I’ve officially been in Florence for a week and I absolutely am in LOVE with it. Florence is incredible, because it’s so small and so big at the same time. After having no idea where I was going for a couple of days, I finally started realizing that certain piazzas lead to others and that I can use the Arno as a guide to remember where I am. It’s a good feeling, loving where you are. I mean, i’m just in awe of my surroundings…it’s all so surreal. It’s surreal to hear everyone around me speaking in Italian. It’s surreal that I have an apartment across the street from a hip Enoteca (Wine Bar), which is full of Italians every night. It’s surreal to me that on my daily walk to school, I pass the Uffizi and the Ponte Vecchio.
The thing is that this is real life. It’s finally hit me that I’m here. I’m doing what I wanted…and it’s seriously the best feeling ever. I love sitting in my living room doing my Italian homework with my roommates, while drinking a Peroni. Or going out at midnight to go dancing at a club. And, don’t even get me started on watching World Cup games in Italy — there’s nothing like all the expressive hand gestures that get thrown at the TV, while watching the game projected in the piazza or in a pub. Finally, I love walking into a Gelateria and being treated like an Italian, welcomed warmly with a :”Ciao! Prego signorina”.
Though I miss people from back home, I can’t say that I miss the American way of life.
I love walking everywhere and going to different markets for everything. I love the emphasis on family and enjoying life. I love listening to kids speak Italian, it is seriously the cutest thing on the face of the planet.
I visited Cinque Terre yesterday and while in the town of Vernazza, I decided to enjoy a slice of pizza by the water with a couple of friends and I overheard this convo between a couple of 4 or 5 yr old Italian boys, looking for sea creatures by the rocks. I don’t know why observing a couple of little boys looking for hermit crabs and fish was so amazing to me, but it just was. They were playing together and talking in another language and I could understand it. It was just so charming.
Also, there was a little family near us, and while the kids were climbing on the rocks, the parents sat on the ledge watching. The boy slipped on one of the rocks and his mom’s first instinct was to laugh and say oh, poverino (which, basically means poor boy).
The whole family started laughing and making jokes. To me, this was so cute, because it just reminds me of my family — we’re silly. We laugh when embarrassing things happen and we used to go the beach and look for hermit crabs. It was so cool to see part of my childhood happening right in front of me, but on the other side of the world and in a different language.
I don’t know…I guess it just makes you realize that we’re not really all that different. Sure, there are cultural differences in every different country, but at the end of the day, when your kid falls into the water, no matter the country, it’s still funny.
The longer I’m here and can observe the little aspects of everyday life, the more I feel at home.
Ciao for now!