Beautiful fountains everywhere
Peek of St. Peter's on my daily commute in the car with my host mother
The caffè where they know how I take my coffee without me telling them
How I will miss the real flavors!
There were two things that I thought about before leaving for Rome: 1. I was wondering if by the end of this experience I would want to return to America, and 2. I was wondering if this year was going to go by fast or slow. To answer the second thought first, the beginning months went by agonizingly slow. They were filled with stressful trips to the post office, bank, and any other type of bureaucratic setting, the fastidious chore of apartment hunting and navigating through a foreign city with a less than fantastic public transportation system, nights that consisted of crying myself to sleep out of the longing of someone close to be with me, and all the while being in extreme pain because I had severely hurt my back just days before my departure. But through all of these challenges I proved to myself that I can do it on my own. I always knew I was capable of taking care of myself, but this experience just solidified it. These days slowly treaded by until Christmas hit, and then everything sped up to the point where I feel like I just arrived. Tomorrow I return to New York, and I feel like it’s not real. Am I really going home? Is this chapter that was so instrumental in my life and the formation of me as a person actually finishing? It’s like a book that’s so good you want to continue reading it, but at the same time, you don’t want it to finish. To cut out this somewhat ambiguous response to my first thought, I will just be upfront: I am beyond excited to go home to the city I love and finally be with the people who I love the most. My mom always enjoyed saying, you can take the girl out of New York, but you can’t take the New York out of the girl. My New York and my American roots go much deeper than I even knew, and I needed Rome to show me that. Beyond my sentiments for my home town and my country, is my love for love. There is nothing that makes me happier than being surrounded by love and by my family; this is what will always bring me back home...and from now on, never let me leave.
Cultural Notes: 1. The numerous ways to order a coffee. Whatever type of coffee drink you order, it is never very hot because it is served for immediate consumption, not something you socialize and linger over.
- caffè: what in America is an espresso
- caffè macchiato: espresso with a touch of milk and foam
- caffè macchiato schiumato: with more foam than milk
- caffè bollente- very hot
- caffè lungo- longer
- caffè ristretto- short
- caffè doppio- double
- caffè corretto- with a little liquor (usually sambuca)
2. When Italians take their morning coffee it is usually accompanied by a pastry or croissant for breakfast. You’ll notice that they never touch the croissant with their hands; they wrap a napkin around it. This also holds true when they order pizza a taglio. They hold the pizza by the piece of paper that it comes wrapped in.
3. One of my university professors once showed this youtube video to the class. I can now understand it through living it, and I must say, it’s not that far off from the reality: Europe-vs-Italy
Highlights: 1. Reflecting over this past year. I’ve worked with and met really amazing people, I’ve formed some really amazing relationships, and I’ve discovered so much about myself. Of course, I’m thinking about all of this while at a beautiful Roman café having my caffè macchiato.
2. Having a final dinner with two of my closest colleagues, having a final dinner with Natalie at our favorite restaurant in Rome (the carbonara never tasted so good), my host mother throwing me a final dinner party at the house.
3. Soaking up every last minute of being in this amazing city. Trying to be in tune to all of my senses: the smell of the hanging guanciale as I pass the salumeria, the sound of espresso makers that I hear from the street, the sight of the numerous fountains, the taste of the freshest fruit, the feel of the cold water that comes from the city’s water fountains.
4. The final Skype session with my mom...I can’t wait to hug her!
5. Thinking about how blessed I am to have had this experience and thinking about seeing Giannis when he picks me up at the airport!!!!!!
Impara con me! pinzette- tweezers
molletta- hair clip