Arrivederci America, Ciao Italia!

A little late on this first post, but it is here nonetheless!

Compared to other peoples flights, I definitely think mine was a breeze. We were an hour early on both flights and the flight from Chicago to Rome was so empty that most people had entire rows to themselves..including me! On the long 9 hour flight, I realized that I thoroughly enjoy airplane food. For dinner we had this chicken orzo pasta with veggies and it was so delicious I couldn't stop eating it! But this also could be due to the fact that I was starving and was exhausted from travelling. Anything could taste good when you're in that kind of mood.

Falling asleep to the sunset and rising with the sunrise was definitely amazing. I didn't sleep through the whole night but at one point I looked out the window and the stars were unlike anything I've seen before. Maybe it was because we were flying over the ocean, maybe not, but I have never seen that many stars before. The Big Dipper was directly outside my window and it felt like I could almost touch it. In the country, away from city lights you can see the stars pretty well, but this was ten times more intense and I loved it. It felt like being in a planetarium. 

Anyways, flying into Rome was a sight by itself! The rolling country sides and quaint little towns by the beach were definitely what I expected. Once we landed and went through customs, we had to wait over an hour for our driver to come get us. Apparently he thought it was a good time to forget what he was supposed to be doing. Driving to Rome was slightly frightening. Everyone is weaving in and out of each other, cars are in three different lanes even if the road was made for only two. Pedestrians weaving in and out of the already weaving cars; all one giant panic attack. Regardless, we made it to the Rome Center finally. 

Once we got our apartment keys, we caught a taxi who overcharged us way too much and since we don't know the language, we couldn't really do anything. On the flipside of that, our apartment is amazing! I was not expecting it to be so spacious. We have a huge living room, and quite a decent sized bathroom for 3 girls. Even though we all share a bedroom, that isn't a problem either and I'm just so pleased with who I ended up living with and where we live! 

I think the only downfall today was realizing how horrible it is to be in another country and to not be able to speak their language. I don't know why I thought I didn't need to learn any Italian before arriving but it was so humiliating to not know what anyone was saying or how to respond to them. Today, the first full day of being here was slightly easier, but it still is a horrible feeling. I will never get frustrated with someone in America who is having a hard time speaking or understanding English. I get it now.

The jet lag hasn't really bothered me, I went to sleep at 730 pm last night and probably didn't even move again until 530 this morning. So my body is much more time oriented now. The hard thing to get used to is that when we eat breakfast here, it is a little after dinnertime back home. So that is a little confusing to my stomach! 

On our first full day here, we had orientation at 10 this morning and then we had an assignment to "Get Lost". We had to get completely lost in the city, noting interesting things and observations along the way and only when we were completely lost were we supposed to pull out our map and find our way back.

Needless to say, I got lost.

I don't have a sense of direction on any normal day, so getting lost in a city where I don't even know were the water is and all the roads are winding around each other was pretty simple. The coolest things I noticed were more of the statues and all the Piazzas with fountains and little shops in them! 

I tried Gelato for the first time today! Can I just say, it is heaven on Earth? The first kind I tried was called Raspberry Paradisio and it was Raspberry Gelato with an almost frosting sort of layer on top and it was amazing. I could sit there and eat a tub of that all day. Seriously. 

After we got ourselves "unlost", we then had class again and shared our experiences. From there we all went out to dinner and I tried my first authentic pasta dish! Unfortunately, I didn't see a menu so I have no idea how to spell it and since I don't want to butcher the name, I will just describe it. It was large rigatoni noodles, with bacon, and some type of cheese sauce. I think she said goat cheese but I'm not entirely sure. Regardless, it was absolutely delicious!

After dinner, we went to a Gelato shop (again!), that is one of the oldest Gelato shops they have! This time I tried, Blackberry, Strawberry, and Pineapple. I learned I am not a fan of Blackberry Gelato. Once we were done eating, we made our way back to our apartment and now I am ready to conclude this and get some sleep for my 830 class tomorrow.



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