I feel like a freshman in orientation all over again, but it is so worth it. I have met so many people, and I don’t remember all of their names. There is one thing I love about them though: they love Italian as much as I do. Some of them love it more. They want to speak it. What?! I’m not totally immersed, because I’m living with Americans and taking classes in English (…I am an English major). We want to learn, though, and we’re excited to be here. If you look really close, you can tell that I have changed my Facebook account settings to Italian. So, I’m making my own little efforts to learn.
|Abby, Megan, and Kirti.|
Three flights of stairs and 100 pounds of luggage later, I am now all moved into my first apartment – 51 Oberdan. These are three of my four roommates. Abby, on the far left, is the one I am sharing a room with. She is from Richmond and goes to the University of Richmond. Like me, she has two sisters and a brother, and I like her a lot.We have doors in our room that literally open up to the narrow stone road below. I can imagine looking out over the iron gate and hearing some Italian man yelling from the street, “Buongiorno principessa!” just like the guy in Life is Beautiful. The lookouts of the surrounding countryside literally take your breath away. Everything is so pristine and surreal it feels fake.
After moving in, we took a short walk to the small mercato just around the corner and stocked up on household necessities like toilet paper that I’ve never had to get before. As much as I love this language, I’m also a little frustrated that I don’t understand more. Apparently, you tag produce yourself and then take it up to the cashier. I didn’t do that for my bananas. He streamed off on some indiscernible command and then said, “Quarentasette, forty-seven,” pointing to the bananas, which is the number they have on the scanner. What’s the point of studying this language if they talk so fast they have to speak to me in English for me to understand anyway? All I could choke out was, “E’ il mio primo giorno in Italia. Mi dispiace.” I’m sure I’ll improve with time, but it’s frustrating.
I can’t believe I’m here and my dream of studying abroad is finally beginning!