Well it’s only been a week and a half and I feel like it’s been a month! Feel like I’ve been here for a month, and feel like I’ve been away from home for a month. Even though it’s only been a short time, I’ve learned more than I ever expected I would in this time. But it’s the things that should be simple that end up taking the most time and energy, mentally and physically. For example, irregular verbs are the most mentally exhausting thing ever, and finding a store that sells towels is the most physically exhausting thing ever (still pretty unsuccessful with both).
In a quick summary since my last post, I have experienced my first night out in the city with new friends, explored different areas of the city including the terrace of Michelangelo that overlooks the whole city, attempted to make my first italian coffee using the moka, got lost and found again without a map or companion, attended a museum tour in full Italian (had to nap after my brain was so tired), won the Italian version of Bingo, and had my tour and interview at Canadian Island where I will be doing the next ten weeks of internship. I will be working with babies and children from 1-8 years old. Nothing more adorable than bilingual babies! At school my class ranges in ages from 20-44 from China, Korea, Israel, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, America, Iceland, and then myself who fits in basically no where, but at the same time feel like I fit right in with everyone 🙂 Mi chiamo Jody. Sono Canadese di Tisdale. Io ho ventuno anni.
Things I miss: not being able to see for miles and miles, the oven being in Fahrenheit, people knowing what a toque is, turning the lights switch down to shut off a light and up to turn it on, having a dryer, having low humidity, people picking up their dogs poop, coffee, cranberry juice
Things I don’t miss yet: English, ice, driving, glass buildings, elevators, having a phone… I think I’m surviving pretty well.
I have officially asked for directions, ordered a coffee, ordered a meal, bought groceries, and described the weather in Saskatchewan successfully in Italian. Something interesting is that here they don’t say negative or minus 10 degrees, they say less 10 degrees. I’ve also come to the conclusion that English is a silly language. Once you look at it from another perspective it is so obvious that we speak ridiculously. I understand why they say everything here the way they do… Except explaining what you do as a job. It seems weird to me to say that I do the social worker. No. I AM. I shake my head daily.
Aside from the big events, there have been little things that I would like to share with you, incase you ever choose to make the journey to Italia (as you all should):
– to all my blonde people out there, relax! They’re going to stare no matter what you do. I could sit, cigarette in one hand, espresso in the other, at a small panini shop mid-afternoon with my Vespa parked right outside (everything typically italian) and they would still stare at me. This can be a total positive once you figure it out! This also means you can do some pretty ridiculous things and people will stare just the same. Take advantage of it, I will be.
– on that note, if you so choose to run. This isn’t as common as it is in Canada, but people DO still do it, but the majority of their physical activity comes from, well, just walking up and down the stairs here I’m sure. Try and get out of the super touristy and cobblestoney places… You’ll regret it if you don’t (ask me how my ankles feel..) and of course they will stare, but simply keep your gaze ahead and giver. If you’re blonde… Remember to take advantage of this and wear something extremely flashy and inappropriate, they’re going to stare either way. Have fun.
– don’t talk in the stairwell (Basto!)
– oh and those amazing heels you brought because it’s such a trendy place…. Hahahahaha, refer to prior sentence about cobblestones and once again ask me how my ankles are.
– on the topic of shoes (kind of a big thing here) from my experiences, red shoes are a sin to wear. While wearing my red Toms I had more people look at my feet (and not my hair for once) than I could count! My friends also noticed, that’s how open they were about it. Good thing I’m in one of the most religious cities around, ten Hail Marys and a trip to the Duomo might be in store for me soon.
– learn your Italian, people! Or at least let me help a few of you out. Try and avoid mistakes I’ve already made: 1. pesca is peach, pesche is fish. Avoid asking for pesche flavoured gelato. 2. Prosecca is a dry sparkling wine, prosciutto is ham. A glass of ham is probably the least desirable thing ever in this world, ever. 3. Uomo is man, uovo is egg. It’s weird when you try to explain how you ate men for breakfast…..
To sum things up: I get stared at when I wear red shoes, when I run, when I speak, when I take out the rubbish, when I exit my flat, when I’m ordering un espresso, when I’m crossing the street, when I’m on the train….. It’s unavoidable. I’m a spectacle. And it’s becoming entertaining.
I hope this helps all my future travellers and dreamers out there. Not trying to be negative, I’ve loved every one of these experiences and can’t wait for more. You never know how much you are capable of learning until you allow yourself to exist in a completely vulnerable state. (Bam. Quote me. Thought of that line during my painful cobblestone run) oh! And I’ll leave you with a little taste of Italian education. Goodluck getting this out of your head … Ci Vuole Un Fiore
Ciao Amici, until next time