Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Italian Observations

My first 24 hours were nothing short of amazing! I am thrilled to be here and can't wait to start with the Sisters on Friday. I see priests and nuns everywhere- Catholicism in Roma is completely different than it is in America (as expected). Being here for a short time has already provided me with a a few valuable observations....

1) Not speaking Italian is proving to be a big hinderance. I am not sure why I didn't try a little harder to learn this summer....It's not like I was slaving away at my desk and had no free time, lol. I am hopeful being immersed in the language will prove to be the best educator and I will pick up a few sentences quickly. For some reason I always want to say "hola" to people. It is quite clear everyone thinks I am Italian....until they start speaking to me. 

2) Forget pickpockets, it is Italian men who are the real threats. I will preface what I am about to say with this: I do not consider myself to be in the Kate Upton/Chrissy Tiegan category (that reference was for you, Lindsay LeVeque!) and I do not mean to sound snobby...but I am already so sick of being hit on. I knew they were aggressive from my previous trips here....every time I see a pack of them I am so tempted to put my head down and walk to the other side of the street. I think the best strategy to combat this (if I can't walk to the other side of the street) is to stop smiling so much and not say hi and engage with every male who says hi and engages with me. I love being friendly and smiling and engaging- that is just who I am, but I want them to leave me alone and stop chasing me! Until I see a cute one ; ) Ha

3) Italians are very helpful and friendly (as evidenced in the paragraph above). Many of them go out of their way to be kind and neighborly. As an example, I have had to track down two people off the street to help me get the front door of my building open (I have to open three doors total to get to my room, it is very safe). On Tuesday night, I ventured out in the neighborhood to get a slice of pizza. I returned home to find the key Anita had given me was not working on the front door. I tried for at least seven or eight minutes to turn the key, with no luck. I tracked down an Italian teenager to help me, he could not have more than 13 or 14. He too tried to turn the key for a few minutes, not accomplishing anything. He kindly pulled out his cell phone and offered to call Anita and David to come and open it (this happened after we pushed every button on the apartment buzzer and no one answered- not sure why I didn't think of calling them first, I blame the jet lag). David answered after a few calls and said he would be down. I thanked my helper and offered him five euro, which he refused (I offered it to him a few times, the kid wouldn't take it). A few minutes later, David and Anita come down the street asking if everything was ok, they were worried about me (at this point, we are thirty minutes into this ordeal, I thought my first Roman night was going to be spent sleeping on the street). I wondered why they didn't come out of the door I was trying to open, but I didn't figure it all out until they actually said to me, "Sarah, you are at the wrong door!!" Of course I was!!! Ha, there are two identical doors a few yards from each other and I was at the incorrect one : )

While being at correct door Wednesday night, I still couldn't get the darn key to turn and had to track down another guy to help. He immediately put his phone down to help and got it in a few clicks. I felt like an idiot....but the point is, Italians are very helpful and kind.

4) Based on day one spending habits, there is a good possibility I will run out of the allotted Roma funds I have set aside for this trip- if anyone reading this wants to contribute finically to my Roman Holiday, I bank at Chase ; ) That means you, MOM! Just kidding!! Kind of ; ) Really though, I am starting a budget TODAY and planning to stick to it. 

5) Roma is even more beautiful and amazing than I remember, I am so blessed to call this place home for a few months.
St. Peters as seen from my street last night 

I can FaceTime and text from my mac, so friends with iPhones, please call and text me!! I am not turning my US phone on...if I don't answer, it means I don't have my computer with me, but please be in touch!! Miss you all. 

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