Wednesday, November 14, 2012

2 months.. wtfff

November 7th, last Wednesday marked 2 months in Italy.. holy crap.. It seriously feels like I just got here! Time is going by SO fast. Almost too fast.. I'm finally reaching that point where thinking about returning to the United States makes me depressed. I honestly am so sad that I only have 8 months left. I feel like I'm going to wake up one day and have to go home! Okay anyway so here's everything that happened this week in my life! (:

Monday 5th: Today was kind of a crappy day ): I'm just starting to get overwhelmed with school because I can't understand very much and I'm expected to learn and study while I'm here. I just got really stressed out and felt like my Italian really sucks. I just feel like I'm getting so stupid here because I don't participate in classes very much and I'm scared that when I come home I'm going to be SO behind ): I've always gotten good grades and it's just so difficult for me now it's irritating. I skyped my mom and my friends and it cheered me up! My mom told me to just try and relax and have fun while I'm here and worry about school when I come home. I'm just going to focus on learning Italian for now and then once I'm fluent I'll start worrying about my subjects at school. This is a once in the life oppurtunity so I don't want to waste the whole time being stressed about school! After skyping with everyone I went on a killer run, I felt like I was going to pass out at the end but it felt so good. Running always relieves my stress (:

Tuesday 6th: Today was election day in the United States! The election is not only a big deal in the US but also in Italy. It's all over the news and radio, I'm so proud to be an American because I really think many other countries look up to us. My Danish friend Victoria said that in Denmark everyone looks up to the United States and everyone thinks it's really cool that she's friends with me since I'm American (:  It feels a little strange not being home for the election but for the last election I was living in Australia so I'm used to it! Anyway, today I didn't go to school yayayyyyy because my host mom and I had to go to the immigration center in Torino so that I can finally get my permesso soggiorno (my permit to live here for a year) It was so funny Monday night I guess I forgot to close my shades of my window so my bedroom was freezing at night. My host dad came into my room and gave me an extra blanket, I was half asleep but woke up for a second and said "Grazie!" So hopefully that means I'm starting to dream and think in Italian.. I don't know it probably doesn't actually mean anything but whatever. Anyway so I didn't go to school but I still had to get up early at like 7:30 so that we could get to the immigration center early and try to beat all the traffic. Sadly that plan completely failed.. we were stuck in traffic the whole drive to Torino. My host mom was swearing and yelling at other drivers in Italian, it was pretty entertaining haha once we got there we waited maybe about 2 hours :/ but it wasn't so bad! My host mom and I spoke in Italian and I'm proud to say that I really think I've improved a lot! I can have basic conversations with someone if they speak slowly. But still when I'm with a huge group of people and they're all speaking to each other super fast I don't understand crap... but whatever little progress by little! When I got my permesso soggiorno, the lady asked me who I prefered Romney or Obama! The whole world really pays so much attention to American politics. Most Italians prefer Obama. After getting my permesso soggiorno we met up with my host dad at his office and went out for lunch at a cute little cafe near his office. It was yummy I got pollo fritta (fried chicken) e pasta! Then I took the metro to Porta Nuovo and met up with my friends Victoria, Olivia and Sanni. We got gelato and walked around Torino for a bit then went to the lesson. Since it was such a nice day we had the lesson outside in the sun! Then the sun went away.. so we went to a caffe and I got hot chocolate (: The lessons are almost too easy for me sometimes so I'm going to see if I can start going to the other groups lessons which are more advanced because I want to become fluent as fast as possible! After the lesson I took the bus home and I saw one of my friends from school! It was a nice finish to a good day of no school (:

Finally legal in Italia whoooo!

Wednesday 7th: So Obama wins again! haha but anyway, today nothing exciting happened at school! Then after school I met up with my American friend Kaylin in Piazza Martiri and we went to the Italian version of McDonalds for lunch. I forget the name of the restaurant but they have burgers and chips and it felt pretty American! I forgot what a burger tasted like I haven't eaten one in so long. Of course we lost track of time and ended up running to catch the bus to Kaylin's house! But thankfully we just made it! Everyone was staring at us as we ran to make the bus on time. Kaylin lives in another small city near Rivoli called Buttigliera. It's a little bit bigger than Villarbasse where I live. We took the bus back to her house and then hung out. We studied some Italian together and attempted to do some Italian math homework... Then we made home made cappuccino's. Kaylin had a jar of peanut butter that her mom sent her from the U.S because in Italy they don't have peanut butter! So we decided to take spoon fulls of the peanut butter and dip it in our cappuccino's. Beatrice, Kaylin's 15 year old host sister thought we were completely insane! She was like, "You dip the peanut butter in the coffee!?" We watched an episode of gossip girl online in Italian and I was able to understand absolutely everything I was so proud (: but the only reason I can understand everything is because I'm obsessed with gossip girl and I've seen all the episodes like 5 times so I just remember everything that they're saying... We ate dinner with her host family and then my host mom picked me up. It was a really nice afternoon, I kind of felt like I was back home in the U.S.A (: Oh and this was the day that marked 2 months in Italy! I can't believe it's already been 2 months, I still feel like I just got here. I don't want to go home in 8 months! ):

Thursday 8th: This was such a fantastic day!! (: Me and my class 3F, my chemistry class 4A and a few other 4th year classes went on a gita (field trip) to Diga di Place Moulin, which is one of the biggest dam's in all of Europe. It's in a small city called Bionaz in the northwestern region of Aosta Valley in Italy, very very near France! It was so beautiful, it felt like a dream, the skies were just so blue and the mountains had a layer of snow on them. I love all my classmates too, I'm finally able to talk with them in Italian and I'm starting to get really close with everyone (: We left from Rivoli at 7 for the field trip, it was so early! Then drove 2 on a huge tour bus to the dam. I sat with a girl from my class and we spoke only in Italian for pretty much the whole bus ride! I was so proud (: Once we got there we took a tour of the inside of the dam, honestly I understood pretty much nothing of what the tour guide said in Italian :/ I understood that from this dam they send out water from the lake to all different cities in Italy but that's about it... After the tour we went back to the bus and drove to a teeny tiny restaurant in the town for lunch. My host mom packed me panini's so I ate those, we spent maybe an hour at the restaurant just relaxing, playing fooseball, taking lots of pictures and just hanging out. I'm so happy with my class everyone is extremely nice and we get along so well (: After lunch we took another tour of the actual lake where the water comes from. We went down into a narrow dark damp tunnel and had to wear helmets. The tour guide said if our hats fall off our head then the world will end.. hahaha of course my friend Sarah's hat fell off so I was like, "Oh no the world's going to end!!" everyone thought it was so funny. I love it everyone here thinks I'm like hilarious whenever I say something in Italian. Probably because my grammar sucks so it's not right and I have a major American accent so I pretty much just sound like an idiot! After the second tour we drove home but stopped at a cafe for a bathroom break. We got back to Rivoli at around 7:45 my host mom picked me up and I went home. It was a long day and I was exhausted but it was sooooo much fun! I wish I could go on field trips with my class every day instead of school! (:

Elena & Federico <3 
The mountains <3 
La diga! (the dam) 
Our super cute helmets (; 
Bus ride! 
Fabio! (: 
Like a dream <3 

Ilaria, Martina, Federica and Sarah!

Our tour bus! 

Sylvia, Paula and Valentina!
Where we ate!
AHHH so pretty

Sarah! <3

Sarah, Elena & Sarah <3
Love them! 
Sarah & Sarah (:


The tunnel we walked through ahhhhh

Friday 9th: School was nothing special! After school I met up with Kaylin and we went to the Italian lesson in Torino together. Normally she doesn't go because she's with Rotary not AFS but I figured my Italian teacher probably wouldn't care so I invited her to come with us (: After the lesson Kaylin and I went to a really cool coffee place that was just like Starbucks! It's called Buster's and reminded me so much of Starbucks. I got a nutella frappe and it was delicious! We walked around Torino for a little bit and saw all the Christmas lights they put up! I'm starting to get really excited for Christmas, I think it's going to be so cool to experience it in Italy. Oh and we bought the book "Confessions of a Shopaholic" in Italian, I read the book a couple years ago so I'm hoping I'll remember what it's about and I'll be able to understand it! Kaylin and I are going to try and read it and help each other figure out what it says. I haven't started yet though.. haha anyway I bought a new purse, scarf and sweater from H&M! I need to stop shopping so much but I can't help it because everything in Italy so just so amazing! Ahh anyway, we took the bus and subway back to Rivoli at around 7 and then met up with some of Kaylin's Italian friends from school and went out for dinner at Opaficio, my favorite restaurant. It was nice we spoke in only Italian and I really liked Kaylin's friends they were nice. My host dad picked me up at around 10 and I went home.

A historical Christmas story is lit up all down one street in Torino (:
Whoo Christmas is almost here!

Saturday 10th: I went to school :/ I'm starting to get used to school on Saturday's it's not so bad I guess.. it's so short once it's done I normally forget that I even went to school. After school I walked with my friends Sarah, Federica and Federico to Rivoli to take the bus to Torino to meet up with my American friend Sergio. It was so nice when we were walking Federica told me, "Tu é uno di noi adesso!" (I am one of them now) because my Italian has improved so much (: On the bus I ran into 2 of my friends from my Chemisty class so I talked with them and then took the subway to Torino and met up with Sergio in Porta Nuova. It was raining the whole day but Sergio and I still have fun, I felt so cool because I knew my way around Torino perfectly and Sergio had no idea where he was. We got risotto for lunch at a cute little cosy cafe then walked around Piazza San Carlo, Piazza Castello, Via Po, Via Grabaldi and Via Roma. I ended up buying a new pair of black boots! yayyay (: After Torino we took a train back to Ivrea and met Sergio's host dad, he took us to a little restaurant for a dinner with Sergio's local AFS chapter. It was cool I got to see some of the other exchange students in his chapter and I haven't seen them since the AFS camp. The dinner was delicious we had polenta and meat and for desert a bunch of different pastries (: mmm é molto buona <3 It was so funny all the volunteers and host parents in Sergio's local chapter was serving us all these different kinds of desert wines. Me and Sergio were like wait isn't this AFS?! They just laughed and gave us some more wine. hahaha that's Italian people for you! After the dinner we went back to Sergio's house and just hung out and went to sleep!

Rainy day in Torino (:

Sunday 11th: We got up and went to this cabbage festival in a town called Montalto Dora. It's a small town near Ivrea and I guess this time of the year they grow some of the biggest cabbages in Italy so of course there's a huge festival! It was cool there was so many different unique foods and we tried so many different things! I got cabbage ravioli and it was surprising really yummy. At around 4 I took the train home from Ivrea to Porta Nuova all by myself (: I was so proud because I had to change trains at one train station! It was so funny when my train pulled up to Porta Nuova I saw my host parents waiting for me and then I saw that the train across the tracks was just taking off and my host sister Federica was on it leaving for Milano! Anyway, the weekend was perfect, I had so much fun and I'm so happy that my host parents and AFS finally let me go visit Sergio and spend a night there, they're finally starting to trust me and let me travel alone I'm so happy! (:

Well that's all for now! Oh I just remembered this random thing, one time an Italian asked me why I'm always smiling and laughing and then she was like, "Oh wait I know why, it's because you're American!" It was probably the best compliment I've ever gotten. I'm so proud to be American and I love my country so much! <3 haha sorry if that sounds so stupid! That was random but just figured I'd mention it! Okay ciaooo! (: Baci (kisses)

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