Their’s weight loss, then weight gain. Sickness ,nausea. Cravings, mood swings, and randomly bursting into tears. If you type all these things into WebMD. They’ll most likely diagnose something like pregnancy. But you could just be an exchange student.
I kid you not. Especially with the craving and food phases. Mexican food, they don’t have it in Italy so you go try Nutella. You get addicted to Nutella. Run out of Nutella you go to the grocery store and find m&ms. Run out of m&ms your back to Nutella. Then your host mother comes home with clementines a whole month before they would be in stores back in Texas and those are your obsesion. Then you have an apple and suddenly it’s apples, apples,apples, and maybe some Apple and Nutella if you are attempting the homework from school today because you could sort of kind of understand the teacher, and the math problem that look more like they threw a graph with greek and latin together.
I don’t joke. This is so true. And I know this is horrible to say but there for a while I literally thougth “there is no way this is culture shock, homesickness, or whatever they call it. I’m having the next baby Jesus.”
Turns out I’m just an emotional eater and Italy has made me emotional. Maybe it’s because I suddenly fell like Malibu Barbie, all plastic no brain. Because even when my host mother speaks English to me she has to draw it out at times. Or maybe because I ride the emotional high of speaking Italian only for the person I’m talking to, to have this completely lost look on their face equivalent to the first day I was here and someone spoke Italian to me. (Turns out I can pick up math easier than a language. Who would have thought that!)
Anyways I get happy over something, the next hour I’m sitting their huddled against the heater trying to read my text book and thinking if I was at home I would have finished this by now and could be sitting outside with my dad while he grilled or talking with my step-mom while she cooked dinner. And I wouldn’t be freezing. And then my host brother (who I happy to say, we have bonded much better than I thought we initially would that first two weeks were he never acknowledge me. We actually got into a fight the other day. We were at the dining table eating lunch, which just happens to be in the coldest room in the house, and he was telling jokes. I told him to just stop because they were horrible, in Italian of course, and he replied to be quiet because I just couldn’t understand them and I snapped back that I didn’t see anyone laughing. And this afternoon it took us an hour between his broken English and my broken Italian to discuss what I did in three of hours school that morning and how I liked my new math class. (I will tell more of this later) Ans who and then my host brother will walk in and do soething that makes me laugh. Or Micia the devil host cat will come strolling in and attack my feet. Or Ludo will ask me to help her with her English homework. And the homesickness is gone and it usually stays away. But these emotionl shifts were me out, especially since more Italian is being spoken to me every day and I’m actually understanding the different tenses and understanding completely and not just the jist and it’s like the strain of listening ot every accent and translating rapily at times for unfamiliar words that just aren’t immediate tire me out.
But this morning I did correct my English teacher, and it wasn’t on her English it was on her Italian. My class was so proud of me.
And my orario, or time table, got changed once again to a lower math class. (I feel really good about this one) and while meeting the kids before the teacher arrived the girl spoke to me in italian. I was busy looking at my new schedule an asked her to repeat. She got this look on her fast most get when their about to speak English and I without even thinking said. “No englese, solo Italiano. Repeti, per favore”. No english, only Italian. Repeat please. And they all smiled and I conversed pretty well with them. Also I was able to hold my own this morning when one of the nice women in the apartment building offered me a ride in her car to school. Of coruse at first I thought she was just asking if she could wlak with me to the bus walk, the notion of car rides now are so weird. I think. “That’s so close, you can take the bus, or train, and not have to worry about parking.” Italian mentality. Also Italian road rage. Anywho after she said” macchina”, car. I tried best to explain to her that I preferred to take the bus since I still had a while until I had to be school since I entered later on Mondays. Also because I’ve seen these Italian drive in cars, I only trust my host mother and that’s barely as she zooming around these break neck curves on these high sheer cliffed mountains.
But these little winning moments make my day. And my friends are truly amazing because they sit their as I struggle to get out a complicated sentence or when I don’t understand them and they have to talk very slow one word at a time. (omedays my brian processes better than others.)
Also these new classes I’m in I love because it’s amazing when your walking down the halls with your friends and someone from one of your other classes says. “Hello Paige” (They refuse to great me in Italian. I don’t know why even after I’ve asked.) and I say “Ciao” back and my friends. (These are the people from my first class I stayed with every day for the first two months) just look at me. I can only smile.
But my new math class I love it. I will admit I learned very precious lesson today of “Do not judge a book by their cover”. My new math teacher is shorter than me and while pretty she looks way to young to be a teacher. Also she has this short cropped hair cut but growing off right side of her head is this long three foot braid just out of no where. My first impression was. “Oh God, please be with me.” This was going to be some spiteful, or weird teacher that would yell and scream. It turns out she very soft spoken, until she’s teaching then her perfectly articulate and easily understood Italian floats to your ears and she very fun and nice. I even complimented her Italian today, saying that I couldn’t understand it very well. And she smiled brilliantly. She has very good English (which hopefully won’t have to get used much) and was her self an exchange student for a year in the Neatherland area, or maybe it was Denmark. This little tidbit of information was introduced to me when I was still in shock over her appearance. My counselor for school who helps me with my schedule actually had to ask me twice to say my name for her because I was in such shock. So just be glad I remember that bit
But I have learned one thing else, Italians love to rag on each other in English. Even if it’s just simple sentences such as “He is a pig” it was “He is pork” until I corrected them.Or things like. “He is a bush” I had a trouble figuring that one out until she pionted to the guy and he had this afro going on.
OH! Speaking of appearances. There is this boy, (let me finish before you role your eyes), but he’s not this scrawny , or sleek muscled bean pole that plays soccer while were studying volleyball in gym. HE bigger in the I’m a line backer for a football team but tall and a wall of muscle, kind of way. I so want to say hi and just talk to him and tell him he reminds me of a football player, in a good way. Maybe it’s me searching for familiarity while kind of going through a second slump, or maybe its just that he seems like a funny guy . But I just want to meet him!! Say hi or something. So when I’m fluent in Italian the first person I’m walking myself up to and introducing myself to all by myself is this guy. It will become my personal mission!!!
So I guess you could say it’s just been a good day. And on another note I got to skip school Saturday!! And go to Massa to pick up my residence card. It took only ten minutes and we didn’t pay a thing. (Which is really a shocker because in Italy nothing is every free, it always atleast a few euros especially when dealing with government) and it was funny because we walked out and my host mother turned toward me with a straight face said. “Were not a third world country after all”. I could only laugh.
Of course then we went t this little small mall called Carrefoure. And I call it a mall but really think of a SAM”S Club/ slash giant super wal-mart as in set-up and not so mch bulk, but then their’s little stores like in a mall with a small food court and little café area. But the whole thing is referred to as Carreforre. Confusing but weird, anywho we went there and I saw all the little chocolate and sweats and Christmas things and I got so excited. And that’s when I decided I’m going to do stockings for my host family. And in my family stockings are just a little but in a felt clumbed red sock. Their better than the presents and often more looked forward to. Of course they won’t be as amazing as if I was in texas but they will be pile high with chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. And maybe something else, but defiantly “sweeties” as my host mother likes to say.
On a last note, I’m already humming Christmas music and technically Thanksgiving hasn’t even passed yet. Maybe it’s because it as cold as winter here already as it is in Texas. I don’t know. But me and my host mother are going to try to makes a small Thanksgiving. No giant turkey of course.
Buona giornata all. (have a good day)