I have officially been in Rome for eleven days, and wow how those days have flown by. It finally just hit me yesterday while I was sitting in my Italian I class: I am actually in Rome. I am going to be here for the next three months of my life. I am attempting to learn Italian. I am completely surrounded by people that I barely know. You would think that I would have conceptualized this roughly nine days ago, but for some reason, it took me a while to have my ah-ha moment.
The ah-ha moment was a little scary to be honest. At first, I felt the fear of being so culturally ignorant to everything that is going on around me. I do not want to have to ask every person in the grocery store for the next three months if they speak English, but I know little to no Italian words that could get across the question “what is the difference between the milk in the pink container and the milk in the green one.” I worry that the outfits I pick out in the morning do not make me look Italian enough. When ordering food at a restaurant I have no idea the proper way to go about ordering and paying for it. To put it simply, I do not know much of anything when it comes to being Italian.
After my moment of being a Debbie-downer, I realized how far I have come in just a week and a half. In the past 264 hours, I have met over 100 people, learned to make tiramisu, figured out how to introduce myself in Italian, walked well over fifty miles, eaten the best lasagna the world has to offer, casually stumbled upon the Roman Forum and the Coliseum, eaten a twelve course meal, used an Italian water fountain, said ciao maybe two-thousand times (okay, probably a gross exaggeration, but it sure feels like it), tried five different kinds of gelato, taken too many pictures to count, visited my first Italian club, planned my first weekend trip somewhere outside of Rome, walked from the residence to the school all by myself without getting lost, memorized the Italian words for numbers zero through ten, and successfully completed my first week of classes.
It turns out a lot can be fit into eleven days, but I can only imagine what can be accomplished in the three months that I am in Rome. I guess we will have to wait and see!