When I got back from Firenze around 10:30 I was relieved to be home and happy to have the own space again. Something about being able to get organized in my own space on my own time is so relaxing to me, and I was happy I didn’t need to be on Claudia’s “where is the key; is someone at the house?” clock, its always frustrating to me to know that I can’t do things on my own time and at my own discretion. Back in Rome I was independent and could do what I want, come and go as I pleased and was only subjected to the hours of my internship (which were very relaxed), and the reliability of public transportation.
|Piazza la Quercia|
Arriving at Via Udine I was ready to take a shower, get organized and hop right into bed for a good nights sleep. The previous night’s 4.5 hours weren’t going to pull me through a Monday at the office no matter how much I liked my job. I unlocked our door with the odd shaped key, one that you would never see in the states, and that sometimes spit itself out of the keyhole if you didn’t turn it right, and surprise! It was Rehem’s boyfriend’s birthday, so the apartment was filled with friends! Great, the last thing I wanted to do right then was going introduce myself to 8 new people and try and engage in broken Italian conversation. I said “Ciao” quickly to the room full of people, and shyly returned to my room where I unpacked and showered, put on athletic shorts and a t-shirt and debated whether or not to be social. Consensus was I was too tired to move, so I laid in bed starting to blog about my weekend and ready to go to sleep until I heard them start singing the cake in multiple languages and I decided I had to go in and sing in English, and attempt to be social despite the stanchezza that I had. Laura offered me a piece of cake after we sang, and I sat in the kitchen for 20 minutes or so talking about my college with Daniele (Laura’s boyfriend) and making conversation with Laura’s friend Chiara who is always so nice to me when she is over. 20 minutes went by, I said my Auguris and my buona nottes to everyone then I went to my bed and fell fast asleep.
Monday morning at the office was brutal. Especially since I woke up late and didn’t have time to grab my cornetto integrale and cappuccino at Bar dell’Arte because I had to run to the SMA supermarket in Piazza Bologna to get something for lunch so I wouldn’t starve or miss out on quality lunch conversation in the salla di reunione! Monday was also the fourth of July and I joked with Francesca that I deserved the day off… I should’ve asked on Friday and she probably wouldn’t have cared. I was a little bummed I didn’t have the nerve to because I could have stayed in Firenze one more night to see the concert in Piazza della Republica for the opening of the Hard Rock Café… Claudia said she would call my boss and tell her I couldn’t return, but I just couldn’t let her, although that would have been a HOOT!
Instead of fireworks on the fourth I settled for having a nice dinner with the roommates. I had gone into Marta’s room after work to talk with them all about whatever, and they extended an invitation to eat with them, it was very nice! I helped prepare the meet and set the table, and we ended up eating around 9:45 because Marta’s zucchini took a long time to finish. We ate a thin cut of some kind of beef mixed in with an arugula salad soaked in a lemon/salt/balsamic dressing. We each got our own piece of bufula mozzarella, some salumi, and zucchini, e abbiamo mangiato benissimo.
Tuesday I did the usual routine on the way to work, and during the day I got excited because there was the “Chit-Chat” event at N’Importe Quoi that I found through a website called Friends in Rome, that would hopefully help me find other people in similar situations as me hoping to practice Italian, but also find a few good friends to get a pizza, caffe or a bichiere di vino with. Success! At the small café in the Jewish ghetto I paid my 12 euros, got a glass of terrible white wine, and found myself a few English speaking people who found themselves searching for comrades and conversation partners in the city just like me! During our conversation table we talked mostly about food and I grew very hungry, only to be fed with small not so good stuzzichini or finger foods. I met a girl from San Francisco who had attended school to become a wine maker and was studying Italian in Roma for the summer then was off to Piemonte to work on a vinyard. Mom was jealous already, and so was I… Cornell school of Agriculture was reentering my brain, and so were greater possibilities of subjects to focus on in grad schools (my mom is going to kill me when she hears I’m jealous of a girl who is doing EXACTLY what she told me I should go to school to study!). I also met Sarah, a girl from la Svizzera (Switzerland) who was interning in a kitchen at a restaurant near the Vatican, and a man Tony who was in marketing and frequently travelled to italy from his home town of LA (also speaking Italian very well). We chatted, ate, drank, and exchanged numbers, ready to meet up again at the next Friend in Rome event that was an Aperitivo event on Isola del Cinema (Isola Tiberina, in the middle of the Tevere). I caught the bus back home content and excited at the possibility that from now on I would have 2 or 3 contacts willing to go for a passegiata with me or to grab aperitivo!
Little did I know how exhausting this week was going to end up being…
|Performer in Santa Maria di Trastevere|
Wednesday a girl named Helena messaged me from the Friend in Rome webite telling me she was in a similar situation as I was in, looking for friends, looking to explore, looking to have some fun. We found each other on facebook, realized we were both normal people and exchanged numbers so that maybe we could get together at some point. When I got home from work, I signed on to FB chat and she was online, so we had a small conversation to get to know each other on a basic level, then I told her I was planning to go in centro, and we made plans to meet up at Campo dei Fiori. Once we met up, we walked to get a Peroni at a small tabacchi that would be cheaper then a bar, then walked back to sit on the monument in Campo dei Fiori and chat about our experiences. Around 9:45 we walked across the river to Trastevere and hung out in Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere watching a not so great “clown”, but it ended up being worth it because at the end I got to hold a torch with FIREEEEEE, FUOCO! Helena and I walked around, happy to have found some else to hang out with, we walked along Lungotevere then walked back up to Argentina where I caught the 62 to Bologna and she walked back to where she lived near the Vatican.
Woof. Tiring week getting to meet people.
Thursday. Thursday. Thursday. Envious. I knew the McDermotts were somewhere near me in the country on their VACATION, and I was starting to get jealous. I loved being in Rome and working, and I still do, but vacation time is starting to seem a lot more fun when people I know are at the beach or at a pool in Tuscany and I’m stuck at my desk on Via di Tor Pagnotta in the Aircom office (I secretly love it). Work went well with the excitement of meeting up with the people I had met on Tuesday again.
When I got home from work I took a quick nap then got ready to head down to Trastevere for the Aperitivo event. I left the apartment around 7:15, took the B line to Circo Massimo and walked down to the bridge (The way Angela had described to get to her apartment in March). I got to the bridge around 8:00 after casually strolling down Via di Circo Massimo and frequently stopping to take pictures. Zoe (a girl I had met on Tuesday) sent me an SMS to ask if I was going to the Aperitivo event. I told her I would be there around 8:15, and she said she was at N’Importe Quoi and that she was see me piu tardi. I didn’t want to arrive at the bar at exactly 8:00 cause it could have been awkward, so I continued walking around, strolling leisurely and taking pictures and then I finally descended the stairs on the Isola Tiberina around 8:10 cause I couldn’t stand wasting any more time.
|Isola Tiberina, bar|
When I got to the Pampero bar I introduced myself to the two people who were running it, they gave me a ticket to get a drink, and also introduced me to a guy named Cornelius who was interning for a month at a Holocaust research center. Cornelius was from Austria and I soon found out that he can speak 6 different languages, and very well at that, but unfortunately Italian wasn’t his strongest, so we spoke in English and had a good time. Since we were like the first people to arrive as people flowed in the woman running the event turned many other Americans toward us to say hello, and we ended up meeting a number of people of all different ages who were in similar positions to us. Sarah and Zoe the girls who I had met Tuesday showed up, and Sarah introduced me to a fellow friend she had met from Switzerland named Adrian. Soon after Helena arrived and I called her over to come chat with Cornelius and I. Nearing 10:30 we went to get another drink and I ended up speaking Italian with one of the men who was running the program for 20 minutes or so, it always surprises me when I can hold a conversation for that long without speakng english, I think I may be making progress! We also ran into Fabio, kind of a creepy guy who tries to flirt with you in english and then says your mean... strange. But anyways, all in all a good night, and I felt like I was making progress in the friend department, and I knew at least Helena was always going to be up to doing anything so I was content.
Helen, Cornelius and I left the Isola Tiberina around 11:20, and walked to Argentina to get back to our respective homes. I found out that Cornelius lives near Tibertina, one stop further on the linea b so we hopped on bus 62 to Piazza Bologna together, chatted the whole way home then went our separate ways. The week was beginning to tire me out and I was more than happy to hit the pillow and fall fast asleep, happy that I would be seeing the McDermotts the following evening! Just 6 hours of work to get through then it was the weekend!!