Italy: May 14-June 22, 2008
Amy Goggins, a rising English major at Shorter, is individually studying abroad in Italy.
Bueno sera, belli!
It's been a beautiful week in Roma...even though it's been raining every day. ;) I feel like I'm finally get used to and adjusted to the city. Every day it's a process, but I think the little things are paying off. I really love going to little corner grocery stores, where the owner is this cute little Italian man who doesn't know any English. It's so much fun to try and communicate with the Italians, and I think they genuinely appreciate the effort. Just this morning, I had a cappuccino at a little
cafe' by the school (for only £.90!...the exchange rate doesn't count in my mind) and really loved just sitting and observing everything. The owner was singing along to the radio as he whipped up espresso, the locals were arguing over Italian politics in the corner. On the train this morning,
two men were playing the accordion and the guitar. I really think it's the little things about this culture that are making me fall in love with Italy.
I tell you, I can't get enough of Ancient Rome, especially the Colosseum. Yesterday, my English class was on-site at the Capitoline Museum, which is down the road from all of the ancient monuments (the museum was beautiful, by the way-- it's actually built around the ruins of the Tiempo di Veiove!). After class, I bought a panini and sat on the grass before the Colosseum, just taking it all in. It really amazes me that it's thousands of years old and so well preserved. So much history revolves around it; so much happened. And the Forum, my goodness. We took a tour around it last weekend, and they showed us the town basilica, which is the equivalent to
the town square. They showed us where they used to shop, their temples, and even their prison-- where they think that Paul was imprisoned. It all amazes me and makes me feel so blessed that I have the opportunity to witness something like this.
Afterwards, I took the bus back home, which was really awesome because it was full of Italians. It's so fun to listen to them, because they're so full of an energy and aggression that I'm just not used to, but I love, love, love observing. I know that I stick out like a sore thumb right now,
but I'm working on it-- by the end of this, I want to be looked at as an authentic, Italian woman (even though I'm a teeny-bopper Georgian to the core) ;).
Like I said, I think it's the little things that are helping me to learn more about the culture and develop an open mind. At the grocery store, they don't bag your groceries; at restaurants, it's not customary to tip, because the service fee is generally included. Walking in the middle of
the road is completely normal, and completely Italian; they look at you funny if you stop for cars! So every time I walk in traffic, I just think,"I've got to do as the Romans do." Not to mention the fact that about 25 Romans jaywalk with me. ;)
This Sunday, we're taking a school trip to Tuscany, and next weekend we're going to Naples to see Pompeii and Capri. I can't wait for June 14, though, when I get to meet Sarah in Venice!!! Woo-hoo!!!
I really wish you could experience this with me. Take care, and I'll see you soon!