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One year more. It's going fast. Am I taking advantage of every opportunity? You betcha.

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Posts Tagged “america”

Preparing for…the End

What do you do when you’re running headlong into the future and then you come to a cliff? I’ll tell you what you do, you stop running. If it were possible to set time in reverse, that’s certainly what I’d do, but given that this is an impossibility, I’m doing me best to slow down the daily routine and appreciate everything that I have here before it vanishes.

Class these three weeks have probably been the most unreal of the semester. With only a week left of classes, I have none of the motivation to continue as I was before. And it’s not that I’m planning to bojangle (slang: avoiding things of a productive nature) the final days, but I don’t want them spent in my room reviewing all of the irregular conjugations of Passato Remoto. I’m still going to class, but I’m realizing that pretty soon my progress is all going to come to a halt. How do you deal with a change like this? I have yet to figure out. I almost feel suspended between the time of intense work I had for three months, and the final day or two of packing that will inevitably come before my plane.

As such, I have compiled a list of things to accomplish on my final days here:

1) Play Pool at the local pool hall: this is a dream I have harbored since the beginning of January, and have yet to realize. But it will happen soon.

2) Visiting the South of Italy: Will be discussed in future posts

3) Souvenirs for family and friends: Oh how I’ve worked on these, yet I feel far from completion.

4) Souvenirs for me: Weird to say, but it was actually quite easy to forget.

5) Goodbyes: To friends American and international, I am now fighting an uphill battle to have goodbye celebrations, say goodbye and thanks to everyone who affected me. The hardest part.

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What’s Up In America?

Every once in a while I need to remember that a whole country is continuing on with life as normal without me. I don’t think about it all that much, but pangs of regret flit through me whenever I remember. Here are some of the bigger things going on/have happened.

1) Burger King delivers. Enough said. I already know the first meal I’ll be eating when I get home. And I also know where I’ll be able to eat it. ANYWHERE!

2) The Jersey Shore TV show still exists. This aroused a feeling of regret, but of a different kind.

3) March Madness: I’ll admit, without the Butler Bulldogs representin’ I probably wouldn’t have been that involved anyway. But I give them a tip of the hat: it was very nice to put an off year exactly when I exit the country. I’m sure they’re already preparing for the next year.

4) My youngest sister Maria’s confirmation: only days before I return. ARGGGGGHHHH!!!

Of course, it’s not all bad. I have managed to find creative ways to unleash my pent-up frustration. The picture below is a prime example.

AY CARUMBA!!

This Goes Out to All the Cereal Lovers

Comfort foods. That’s a huge obstacle to overcome when studying in another country. I’m fortunate, seeing as how my parents raised me on pasta, but I still miss certain aspects of the American cuisine. It’s very easy to drop into a cycle of thinking about food you miss, then complaining about it, which re-reminds you how much you miss it. I’ve seen it happen, it’s not pretty.

The key of course is to enter into the culture around you and appreciate that for what it is. You must throw out what you know and start anew.

My greatest difficult lies in cereal. It’s not possible to find Lucky Charm’s, Honey Bunches of Oats, or even Reese’s Puffs (OH THE HUMANITY!!!…alright Andrew, keep your cool, you can get through this. Just deep breaths). Thankfully I have been able to shed my past obsessions for the trends raging across southern Europe. Choco-Krave. It’s new. It’s gimmicky. It’s chocolaty. It feels like home.

It's Actually Quite Fantastic

Cultural Differences

Bidets. 'Nuff Said.

THINGS ARE DIFFERENT HERE!!!! I know, crazy right? I already touched on fashion for a moment, but there’s so much that’s different besides that. For instance: when you walk into a store, it is rude if you don’t offer a greeting upon your entrance. “Buon giorno” or “Come sta?” are adequate.

Also, there are bidets.

But differences exist that are not always beneficial. For instance, I visited Firenze last night to play Ultimate Frisbee with a team from Firenze (yay! cultural similarities!). Afterwards, because I didn’t want to spend money on a hostel, my friend and I slept in the train station. Prior to our train’s departure at 5:50 AM (we had to get back to Perugia for my class at 9…crazy, right?) both of us needed to use the restroom. Little did we know that the Firenze train station doesn’t believe people might need to use the bathroom prior to 7 AM–when the bathrooms open. Needless to say, I was much relieved when I found out our train had a water closet.