I’m sitting in an internet cafe in Milan and this is the first time I’ve heard decent music in Italy. Franz Ferdinand just ended, and now they’re playing Garbage. OMG it’s not American 90′s pop.
This past Friday was the most stressful day thus far. On Thursday we just finished our oral presentation and oral exam, and Friday we had our final. The final wasn’t too bad, but as always, I should have studied more. By the time we had returned home I needed to (1) pack (2) buy cow bottles (3) bank (4) get train tickets (6) clean the apartment so we don’t get charged (7) shower and dress for the goodbye dinner since there’s no way in hell I was going to miss that.
Somehow all of those things got done, though I left 6 hours after I intended to leave on Saturday. The dinner was very fun. Unlike the welcome dinner, we didn’t take a 2 hour bus ride to some place in the mountains, ride on a train-like tractor around a mediocre view,take a wine cellar tour where we were given some orange juice, and eat soggy pizza. The goodbye dinner was in Trestevere, close to where we live, at a charming outdoor restaurant. There was music and torches and the food was much better and I couldn’t ask for better company. After some wine, food, a ton of photos, and a toast to our most wonderful teacher Chiara, we went to the S. Maria piazza nearby and had a good old time. No details, but we really enjoyed the company of our teacher who was drunk off her ass and used fuck in italian or english ever other sentence. We met some adorable Austrailian boys who eventually ran away because Emily and I were a bit much for them. It would have been much more responsible to go home and pack, but this was much more fun.
I unfortunately never got a chance to say goodbye to Adam (my personal tour guide that one night) since he had already left when I stopped by friday afternoon. This past six weeks have been quite a rollercoaster. It was really strange to realize that the dinner was the last time all (or almost all) of us would be together. It was like graduating high school, but with the older perspective. I know who I will and will not keep in touch with, and was very careful not to make any false promises to visit or be visited by those I had no intention to see. That dinner was the chance for closure, and it felt so good. The most interesing aspect of the trip thus far was the behavior of people who are thrown into in unfamiliar enviornment with people they don’t know. I really enjoyed watching the interactions of people who know there is a 6 week deadline on most of the relationships they develop. Because of the program, though, I felt very incubated from Italy. We were 50 American students who lived togther, went to school together, spoke english together, and for the most part went out together. It will be much better when I start school in Milan.
There were so many things I didn’t get a chance to do during my stay. I did a lot of sight seeing, but there were still so many museums and churches I wanted to see. I’m glad I went into Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore because it was truely breath taking. I also the museum/monument/building dedicated to the Risorgimento, the big political movemnt for Italy in 1870. The tomb of the unknown soldier was guarded by 4 soldiers, two of them with large rifle. I think I want to visit Rome again before I leave. The weather will be better, there will be fewer tourists, and the residents won’t be on vacation. I was initially afraid that I would fall in love, but I have come to realize that Rome is not for me. (I’m currently working on a paper about my thoughts on Italian culture vs American, and I will post it when I’m done) Though the city is beautiful there are core aspects of it with which I cannot reconsile. I miss San Francisco.
I wrote a haiku for my Italian class last week:
Cosa fai oggi?
Faccio un pisolino
Tutti e chuiso
Trans: What are you doing today?/ I’m taking a nap/ Everything is closed
I know I’ll never be a poet, it everything is really closed in August. Well, all stores save the ones owned by asians. Rome was still pretty busy with tourists, but in Milan it is truly dead. Andrew (a fellow Milan student, though he’s going to the art school) and I were 2 of 6 people inside a metro stop yesterday evening. Everyone leaves for 1 week-1 month to relax at the beaches. Sardenia is the place to be, but right now it’s obscenely expensive. I will be flying out to Barcelona tomorrow to relax for 5 days. I am really excited, but it is too bad that Ava can no longer go with me. She may fly home to NY if her grandmother dies. Although, I will have some much needed alone time.