Saturday, June 30, 2012

È una pioggia di sorrisi

... e c'è una pioggia di sorprese, che ti aspettano domani e ancora!

It's the last day of June and I am sitting in my room to (1) avoid the intense heat outside and (2) reflect on my first month here in Perugia. It has definitely been a wild ride. I've seen and experienced so many things that I had never imagined. I've met some fantastic people from all over the world and I've learned so much Italian in such a short time. I've learned what it's really like to live away from home (to miss your family and friends greatly), but I've also learned how to value them more, I think. In essence, I've become independent.

And now many of the things I've spent the last time building up will change. My classes for June ended this past Monday. Most of my classmates spent the week taking exams to earn certification, but I didn't. Starting next week, I enter a whole new month of classes with new classmates and, most likely, new professors. In addition, I'll be spending both July and August taking intensive courses in the Italian language and culture, so I am expecting the difficulty level to go up! We'll see how that goes.

On top of that, many of the friends I made over the last month have left or are leaving in the next few days. Some of them were here for many months prior, others just one. It's honestly weird to see that happening so early into this trip. Most of them aren't ready to go home just yet, and who can blame them? Perugia is really a beautiful city in many aspects. At the same time, it has made me evaluate the five and half months I have left here.

This city is international. I heard it time and time again before leaving, but I didn't expect it to be a home for so many immigrants and other foreigners. Everywhere you go, you'll find a foreigner. Being at a university for foreigners, that's especially true for me. In addition to meeting many Italians, I've met or become friends with people from China, Spain, Macedonia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Venezuela, Palestine, the Dominican Republic, France, Turkey, Brazil, South Korea, England, Pakistan, Poland, Jordan, the U.S., Japan, Albania, Mexico, El Salvador and Germany. There are others, no doubt, but it's kind of of hard to keep track of them all!

At the same time, the Italian spirit shines through. Nowhere was it more apparent than in the center city on Thursday night, right after Italy defeated Germany to advance to the Eurocup final (which takes place tomorrow). 

Yep, they were happy!

The celebration started immediately after the game ended, at about 10:30 pm. Any cars that decided to drive through the large crowd were rocked back and forth by Italians as they tried to drive on. Most of the drivers grinned as their cars were shaken wildly. Things were even crazier for motorcyclists, who were almost thrown off their motorcycles, haha. Flags were waved non-stop all night. They were accented by the green, white, and red smoke of fireworks that were set off every couple minutes. By the time I decided to get some sleep (around 2:30), the party was still going, although it had calmed down substantially by then. One of my New York friends remarked how this wouldn't be possible in NYC without a few fights breaking out.

Imagine this, but much larger!

So, even as I lose some of the friends that I made in June, I know I'll meet and make many new friends. At least, that's my hope! My friend Claire (who I know from an Italian class at Grand Valley) arrived this Tuesday. Our friend Bridget (also from my Italian classes at GV) arrives tomorrow. That has changed the dynamic of being the lone Michigander quite dramatically, but I'm excited! There are still many things to do and many places to see here in Italy, and I'm glad I now have them as travel buddies.

1 comment:

  1. Great title! I had to translate with Google, but I figured it out :) How hot is it there?