Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Past Few Weeks

Well I must say, the past few weeks have been a blur of beautiful sights, awesome food, awkward situations, uncomfortable language barriers, and other general exploration.

Since arriving, the JFRC (the school I'm attending through Loyola Chicago) has for the most part owned my life with their meticulously planned 10 day orientation. When I wasn't doing that, I was doing my best to make friends and explore the city. And my god this is a huge city. While sometimes it was frustrating to not have as much freedom as I would have liked the first few days, the orientation definitely did enable me to experience things I probably would never have otherwise.

For example, the second day here the JFRC piled everyone on four different buses and took us down to the beach. And it was wonderful. I was blown away by how warm the Mediterranean is, and spent a majority of my time just standing in the water talking with people. I also got my first taste of Italian food (the bruschetta here is AMAZING) and in all honesty was walking on cloud 9 for most of the day.

I also spent a few evenings at this summer festival on the Tiber River, enjoying Sangria with some new people I met at the Rome center and attempting to order a focaccia in Italian (I for the most part succeeded. I judge that by the fact that I got what I asked for, eventually. Score one for Sarah.) Although, to be honest, it's not that hard. "Vorrei una capresi focaccia", or something along those lines. "Posso avere una birra" is another helpful one. (Vorrei = I would like & Posso avere = Can I have... in case you were wondering.)

Of course dealing with the large disconnect from people is also a frustration. I'm hoping that aspect of my time here will dissipate as I become more familiar with the culture and the language. As for right now though, there's a strong mix of both incredible excitement and debilitating loneliness. Which is, I assume, to be expected.

Anyway, at this moment I think I am off to the Jewish Getto to find some fried artichokes (apparently a specialty there.) I'm also hoping to find some bagels, although I'm not holding my breath, haha. Will write again in the next couple days about the Colosseum, my three days in Matera, and other city adventures. Once I get more pictures uploaded I'll post links to flickr too.


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