Maybe it’s a symptom of my inner New Yorker resisting any form of sentimentality, but for whatever reason, I haven’t been very homesick this semester (sorry mom, it’s nothing personal). If you’d had the good fortune of seeing me on the day I left for Rome, you’d know how ironic this is—I started crying the moment I said goodbye to my family and didn’t stop until I was halfway across the Atlantic. Apparently I looked so pathetic in the airport that one of the guys from security came and found me as I was walking toward my gate to tell me that he promised, I really was going to be okay. Suffice it to say, those weren’t my finest hours.
Fast forward two months and I’m on another flight to Rome, now on my way back from Spring Break. This time I’m not eliciting the sympathy of random strangers, but am actually pretty excited—I missed Rome while I was gone way more than departure-day Jess would have ever believed possible. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time in London/Edinburgh/Dublin, but they’re no Rome. Here’s why:
-The Romans are truly a wonderful people. Take, for example, the ladies who work at the residence and help us with our Italian homework. Or the cab driver that joined us in belting out “My Heart Will Go On,” when it came on the radio. Or the local alimentari (convenience shop) owner who asked about our Spring Break trip, and then politely suffered through my Italian as I attempted to tell him about it. You pretty much can’t go wrong when you’re hanging out with Italians.
-There’s always something cheap, delicious, and vegetarian-friendly to eat in Rome, which was something I’d completely taken for granted. And have I mentioned the doughnuts?
-I really missed the Italian language, although I’ll admit, it was nice to speak English at first (especially in the very beginning when I just thought I had magically become fluent in Italian every time I understood something). The feeling wore off pretty quickly for me, but I will say that my friends who were only just starting intro Italian this semester found the English to be a really welcome relief.
-We’ve got real history here in Rome. I’m not saying that London’s1000 year old tower isn’t impressive, but as far as I’m concerned, if it’s not from before the common era, I’m not impressed.
-Remember that time I talked about how Rome was one giant traffic hazard? I didn’t know the meaning of near-death experience until I got to the UK. First of all, the opposite side of the street thing is really disconcerting. Secondly, Roman drivers will at least stop instead of hitting you, as long as you’re glaring ferociously enough at them. This is just not true in the British Isles.
Finally, it seems worth mentioning that my life is basically a fairytale and I had a great time travelling. All I’m saying is, it’s good to be home.