It’s been a long journey to get here, and I’m not just talking about the plane ride. I’ve been preparing for this trip since September, and trying to prepare yourself for 3 months of your life is…tiring. But hey, I’m here and doing well and that’s what matters. And I’m actually proud of myself for getting here semi-timely and not having a panick attack during the process. Usually when I’m somewhere by myself and confused and/or lost and/or overwhelmed, I cry unstoppably (case in point: being selected for a “special” security screening in Oakland and barely making it onto the plane in time). But this experience wasn’t that bad. I mean, it would have been easier if British Airways hadn’t canceled my flight and forced me to fly to Rome a day late and miss my hotel reservation and miss my apartment move-in date. But I still got here — no tears! And even though they’ll never read this, I’d like to thank the lovely German woman who kept asking me if I was OK (I must have looked really lost) and the Scottish man who told me I was at the wrong gate 30 minutes before my flight left.

I felt awkward when I found the entrance to the apartment because it’s this door in the middle of this big square (Campo de’ Fiori) and everyone was watching me haul my heavy luggage around (the ground is cobblestone); then I had to wait for my roommates to run down 8 flights of stairs to open the door for me. Living in the Campo is interesting. There’s always something going on outside and people are hanging out all hours of the night. It’s almost always noisy, but I guess I prefer that over silence. The apartment is decent — there’s lots of room and it’s right next door to school, but we also haven’t had any hot water since we’ve moved in. It’s supposed to be getting fixed soon. There’s also this situation with the electricity where we have to watch how many appliances are in use at one time, because if it’s too much, the power goes out. The UW faculty tells us not everything is like how it is in America: “It’s Italy! Enjoy the differences!”

…..OK, try enjoying my freezing cold shower!

But it really is amazing and different over here. Everything’s really old, and any ordinary looking thing actually has a history and purpose. A rock on the ground isn’t just a rock on the ground — it was used to tie up horses and cushion the buildings from passing chariots. This plain white building isn’t just a plain white building — it’s an example of the precision and symmetry of Renaissance architecture. Wow, right??

And as for the people — they’re really nice, especially when we go out to eat for dinner. The fact that I’m a clueless American who only knows buon giorno and grazie isn’t so bad. They help us out with the menu and the wines and they joke around with you a lot. And even though all the food is awesome over here, we still miss our Top Ramen when we’re looking for something really cheap to eat.

At

At “Lucifer’s Tavern” for dinner.

A view of the Campo from our apartment

A view of the Campo from our apartment.

Forget what this is called, but the colosseum is in the background

I forget what this is called, but you can also see the Colosseum in the background.

And here’s a link to more pictures: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2251674&l=562dd&id=10718963

More updates later. Until then, Ciao!
 


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02Apr08

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