|Day 1: start of my adventure
The plane ride went really well. I sat next to a woman from Sicily, and we spoke some broken English/Italian. She was very friendly. When I asked her if she liked America, she stated yes, but not as much as Italy, and explained that in America, all people do is work, go home, work, go home, and theres no change, but in Italy people are not scheduled like that. It was so refreshing to hear that – one of the reasons why I chose Italy.
I arrived in Italy and waited for my bags for awhile – ofcourse they were like the last to come. Meanwhile, in my head I’m thinking about what the hell I will do if they lost them. But then I remind myself, positive thinking! No more pessimism (goal #1 of my voyage to Italy).
I found the taxi lane, and hopped into the taxi. The ride was silent for most of the way until I got bored. I asked the driver “Dove??” and pointed, trying to say where are we? He picked up on my que and proceeded to give me a tour as we drove through Rome. He told me all the “hills” and how to pronounce them. I think the hills translate to like areas, or neighborhoods. Rome is a fascinating city in that all the historical and famous sites are plopped right in the street. For example, here we are driving on a busy road, and I turn to my right and it’s the Colloseum, still standing. Italy seems buzzing which is so exciting. Everyone walking everywhere, all different ages going different places. Because I have never lived in a city, a lot is new and exciting to me.
I arrive at the hotel around 12, and they have my room. The men are so nice, and they help me to my room, which is quite comfortable. I decide to put down my stuff and go explore. I walk aimlessly around for awhile, observing the shops and restaurants, side streets, and people. I know I am physically in Rome, but somehow I don’t feel my brain has fully wrapped around it. It is lightly misting outside, and a bit brisk, nothing compared to home though!
After wandering for a while, and picking up a few groceries for breakfast/lunch, I decide to go to a café that has a sign for WIFI on the outside. I order my first “caffe con latte” espresso with milk. AMAZING. Seriously, I don’t know if ill ever drink “coffee” again and enjoy it as much as this. I email my parents and let them know im safe, however I exclude the fact that I am mostlikely lost. I figure ill find my way back though. One thing I do learn – Italians are not the best with giving directions. I swear I ask one person, they say go left, the others say go right, and then one says go straight. So I am literally wandering in circles, but refuse to pull out my map in fear that that’ll really label me as a tourist. I’m sure the confused look on my face doesn’t give it away already.
I find my way back to the hotel finally, and stumble back to my room. I decide to pass out until the late afternoon. After a long nap, and a few weird dreams, I decide to shower and get dressed and go and get lost part II. My hotel is relatively near the Spanish steps, so I decide to go try to find them, without a map. I ask the bellman some directions, of course here we go again – oh yes oh yes right down street! Straight. HA hardly. Somehow though through my winding and winding down roads I stumble upon a mountain of stairs. Must be the Spanish steps, and by this time it is dark. It is beautiful! I walk down the steps, and start to explore all the little side streets. There are so many restaurants, mostly with seating outside in the little sidewalks and alleyways. It is so fun just to browse all the menus and take in this new city. I walk into a few clothing stores, but refrain from buying anything yet as it occurs to me that I must be able to zip my suitcase tomorrow (I strugged with that a lot before I left). I reassure myself there will be time for shopping.
I stumble across Piazza Del Popolo, or atleast I think I do – there are signs and stuff. I’m not sure if I was looking at the right thing though – everything seems monumentous. After wandering for about 2 hours, its 7pm and I start to get hungry. I end up on the same street that I hit awhile ago, with a bunch of restaurants and decide to chose one that seems inviting, and okay to sit alone at. I sit at the first table by the door, and look at the menu – wow, much different than school food: bruscetta all different kinds, pasta with all different sauces, pizza, fish, beef, WINE oh my. I decide to hold off on the wine though, for fear that I will become quite social, and attempt to speak Italian fluently to those who listen.
A man is sitting next to me, English speaking as well. Once I finish my meal, he has determined I am English speaking. We start talking – he is from Melbourne Australia, 27 years old, has just quit his job as an Investment banker and has decided to travel a lot. He’s a history buff, and while I am not, I act excited about all the travels he has done. We talk awhile about American politics, as well as traveling and travel in asia. After about two hours of talking, I am really tired and decide to ask the waiter for the bill. I finally leave, and walk outside and really don’t know where I am, so I decide to find a taxi. I make it home around 9:30, 10ish and decide to call it a night. I know I must get some sleep for tomorrow.
I am writing this now from the residence, where I will be living for the next few months. I arrived about an hour and a half ago by taxi after having a nice breakfast at my hotel. As I walk in, there is a large living room and kitchen, and I keep walking to find the bedroom and oh my god is it small. A bunk bed, and one other bed, legit on top of eachother. People have claimed I snore, so I really do feel bad. I take the one separate bed. I have a mini nervous breakdown thinking holy hell. I am still waiting to meet my two roommates, who I do not know anything about – I assume there are two because there are three beds! Ofcourse my internet doesn’t work – typical. I have followed the detailed instructions to connect, and ofcourse #10 says if you have problems, email the help – obviously with no internet, I cannot email. Oh well. So the next time I write, I will know who my roommates are! Ill keep you updated.