I know I’ve been completely MIA for the past few days. Here’s the latest:
School: Going pretty well overall. I continue to be impressed with the things I’m learning, and the social side of using the language. I can’t believe the difference it makes having others (around my own age) to do stuff with. That helps a lot! We have been good about speaking Italian always too. Yesterday Tina (the German girl) and I spoke English because we wanted to talk more about life. This is hard to do in Italian and a lot of things lose their meaning. It was fun getting to know her a little more. Either way, my Italian is absolutely improving and I have more flow. It’s been a fantastic decision with this school!Day Trips: I’ve been doing something every day just about and it’s been fun, but got to be too much. Because I’m in class with others who are here for a short time, they’ve been wanting to make the most of their time here and we’ve gone to Taoromina, Siracusa, and attempted to go to the beach here in Catania. Toaromina is ADORABLE, and Siracusa is a fantastic seaside town I fell in love with. The beach here in Catania has something to be desired though (at least the one we attempted to go to). There were rocks people were lying on and black sand in some places. Definitely not my idea of a beach! I could see fish swimming in the water close to the shore, which freaked me out! I didn’t get in to the water, needless to say. I had the chance to go to another place today with the group but I am lacking sleep, am still somewhat disoriented, and have a stomach ache so I’m at home laying low instead. I need a day of rest. Tomorrow we’re heading to Mt. Etna. That was supposed to happen today but got cancelled because it rained this a.m.
Living Situation: I am adjusting more to things. I still haven’t yet cooked a meal at home in this place due to the kitchen being so small, and because of my schedule. I thought getting out at 1:30pm was a good idea, but by the time I walk home it’s about 1:40 and by the time I get something to eat, it’s around 2:15pm-ish. I am eating a lot later at night here so it balances it out but is an adjustment. I will make it a point to cook this weekend (tomorrow?). I still don’t really know where a grocery store is, except one that’s like 30 min. walk away. Not ideal. I’ll worry about that tomorrow too. If I get to see Ombretta I’m going to see if she can take me to a store so it’s easier. There is a market near the school that sells fruits, vegetables, some meat, and cheese so in a way, I really shouldn’t worry about the grocery store part. The girls Evelina and Valentina I live with are super nice. I got to chat with them the other night and they’re very sweet. They do their own thing a lot so I rarely see them. Here are some photos of my living space:
The City: seems to have a lot going on, and honestly, it’s feeling like more activity happens here than I expected/desire for my ‘vacation.’ I’m giving some serious thought to leaving after this next week and going elsewhere for more Italian lessons and ending on a quieter note. I’ve thought more about what I wanted from my time away from the US and having some down time with nothing going on so I can take time to reflect on life and do other things, cooking at home, going ‘off the map’ was important. Here, I can easily get lost and be off the map, yes (because it’s so large and I tend to not want to stray too far from home due to this), but the other things aren’t aligning the way I want. I find myself getting nervous about how to get home from where I am (and relying on others too much for this) or wondering what I’m eating next and where is driving me nuts. On the flip side, the social scene here is really…wow! Last night after dinner ended (at 11pm) our group walked around for a bit and I couldn’t even believe my eyes! There were people everywhere. We didn’t get back home til 1:30 and that was LATE after having been out all day. I went out again tonight too. This is typical of each piazza in town!
In this photo are Tina (from Germany), Simona (from Slovakia), and Stefan (from Germany):How I’m Doing With Change: I felt sick to my stomach today because I don’t feel good mentally. My sleep schedule has been thrown off for sure because of late dinners out being social with others, doing a lot of activities during the day, etc. I slept for 4.5 hours this afternoon and feel about 75% better physically but still am not there yet. In all this portion has not been the vacation of my dreams, and after this week I’ll really be able to judge whether I should stay or not. I know myself and sometimes I get into a rut that I cause on my own and just need to get over myself. What I think I’ll end up doing is switching to somewhere new that’s more low key and go to the language school there. I am trying to take the perspective that these 2 weeks were a good break from living alone and doing my own thing. This experience this week has been more like fun on vacation, whereas my time in SGV was more cultural lessons and adjusting to life in a new country. I think it’d be great if I end on a quiet, calm, relaxing note. I’m looking into different places to go to next week. That’s part of my journey is going with the flow, right?