So here I am. I am in Rome. I’ve taken some pictures, but so far they are all terrible. I think that’s because I was trying to take pictures from the car driving me to gli appartamenti from l’aeroporto, and highway pictures in a moving car are always terrible. Maybe tomorrow I’ll take some more pictures from my apartment, and of my apartment. My apartment is super cute and so are the buildings nearby.
I’ve already had some conversations in Italian! Sort of.
My first attempt at a conversation in Italian was with the customs officer at the airport. I was feeling very nervous and anxious, and I’m pretty certain he never looked at me. I kind of mumbled “buongiorno” at him, and he didn’t respond. He stamped my passport and handed it back to me. I muttered “grazie” and left.
And then somewhere in between that “conversation” and this next conversation I realized that my baggage was lost. You see, although I made sure to arrive in DC on time, my plane to Montreal did not arrive on time. We left an hour late. I ended up making the mad dash across the Montreal terminal to customs to the next gate so I could make my plane. I didn’t even have time to take a picture of a mounted bear wearing a mountie costume! My luggage didn’t make it in time, and so I am in Rome without 7/8ths of the stuff I packed for Rome.
I did feel pretty cool when I was standing pointlessly in front of the baggage claim carousel. The sign in front of me said Noi siamo sicura, which means we are safe. Hah. Conosco italiano.
After I was shown into il mio appartamento, I decided to venture out and buy toiletries and some sort of food. I approached the doorman. We have a doorman. He wears ordinary clothing and a sour complexion. I’m pretty certain he could break my spine without trying.
I asked, “Dov’e uno supermercado?”
He gestured down the street and said some words, and I got the gist of it. It was up the block and then I turned left.
“Grazie,” I said.
Then I wandered up the street. I hadn’t eaten in several hours, and I passed a butcher shop on the way to the supermarket. Nummm. I nearly went inside. I don’t know what kind of cooking materials we have in the kitchen yet.
I felt bad buying a whole bunch of American brands from the supermarket, but I totally bought a whole bunch of American brands from the supermarket. Except for the deodorant. I experimented a bit with that. And I guess technically the toothbrush (spazzolino da denti) was Italian as well.
My next conversation was with the cashier and it was a total failure. She ended up speaking English at me. “Do you want a bag?”
“Si,” I tried lamely to hold onto my Italian. “Grazie.”
The next conversation was in a pizza shop, just around the corner from my apartment. I completely blanked on how to order food. We spent a whole week on ordering food in Italy, and I just did not know what to say. I ended up just pointed at a pizza. It was a long pizza, which they would cut a certain portion of, then fold it over so you ate it like a sandwich. I let them choose how much pizza to give me. He pointed at the amount on the till as he said “Due e diecotto.”
I’ll get the hang of this Italian thing I swear.
Next stop, I think, is American University, but first, a nap.