Saturday, May 17, 2008

Day #7198 - But it's also Day#1!

Hey Family!

It’s currently 4am here in Verona and thanks to that little buddy I like to call jet lag, I can’t sleep. I actually managed to sleep on the plane, but then when it came time to go to bed for real, my body got all sorts of confused because it’s 9pm back in the US. Therefore in an attempt to tire myself out because I need to wake up in a couple hours, I’ll take this time now to describe what has happened so far.

The first flight from O’Hare to Frankfurt wasn’t that bad. Like I said, I managed to get a couple hours sleep and there were individual tv screens at each seat where we got to select from a bunch of different movies and start playing them whenever we wanted. Very cool – I watched 27 Dresses. The layover in Germany was fine – not exactly the most eventful 3 hours of my life. Very weird how they did it there – we had to actually go through customs after the first flight and leave the terminal and then go through security again and go to a different terminal. I also got my first airport “pat-down” which was something terribly awkward, let me tell you. Apparently German security does not like the metal button on my jeans, but I got wanded and such. So that was Germany.

The second flight from Frankfurt to Verona was incredibly short – just over an hour. At this point though, to my body it was some awkward time and I fell asleep for most of this trip. Italy customs was completely different. Some people’s luggage had to go through an x-ray machine, but most didn’t. Then you just mosey through the doors and that’s it – Welcome to Italy. Then the real fun began. We landed just before 1900 and our resident director Claudio was supposed to come pick us up at the airport to take us to our apartments. We waited for about 20 minutes to a half hour and he still didn’t show. We figured this was just because “everything’s slower in Italy,” but then looking at our original iternerary, I pointed out to everyone that on the schedule he sent us he didn’t think we’d be landing until 2240 (almost 4 hours later). We found his cell phone number, called and told him we were here, and then he called the bus company to get us an earlier ride from the airport. So instead of waiting 4 hours, we only had to wait 2.

I got to meet one of my roommates last night when I got to the apartment. Her name starts with an “n” I think and Claudio doesn’t know if these girls are Chinese or Japanese. Anyway, she doesn’t speak very much English at all, but Claudio said that the rest of the girls who live here are coming later today and speak much more English than this girl does. I unpacked, made my bed, and then went out to get food last night with two other U of I girls who are in my building, Megan and Kim. We went down the street to a little pizzeria and had pizza and wine. Soooo good! Very different from the Chicago deep dish that we’re used to, but still tasted incredible. After we ate and came home, I got to embark on the many adventures I will have trying to figure out this apartment. Lesson number one – no toilet paper and bidets are just plain weird. Lesson number two – there’s a special yarn-like thing that must be held in order to get the tub to drain otherwise it doesn’t. Lesson number three – locking the door to the apartment and unlocking it is the goofiest process ever. You have to turn the key in the lock 5 times before the door can open. Hopefully it won’t take me the whole 6 weeks to get used to that.

I realize that I haven’t described my room yet. Well, it’s less than half the size of my room at ISR. There is no closet – instead there’s a sort of thing to hang some clothes on next to one wall and shelves like we have in the garage on the other. My bed is a twin tall, but skinnier. I’m getting very well aquainted with the wall. I do have a door that goes out to the balcony, but I can’t really use it because my desk is in the way. I’m not doing a very good job describing this place – have no fear, I’ll take pictures. Though the apartment isn’t exactly fabuloso, it’s not bad either. It’ll just take some adjusting. At least I get a nice view – the building is across the street from a beautiful old church with a high steeple.

Well I should probably try to get back to sleep now. It’s going to take me a couple nights at least to get used to this new bed and room – I’m just hoping that the next two days or so leave me completely exhausted that way I’ll have to sleep at night. I miss you all so so much. I’m really scared about letting you guys down, but I’m going to try to take as many pictures as possible and remember as many stories as I can. I love you all and look forward to hearing from you soon!

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