Day 1

5 genaio 2006

We are getting ready to leave Toronto and I can officially say that I am terrified. It’s not a vacation; I am going to be living here for 4 months. Starting to wonder what in the world I was thinking. I generally don’t like talking to people in English, much less Italian. There is no turning back…

So now it’s us three, Kelly, N and I. The woman in front of me has extended her seat the entire way and my backpack is shoved and squished only halfway under the seat, so my leg room is near zero. We spent eight hours in the Toronto airport! Getting onto the plane from Pittsburgh we walked down the ramp to an empty opening and went “Where’s the plane??” Didn’t realize that it would be a puddlehopper… Oh well…adventure to adventure.

6 genaio 2006

Airplane

I saw the most beautiful sunrise this morning. It started out with a single star and rim of light across the horizon with the rest of the sky filling with stars and the Big Dipper. Slowly the colors across the clouds turned to gold and red, spreading like a sheet, the light growing, turning to pink, then back to gold; the clouds look like a pillow of cotton, so solid you want to bounce on them.

We are flying across a freaking mountain range. Snow covered peaks stretching across the entire distance of the eye. The snow comes to an abrupt end as we reach the sea. I wish I knew exactly what country we are over. My breath is literally taken away, the whole cliché. I can’t tell if there are buildings along the shore, buildings or just large rocks.

Apartment

First day in Roma! Ashley arrived at the airport the same time as us and we all found the car to bring us into the city.  The driver was very nice, telling us about the city as we were driving from Fiumicino, weaving in and out on the freeway between tiny cars and motos, cypress trees as still as the traffic was fast.  Luigie, the owner of our apartment, was adorable.  He wears a stocking hat that’s native habitat should either be on the ski slope or in “The Night Before Christmas.” He is coming back tomorrow to collect the rent, giving us time to figure out how to obtain our money in a foreign country. The apartment e molta bella. Very tiny with the kitchen, living room and bathroom on the first floor and the bedrooms below and only one window in the front door. Kelly and I are sharing a bed with L on the single in the same room, Ashley and N in the other double, and S with the single in the hall. The door key here is definitely unique – skeleton-eque – and it’s hilarious to watch us struggling to get the hang of it. This afternoon we walked up to Roma Centro where I had a near-breakdown because I couldn’t extract money from the ATM. Much worry and three Skype phone calls later, I realize that I just couldn’t take over a certain amount out at a time. Ashley and I walked through Campo di Fiori, then around Trastevere to try to find internet. I was so cracked out, tired, upset and homesick that when Z and B ran into us I practically jumped up and kissed them. It was soooo nice to see people we knew. I have never been so happy to see those guys…

We all rather passed out at the apartment for awhile- N got lost! First day and we lost our roommate! She got called an “American with an ugly sweater” (translation please?!) – I think we all died laughing when she told us. I fell asleep on the couch, drooling on my arm- kinda like how I am falling asleep writing this. Finally we were all together and went out to dinner at someplace down the road with a Guinness sign in the window. We were so obviously dumb Americans, but I think you begin to just embrace it until you’ve been here long enough to know better how to act. The food was amazing and our waitress was so nice to us, helping us figure everything out. She’s our age and studies architecture. We were able to ask her a lot of questions; where is the bancomat, per exemplo. The boy our age gave us directions to some of the clubs and activities here and we got his number from Marta, our waitress. Two Italians on our first night that we may be able to get to know! Very exciting. Oh, Enrico is his name. Once we get our phones hopefully we will call them and go out.

After dinner we just walked around Trastevere- beautiful town, absolutely beautiful. Tomorrow we will explore more. And get boots!

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One thought on “Day 1

  1. I remember being mesmerized seeing everything through the taxi’s windows. It was my first time out of the country and I couldn’t get enough of it! I remember our landlord being very small and very hyper. And having to go to a ton of ATMs to get all of our rent money and freaking out we might get mugged with all those euros on us!

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