Living in Italy

We moved into our new apartment today. And it. is. awesome.

I guess my expectations weren’t that high. I was thinking we’d get somewhere that was mostly white, with a kitchen and living room attached to each other and an itty bitty bathroom. I hadn’t even considered what my room would look like, though I didn’t think it would be good.

And here’s why I was pleasantly surprised: We have our own balcony, and we’re just a few blocks away from school and the local mall. There are restaurants and shops everywhere, and people are friendly. And the best part is, it definitely feels homey.

After unpacking, we (my roommates Erika and Chloe, who are wonderful, as well as some other people from my program) wandered around the mall for a bit (which, by the way, was the old Fiat factory, so there’s an awesome spiral-y ramp that goes up the middle to the old test track on top) and had lunch at an Italian sandwich shop. I’m still having a lot of trouble trying to order just about anything, so I was definitely struggling. When I told the lady working that I wanted water with my meal, she asked, “Gas or no gas?” I took this to mean did I want a glass with my water, so I said yes. Turns out she meant sparkling vs. plain water. My first major blunder with my language barrier, but I enjoyed it for some reason – gas or no gas, that’s a good way to put it.

For dinner we went to a sit-down restaurant that’s a few blocks from our apartment. The man who seemed to own the place – Giuseppe – was very kind to us. He let us split our three-course meal and was patient and helpful as we tried to speak Italian. I had white wine with dinner (my first legal purchase of alcohol – it made me quite excited, I don’t know why) and everything else was really good. My first real Italian pasta (pesto linguine) is shown below:

After we finished eating we talked for a little while and then I asked for the check in Italian. We paid, and then Giuseppe asked us to come back tomorrow! Apparently he liked us 🙂 We rode the bus downtown and wandered around a bit, eating gelato as we did so. I got peach and Nutella tonight, and it was quite tasty! We then took the bus home.

I feel like I’m learning so much even though I’ve only been here for a few days. While I still get flustered when I try to speak, I’m slowly learning words and gaining confidence. I now know copette (cup), delizioso (delicious), conto (check), Dov’è…? (where is…?) and Che ora è? (What time is it?). I’m using “Grazie!” left and right trying to get used to saying “Buon giorno” or “Buona sera” to people.

Lastly, I came across the cutest pair of kids’ shoes that I’ve ever seen in my life. Look!

They’re little people hugging themselves! I can’t get over how adorable that is 😀

That’s really all I have to report for right now! I’ll definitely update again soon 🙂

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