Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day One in Roma...A Week Late (A Big 'Un)

(That's what she said).

Don't you hate it when so much stuff happens between blog posts that you can't quite fit it all in one?

Yeah, that's pretty much my life right now.

I admittedly, was a little late starting on this whole "blogging about my adventures in Rome" thing. I waffled around for awhile as to whether I should post all this on my old blog for my own memory purposes, but after a bunch of family expressed interest in hearing about my adventures in my new home, I only waffled more. I still haven't fully decided, though I've officially created one with a sweet name, so we'll see where that goes. Until then, this is still my only blog for Soft Rome-Centric Nonsense.

So here I am. I've been here a couple days and already I've seen some amazing things. Unfortunately, I don't have the will, energy, or talent to pull off catching you all up in a way that would be compact and entertaining enough to read. So I guess I'll start from the beginning and rush through...


The day before I decided to go to work (because my mom and sister were kind enough to help me pack earlier in the week, as everyone who has ever met me would know that I don't have the capacity to do anything before the last second - some people work best under pressure, I work only under pressure). It was swell saying goodbye to everybody, especially a couple people I had gotten really close to the last couple of months, and then frantically switch off between hanging out with the roommate and a friend and frantically throwing together what I hadn't done yet (pretty much everything that hadn't been forced upon me by my mother).

Then I headed over to my friend Matt's house with summer roomie/coworker/bestie/radio co-host/semi-token Asian buddy Mike so that we could pack and geek out and repeat "oh my god we're going to Rome oh my god we're going to Rome" "hey Matt....we're going to rome in 12 hours....5 hours....2 hours..." and spend the night. Father flew in that evening as well, so we all met up with him the next day and did some last minute shopping (including 3 packs of cough drops to try and soothe my cough. Wondering how it worked? I've made it through two and a half bags in the week I've been here). Eventually I had to make my sorrowful goodbye as I got in line for the security line.

Now, for those of you who have never traveled internationally before (such as myself), let me tell you: it is approximately 100 times scarier, particularly when you are basically moving away for four months and have had to relegate your entire life into a 50-lb suitcase, duffel bag, and overly large backpack. It's not like it's a gulag-style strip search where your various cavities are explored while being grilled over impossible trivia questions (What?! I don't know my home address!), but it's simply because you spend the entirety of the time assuming that you've forgotten something of vital importance. I had a kung fu vulcan death grip on my passport, my duffel/backpack, my iPod, my giant headphones, and my hopes and dreams and still just knew that I had left something behind. It didn't help that the security staff all seemed to have said death grip on a large stick shoved up their butts.

After lots of wide-eyed twitching, I made it through security with most of my dignity intact (despite an apparent inability to get any of my luggage onto the conveyer thing or take my belt off without my pants descending toward my ankles) and got to the gate, where I met all my compadres.

Then came the start of what is (apparently) the theme of my time abroad: a series of horrible infractions of the basic human agreement that things should run more or less on time. Rome apparently has no sense of time, and this apparently applies to every single form of transportation and every restaurant ever. More on that in the posts to come. Finally our plane came (eeep!)


This is the face I made when the safety demonstration video came on in was one of those "Holy hell I'm leaving the country for four GD months" moments that happen all so often in life.

Take-off sequence!




And then I don't really remember anything after that, as I promptly zonked out until the food came. As I ravenously tore apart my meal, I realized that it was the first true Italian food to cross my fine palate in these four months of culinary bliss.

Underwhelming, to be sure, but it was the thought that counted.

Yup. ceiling may or may not have collapsed when we landed. No big though.

Those things are everywhere!

And by those things I of course mean Smurfs and Ikeas.

Shot of our neighborhood:

Shot of campus from my window:

And that night, in order to fully establish ourselves as Romans, we do what any good Italian would do:

Get gelato, bitches.



I'll be blogging like a fiend the next couple of days in an attempt to catch up, so bear with me and check back often.


Eleni said...

Mmm, gelato. Looks like a lovely view of campus from your window.

International flying can be kind of harrowing. My worst experience was definitely in Brussels, and that's even considering the delicious Belgian chocolates I picked up there.

How weird is it, though, when you land and suddenly all the signs are in some other language? Especially when it's a sign for something familiar, e.g. a McDonald's or Ikea, so it just looks wrong. But very cool.

Can't wait to hear about your adventures!

Amber said...

That is some serious plane food. I don't think I've ever been fed that much on an international flight.

The campus looks so pretty and quaint. I'm so excited for you, man.

Ambiguous Geek said...

Gosh. Uber jealous.

Pat Tillett said...

I'm so happy for you! Sure it's kinda scary, but this is an adventure that a lot folks would give a toe to have...
Oh yeah, photo/narrative tours like this are the best! good job...

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