Since I am definitely over the halfway hump and I didn’t go anywhere this weekend, I decided to write a few things I really miss about America. Some things I figured and some surprised me because they are things I don’t really think as miss-able. Here are 8 things I thought of:
This is definitely on top of my list because although I knew Italians smoke a lot, I didn’t realize how much it would impact and bother me. Without fail, every morning while walking to school at 7:30 or 8:30 wham! there comes the morning light up. And then even at school, kids crowd the courtyards in their 10 and 20-minute breaks to smoke, it’s like a dark fog decided to descend upon the school. I definitely have found a decent number of people who do not smoke but they seem quite tolerate of the smokers, I guess they have to be. It’s the #1 reason I couldn’t live here (besides their failing economy). I need to breathe some clean air.
Yes, I do take showers while here but it’s soooo teeny! Every day it is a battle to get in, get clean, and get out. I am constantly bumping, hitting, and fighting with the doors and every bottle in this micro-shower. It’s something that I don’t really think about in America, but it’s something that drives me nuts and there’s no getting away from it.
I can mostly certainly communicate here, and my Italian has dramatically improved but sometimes I really put my foot in it. I’ll try to talk about something that is way over my grammatical and vocabulary head. It’s frustrating because I really enjoy talking to people and sometimes I am at a loss about how to describe it without sounding like a 5-year-old with a speech impediment. For example, a few nights ago I was asked about our healthcare system. First off, I am not entirely knowledgeable about this subject, secondly, it’s complicated, and third, my Italian isn’t exactly there yet. I did the best I can, but there were times when I didn’t know what I was saying and neither did they.
Yes, “while in Rome, eat what the Romans eat,” but sometimes I just want peanut butter (which does not exist here). I never realized the wide variety of different ethnic and global foods we have available at our fingertips back home. While in Italy, (where I have been at least) it is 99% Italian foods with a small section for perhaps Turkish or some other large immigrant population. I wanted to make something Cuban or American for my host here but I’m having a hard time finding ingredients such as black beans, “normal” rice, sweet potatoes, etc. Needless to say, the moment I get back to America I want some good American BBQ & Cuban food!
Read more: Italian Food
Although, they are still attached, I don’t get to see them much. I live in boots, sneakers, and fuzzy slippers because it’s chilly. I miss cute open toe shoes and especially going barefoot, basically I miss warm weather. As beautiful “real” fall weather has been, I’m ready for the beach, toe polish, and flip-flops. (P.S. Mom, we’re going to need a mother-daughter pedicure the moment I land, while we eat BBQ of course ☺)
Ok, so Orlando is not New York City but nonetheless, it’s a city. Novara is also a city, but much much smaller, so I figured more peaceful. Well…it might be if I didn’t live next door to a train station and a church. Train station: trains every 15 minutes or so whizzing past my bedroom window from 6:00 am to a little past midnight. Church: a beautiful House of God, yes, but I have beef with the bell tower. Now, in America churches may have bell towers but they certainly do not ring every half hour from early morning to midnight. Hey at least I always know the time, right? So why are Italians always late?
Read more: Driving in Germany
Italians have a stereotype of being “bad” drivers, let me tell you they are actually really good drivers they just don’t follow rules and drive like it’s a race. I have yet to see an actual accident. Many times I thought it was close, but like a perfectly rehearsed ballet, everyone seems to know exactly what to do. When I asked about road rules or getting pulled over, I was told that as long as you can do what you need to do quickly it’s “ok.” It’s because of that I refuse to ride a bicycle here; with my feet I can watch for the Italian speedway much better, aka cobble stone streets.
Family & Friends
This one is obvious. I am extremely grateful for the advances of Internet and Skype technology that has allowed me to stay connected but there is nothing that will replace a good couch, cup of tea, and gossip time. I wouldn’t say that I’m homesick per se but it has made me realize how important some people are to me and I would have to seriously think about moving far away from them. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing, just an observation of who I am and how strong my family ties are.
P.S. 5 weeks and 4 days until William comes to visit me (not that I’m counting!)