pant and blazer combo and an array of older women with brightly died red hair.
Sandwich from Paris airport

I went to carousel 16 to grab my luggage, struggled pulling the slightly overweight suitcase off the belt, then went to combine my carry on and my suitcase into one so that I could manage... weight was no longer an issue! Then I went to leave the baggage area, only to get stopped by the customs man because he must have seen some marking that was put on my baggage ticket that I still can't figure out. In Italian he asked me where I was from, I responded Boston and then he asked to see my passport, which of course took me 3 minutes to get because when I went to open my purse the zipper got stuck and I sat there fidgeting with it like an idiot for three minutes, making him very suspicious of me. Finally I handed him the passport, and he just said "Oo, stati uniti" then let me leave... way to go Lia!

Before getting a cab I needed to get cash monayy, so I went to find a bancomat. I went to two, both of them not working and rejecting my card, finally before I broke into a panic I saw a long line at another down the hall, so I went to wait in that line, grateful that it wasn't my card and that it had been three machines that just happened to not be working. I got 200 euro, then headed to find a cab, not hard to do outside of the airport.

Got in the cab, and started the drive of my life! If I knew death wasn't a possibility it would have been the most fun roller coaster of a cab ride ever, but the possibility of a car crash echoing in the back of my head made the ride a little less enjoyable. I think for 90% of the ride we were driving on the white line wedged between the traffic going in the lanes the line was supposed to be dividing. The cab was then weaving in and out of driving on the tram track and the normal road, and then miraculously fitting through spaces between cars that I would have never thought possible, especially at high speeds! The meter finally ticked to just below 60 euro, as the car slowed beneath 60kph and halted in front of Via Udine, 4. Home for the summer!

I rang the bell reading Chiaramaria Croce, and waited to get buzzed in. A girl answered and helped me bring my things down and settle myself in her room as her new roommate. I got settled, as we went through some awkwardness and waited for Giacomo the landlord and family friend to come and greet me. When he arrived the other roommates trickled out of their rooms and introduced themselves and Marta was so cute as she drooled over the american accent I had when saying Boston and Massachusetts. They made me feel right at home, I was so excited to not have any issues with roommates already and that they were interested in getting to know and have fun with "the american"!

They were all very welcoming especially when I had to be awkward and ask for sheets and towels. Marta immediately gave me things to use, and continued to speak with me in italian for a while. My roommate Benedetta, Giacomo, Marta and I chatted for a while, then they left me alone to finish getting settled in.

Around 11:00, the roommates came into ask me if I wanted to have some rice with them. I thought that was funny cause I was facebook chatting with Lindsay who was saying she had to go eat dinner, and 6 hours later here in Roma my roommates were just sitting down to eat. Pazzo!

I was in bed fast asleep by 12:15 and resting up for Day 1 of work.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Freaking out

26 hours until I depart.

I still have an empty suitcase sitting on my brothers floor, luckily most of my clothes are laid out, but still, who knows if they will all fit?! I might have to sacrifice a pair of heels to fit everything in, but then that just means I can buy some beautiful Italian leather ones once I get to Roma. Everything sounds so nice, sounds like I'm going to have the best summer ever and the experience of a lifetime, and I am, I know that, but with 26 hours left I'm starting to realize how different this is going to be than any other time I've been to Italy.

This time...

1. I'm going with all my documenti (Great thing!)
2. Living with 4 random Italian roommates whom I've never met
3. I have an internship at an office in one of the uglier parts of Italy I've seen, but nonetheless its still Italy I guess!
4. I won't have my parents, my brother, my best friends, a Union professor or Union students to turn to for help.
5. I'll have to sign a contract on Tuesday written in Italian that might say I'm giving my life away to this company and getting paid nothing for it, but I'll never know
6. I have to food shop on my own
7. Commute 1 hour + to get to work
8. Make my own italian friends
9. Figure out how to feed myself and cook for myself healthily without eating a gelato or a plate of pasta for ever meal
10. I'm going to be gone for longer than my term abroad
11. I'm alone.

Alone in Italy. Sounds so awesome. Yet I'm just getting scared. I know its nerves and everything, and that they will subside once I land and get settled in. But they are still there and a lot more present than they were when I left my parents at Logan last march with Samantha and Anna attached to my side.

I already have a list of things I need to do once I get off the plane. I have to get a monthly bus/train/tram pass, find my apartment, then potentially find an alternate apartment to live in for July and August that's closer to work and in trastevere (the place where I long to live).

I'm freaking out.

But ultimately I know that this is going to be the experience of a lifetime. I am going to get a second, longer chance to become fluent in italian. I am going to learn to become even more independent than I already am. And as much as I am going to miss my friends and family back in Wayland, I know that nothing in Wayland is going to be able to compare to what is awaiting for me in italy.

I'm scared, but I'm ready.

Ho paura, ma sono pronto. Penso che la prossima blog sara scrivere in italia. Spero che ci siano foto della mia apartamento e il mio quartiere sul questo pagina.

A dopo!