Let me introduce myself! My name is Jen and I am one of the bloggers selected to essentially brag about all of the Temple Rome shenanigans for the fall of 2012 so everyone who isn’t here will wish they came! Don’t worry, Rome has been here since 736 BC I’m sure it will still be here if anyone else wants to see it, it is the Eternal City after all.
That’s me! And I am surprisingly not the only redhead in Rome.
I’ll start from the very beginning (a very good place to start). Our flight to Rome was 8 hours, but it went by quickly because I was fortunate enough to be sitting next to a REAL Italian. Her name is Simona, she is 23 years old, and ironically she was on her way home to Napoli, Italy from studying abroad in San Fransisco, CA. She was on her third connecting flight from San Fransisco to Chicago to Philly to Rome… Made me look like such a baby. She laughed at my pathetic Italian but tried to help. She said I NEED to try Carbanara in Rome. No idea what that is, but sure! I asked her what she thought of American food and she politely responded “… yea… Let’s just say I’m happy to be going home.” I don’t blame her with our Italian embarrassments like Olive Garden (which I totally love). After no sleep and a cramped van ride to the apartments, we had finally arrived! I have four lovely room mates and a little balcony in our apartment; we love it! It was funny to walk around and see that each person’s room is REALLY different. Some have wrap- around balconies, others barely have room for a mini- fridge. I’d say my roomies and I are fortunate.
But nobody needs to stay in their room, We’re in Rome for Caesar’s sake! On the first night I learned my first Roman lesson:
1. When it comes to shoes always choose practicality over fashion. I changed my shoes TWICE during the day and regretted it hard core on day two. Wear sneakers! That way you’re looking up at Rome and not down at your blisters!
Walking up the Spanish Steps when your feet hurt is much less fun!
2. Never assume anything, not even the simplest of resources like water! The Roman version of bottled water is this fizzy nastiness called acqua fizzante. I’m sure I’ll get used to it, but it was an unpleasant surprise at first.
3. Italians take resting VERY seriously. So NO stores are open between 1-3 for siesta. And this nap is no joke. I walked into a convenient store to buy a water, the lights were on, there were people inside, there was no sign so I assumed it was open (See lesson number 2!) When I placed the drink on the counter I was greeted by two Italian men shaking their heads and waving their arms at me. The only word I recognized from them was “Americano” so I replied “Si” (big mistake).
4. Mi Dispiace. It’s Italian for “I’m sorry” which I learned from lesson number 3. When you’re an illiterate American traveling in a foreign country, learn to apologize for how inevitably stupid you will look.
5. Just to reiterate from rule number 3, Italians REALLY take resting seriously. We had a party to celebrate the first night in one of the apartments, we were admittedly loud and it resulted in a prompt noise complaint, followed by another, and another. When in Rome, don’t mess with beauty sleep.
As far as other shenanigans, we’ve only been here for 48 hours and I’ve already seen so much! Just walking around with friends has been the best method of seeing Rome. So far we’ve climbed the Spanish Steps, walked through the Villa Borghese, and I had my first gelato (MAJOR MILESTONE IN MY LIFE…if you ever get here get lemon, it’s boss.)
Flying over the Alps, feels like hour 98237598374 without sleep.
Beautiful Architecture, if my friend Kenny were here he could tell you what it is… he’s a walking Encyclopedia. Whenever anyone travels, they should bring a personal Kenny!
My life WILL be the Lizzie McGuire Movie.
Just some scholars in Rome!
P.S- obviously I don’t have pictures of everyone to post on here! So if any other Temple Rome students would like their pictures on the blog just shoot them to me in an e-mail with your name and a brief description! I want to try to represent everyone who is here!