Friday, May 8, 2009

Ten Days and Counting

So, here we go – I only have ten days left in Italy. Ten. A week and a half. Dieci. Eight of those days will be spent doing things like studying and taking exams, one will be spent packing and having a free dinner at study program’s expense (I plan for taking them for all they’ve got, but that’s just me), and two will be spent in Rome, as I can’t stay in the Siena apartment for the weekend (it’s the reason why I’m taking them for all they’ve got at the dinner). Then I get on a plane on Monday morning and get back in Monday afternoon (of course, I, having crossed more time zones than I care to count, will feel like it’s an ungodly late hour of the night). Certainly I’ll be excited to return, to see my family and my friends that I haven’t seen for months. But I will be sorely sad to leave – I’ve made new friends here, done a lot of new things, tasted new foods (penne arrabbiata, yum!), and gone to places I wouldn’t have gone to had I not studied abroad. So, whatever sadness I shall feel when I head away, I shall have even more fond memories and experiences (not to mention a few souvenirs) with which to remember my time here fondly.

I think, now that I only have ten days left, I’m going to miss a lot about Italy when I return to the United States. I’m going to miss a lot of little things, actually. I’m going to miss their sense of political irony, like how the Communist Party’s city HQ is right above the money exchange on the banking square, or how the anti-immigration Lega Nord HQ is right above the foreign foods market. I’ll miss the near-death experiences we have whenever there are Vespas clipping us on the busy streets. I’ll miss that I’m in a country where my nose is considered normal-sized. I’ll definitely be excited to go back, surely, but I’ll be sad to leave Italy behind, to make all the fun memories and experiences a thing of the past. I mean, granted, I really want to come back, and I plan to come back, but leaving for now will be sad.

I do, however, have some things that I really want to do when I get back to the United States – not least of all food. Namely American food. I have been living in the country that’s probably the most famous in the world for its culinary offerings, and I’ve enjoyed every day of that. I love that even the simplest Salami sandwich is leagues above what is usually offered to me. However, I have been without crappy Americanized fast food for almost three months now, and I’m dying for it. I’ve had cravings in the middle of the night – it’s getting scary. I find myself wanting a Five Guys Burger a lot of the time – I even have hankerings for Taco Bell. Taco Bell! I’ve become entrenched, I tell you! I’ll definitely miss the food here, but I think that, having gotten new recipes and new cooking tips, I can bring some of that home. But, with that out of the way, I totally want some terrible, greasy, unflattering piece of Americana inside my belly. In other words: Vandy students, if you need someone to go on late-night fast food runs with you next year, look no further than the DiRienzo.

I’ll write a few more posts before I leave, including a list of the stuff I’ve gotten, what Italians do better, what Americans do better, etc. Till later, ciao!

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