Tuesday, February 5, 2013

When in Rome, do as the Romans do?

Since we are quickly approaching the one month mark, I thought it was a good time to share some of the things I miss about home, things I am surprisingly getting used to in Rome and find strange about it (some of these overlap)!

Four Things I miss about home:

1. Taco Bell! I knew I would miss Mexican food but I didn't realize how much! I told my mom she needs to bring me a crunch wrap supreme to the airport :)
2. Window screens! I love the fact that my apartment has nice big windows but it makes me nervous to think about the bugs that can get in.
3. Jeans that fit...I hate that my pants are now in a constant state of awkward bagginess because we don't have a dryer.
4. I miss the ease of understanding the culture. I know this is quite broad, but I take for granted the fact that I know what to do when I walk into a restaurant at home.

No screens :( 

Four things I find odd but am getting used to in Rome:

1. No dryers. I like that I am using less energy and realize that it doesn't take that long for my clothes to air dry (with the exception of my pants).  
2.  Making your bed with the top sheet face down. I know this seems stupid but when I first got here, I was confused in our hotel when I saw the sheets had the wrong side up.  Then we moved into our apartment and it was like that  and even my cousins' beds are like that! I think it must just be an Italian thing. It does make sense because then when you fold down your sheets the printed side is showing. 
3. The military and police presence.  You can't walk down a single street in Rome without seeing at least one police car or military truck. They are everywhere and at first that scared me a bit but now it comforts me to know they are there. 
4. Siesta! Although I sometimes have classes during siesta,  on the days that I don't it is nice to know that most stores are closed so I can take a guilt-free nap. 

Our drying rack! 

Four things I will never (or at least haven't yet) get used to in Rome:
1. NO ONE answering the phones! From the moment I got into Italy, I have had this problem! As I attempted to find my luggage, I would call 24-hour phone lines in the airport and no one would answer. Seriously, for two straight days three different lines didn't answer and eventually the lines were turned off. Since then I have had more problems like these (thankfully they were less severe). 
2. Having to pay for bread and water at dinner. Not all places charge so my friends and I have gradually started to find these sacred places and go to them frequently. However, the places that do charge are hard to avoid. Plus, the bottle of water they give you seems so small when you are sharing it with someone else. I have since realized that I drink A LOT of water when I eat…
3. So, in Italy it is mandatory to sort your waste into paper, plastic, compost, and trash. I don't mind the sorting even though it is confusing, but the fact that each of these categories goes out on separate days of the week is tough. I hate taking the garbage out once a week at home so the fact that every single day of the week (excluding Sunday) is 'garbage day' is terrible! 
4. This last one I have technically gotten used to but think if I were to live here for more than just a semester I would get very frustrated by it! The slow pace of life. I know this seems like it would be a good things, and right now it is, but to live at this pace for the rest of my life would be very difficult. This is more personal than the rest of my complaints because I am a person who likes cities like New York and London, the fast pace is what attracts me to them. Plus, my family is always multitasking and getting things done quickly (besides Mom haha just kidding).

Our trash area! 

And that's it! On the actual one month mark, I will post about my general reflections about my time here :) 

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