The big day has arrived – the day I start my year abroad.. I was overwhelmed with excitement until I realised that my morning began at 5 am. The excitement dwindled from there. But, after a few (dozen) coffees, airport breakfast and an extremely turbulent Easyjet flight I arrived at Rome Fiumicino airport.
The hour long taxi ride to my apartment provided more than enough awkward silences between the driver and myself as I tried to remember any sort of Italian conjugation. However, the journey mainly consisted of him swearing at the stereotypically appalling Italian drivers while I smiled and nodded along.
Another Italian stereotype proven true in my first hours is lateness. While looking rather homeless perched on the front steps of my building I waited for my landlord to arrive with my keys. This took around an hour after we had planned. Off to a great start.
After unpacking and settling into my bedroom (throwing a blanket on the bed and connecting to the wifi) I decided it was time for my first trip to the supermarket. All was going swimmingly until my plan of not saying a word to anyone bar ‘ciao’ and ‘grazie’ was foiled. My bunch of loose bananas caused more trouble than they were worth. Clearly I lack the vocabulary for the phrase ‘Go weigh these bananas’ or ‘Get out of the way, I’ll do it’. Something to add to my phrase book.
Groceries unpacked and bottle of wine uncorked and rationed into a plastic cup I was ready to cook dinner. Apparently Italian phraseology about weighing fruit and the ability to work a gas stove are two things I lack. My idealistic hot bowl of pasta with tomato sauce, basil and olives was swiftly replaced with a bowl of cereal and the sweetest soy milk known to man.
I’ll try again tomorrow.