Last day of smell….I mean school!!!

Posted on February 6, 2011


Dear Mocha Latte,

You are not welcome or recognized in Italy. I now know that “mocha” is not from Rome that is for sure. Ooops..I tried to order from the barista and he looked at me like I just told him that his mother wore army boots! Alright maybe not that bad but he had no idea what a mocha was so I instead ordered the best description I could think of in Italian “cappuccino con cioccolato”. Va bene (ok)!!! He even dusted some cocoa powder for the full effect. I usually just get a caffe machiato. A tiny cup of caffe with a splash of foamed milk. Simple and no sugar unless the coffee sucks (schiffo!)

I was soooooooo happy to finish school, take my test and not have to smell that terrible cologne one more day! Seriously, this dude would stank up the entire room with the overwhelming overload of over-sprayed cologne!! It was as if he washed his entire wardrobe with the stuff instead of detergent. Non mi piace (I don’t like). I did something like “average” on my tests. The oral part I got the best score which surprised me because I don’t think I know what I am talking about in English let alone Italian! Maybe I am doing better than I imagine. I can read and understand pretty well. This was a 5 page test! I was happy that Francesca told me to come back during the week and we can have lunch. Even though I am no longer a “student” she says to come and see her anyways! I knew that I liked her. It will be great to hang with her and practice Italian without the classroom, fee and smell! I was telling her about the tasty crepes and she wants to go there so I invited her to come and we will eat there together next week. Looking forward to that!

Another thing to look forward to: I have been invited to Venice!!! I knew that I wanted to go but wasn’t sure with whom or what to do once I arrived. Mickey has asked me to go on holiday for the weekend to show me Venice. He tells me that his mother has been many times and tells him to go but he has not been. It will be the first time for both of us! We must  take the train because I guess that it is a 9 hour drive! Wow…far (lontana)! I have not been on the train here so this will be quite the “holiday”. I hope that he can get the time off work so we can make the trip!

I am very happy that Febbraio is the shortest month of the year so I can get paid again! I think I am down to like about 10 Euro a day and its only the 5th…! My expenses are my phone, bus tickets and food. I did buy a new purse (not the ONE I have in my mind: beautiful black Italian leather that I will cherish for Eternity) from H & M for cheap. I just need another bag! That doesn’t crush my shoulder and not red. It is green and cute and small and easy to carry. Green? I have nothing green really to match it but I don’t care. One hit wonder purse. By the way this was the WORST H & M I have been to in my life. What the hell?? I found a fanny pack that was the most exciting accessory at the shop!

No, I did not buy it. I know that I made that fanny pack look good though!! Why is it that when you don’t have money to shop there is EVERYTHING YOU WANT! and NOTHING!? (Niente!) and when you actually have the money to buy??? This is me  today. I did buy a new scarf (made in China but only 2 Euro) and some funny earrings and new socks. You can never have enough socks! I have NOT lost any socks in the laundry since I have been here somehow! Amazing. Holes in my socks are happening often which I don’t prefer but I have been walking more than usual…I did bring my needle and thread. I remember packing it and my mom said, “When will you use that Lex? I am sure that she has stuff…You might not need it.” I have used it 3 times thank you Mom! I fixed some leggings, a few holes etc and some socks now in the future…

Friday night I went out, again, and did not blog since I came home late. Again. Friday after school I tried to go and buy something new to wear for the night. I had no success and was unhappy. I truly just had not done any laundry and was trying to save time. I had to hurry back to shower and be ready for the night before everyone got home which was also not succesful. By the time that I was dressed and ready to leave I could not stand to wear any of my jackets. I finally mustered up the courage to ask T to borrow one of her coats. She has MANY and didn’t mind at all. I landed on this hot orange coat!  I was told I looked “very Italian” in an almost “jersey shore”way which I did not agree! But made me laugh. I can wear her coats but she is definitely very thin next to me. I hope to come home with her skinny little figure. I think it’s the stress, smoking, and not eating AS much and less often. Sounds like the opposite of me but by the time I am halfway into this journey it might be the exact me. My sister’s husband’s cousin was in Rome last night and so we met up for dinner and drinks. Here is a picture of us with my borrowed jacket and world traveler: Eli!!!

During dinner there were 5 of us. It was a magnifico night and we shared good conversation about EVERYTHING! Eli gave me some tips on teaching ESL. I get what I ask for. Why don’t I ask for multi-millions?? The other day I asked for advice on teaching then two days later she is here and tells me she is a certified ESL teacher. The thought passes through my mind that I should check out Campo di Fuiro, since I always pass through on the little electric bus on my way out. Today, for example, the bus I was on the door was broke so the driver had to turn around so he told us to get lost, pretty much! And where were we?? Campo di Fuiro! Mama mia! During the conversations we came to this conclusion or new saying: “If you don’t plan you still must be prepared!” Which can be used in many situations. As you want. I never know what I am doing until I am doing it!!

Today, I noticed something and must comment. Dogs are treated like people here. Enough said. They have many wardrobe selections, can shop inside stores, take the bus, and pretty much go anywhere humans are allowed. I was shopping and almost tripped over this well dressed bling-ed out tiny pooch. All the dogs here wear “coats” if they are short-haired and there are many “shops” for animals with clothing and accessories. Ridiculous! Trust me, I LOVED my dog more than anything else I have experienced (SO FAR) in my life but I never made her wear clothes or jackets. One day I put on a long-sleeved shirt because it was cold out and we were leaving for the day. I came home and it was half-buried and clawed up as if the shirt and Maizee got into a full on brawl. She won. I still have the shirt. Never again did I try to dress my dog.

While I waited for my friends to shop today I “people-watched” for about 45 minutes. I have not adjusted to “Italian time” since I am still on time or early when we agree on a time to meet. My friends were extremely tardy! I could never become bored watching all the people! One dude was literally on a quad with a helmet, kids speaking with their hands, many people smoking, and many people linked arms while walking. THIS IS THE BEST DRESSED GUY I SAW!!! Babe-slayers. Check. Too tight sweats? Check. Polka-dot socks? Check. Leather jacket…Check. High-tops? Check. Attitude??Check! The only thing missing on this guy was a cigarette!!

 I have come to realize that it is very natural here for people to walk “together”. Male and male. Female and Female. Couples. Mother and son. Mother and daughter. Father and son. Friends. Lovers. Even children! It does not matter who is the “leader” as long as you are walking with someone. Typically, in America, it is natural for the woman to have her arm hold the man, he leads. But here? No. There is no leader that is “dominant”. I have seen a woman “leading” a man while he holds her purse for her. I am never surprised anymore. The thing that does surprise me is when people ASK ME for directions! It is sooooooo exciting to not only understand what they are asking but to be able to respond!? Feels fantastic! I told 2 different people how to get to Piazza di Spagna and when someone asked me for a lighter (without a hand motion or cig) I apologized and said no. I must look like I know what I am doing which is good confirmation from strangers in a world I feel lost!

 To knowing my way…


Posted in: When in Rome