Monday, October 25, 2010

its a coldplay kinda week

Wow so I've done nothing this week. After my trip to Verona, my legs hurt for about 3 days so I didn't want to do any walking. Monday after class I went to the small island of Torcello to look around because my art teacher told me to. I had also planned on seeing it, but this actually forced me to go do it. After missing the correct vaporetto stop I arrived at the church just in time to see it before they closed. I think the people were a bit angry that I actually wanted to go in. They looked like they were all ready to hit the road and be done with work for the day. took an hour to get there so I was definitely staying to look around for a few minutes. It was pretty cool. The floor is covered in this fantastic marble work. I wish I could have taken a picture of it. It was amazing. The rest of it just kinda looked like a typical church. When I was finished inside the church I walked around outside for awhile. It was a bit creepy because the place was completely deserted. Only about 30 people live on the island and I arrived after all the crowds, so it was a ghost town. I saw some beautiful orchards and got a closer look at the mountains. I started walking back to the vaporetto stop and felt like I was going to be murdered by a gang of cats. They were everywhere. It was a bit insane. I took a picture of 4 of them as they stared me down. I waited at the vaporetto stop for 30 minutes because they only run every half an hour. The sad thing is I could see it just sitting across the water waiting until the correct time. I was like I could just swim this and be there. Whatever I waited and had a photo shoot with the beautiful sunset. I got home an hour later and made my usual dinner of a blt and potatoes. Yummy.

Tuesday was kind of the most horrible day ever. Instead of having class on Thursday, I met with art teacher at Piazza San Marco to take a walking tour and get a bit of the history of the place. Class is usually only 2 hours, but this turned into a 4 hour excursion. After we finished my brain was filled to the brim with information and I kind of wanted to die. It was really interesting but overwhelming. I need to go back to the basilica to experience it without all this information being thrown at me. It is crazy how amazing the place really is.

Wednesday I had my history class which went the same as it always does. I'm nervous about the papers for both the art and history classes. I hate writing papers! I'm so bad at them. They always end up being filled with fluff and no actual content. I guess we'll see how they turn out. Ugh totally dreading them.

Other than that I really didn't do anything the rest of the week. I have been a little homesick lately and I'm not sure why. I guess I've just been thinking a lot about seeing my friends and stuff and I feel like I'm missing too much of their lives. Only about 8 more weeks though! Its crazy how fast time is going. In the beginning time was moving quite slowly but now I feel like I don't have enough time. I don't think my study abroad experience can live up to other peoples. I haven't done that much. I mean by my standards I have, but by others I don't know. Anyways now I'm just rambling. Sadly thats all I have to say about this week and whats been going on. Not exciting at all. Hopefully my next post will be more lively :) Ciao.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

walking along the highway in italy is scary! has been a long and tiring week. As you all know I started Level 4 last Monday and its wearing me down. Not that the class is really that hard, I just feel like I should be doing better so that stresses me out. I feel like I should be way better at speaking, but I still get super nervous. Also, I have homework every night, which I didn't have for the first 4 weeks of classes. In addition to the stress of Level 4, I've been feeling the weight of my other two classes. I've never been good at history so my Venetian history class has been killing my brain. I mean its interesting when I hear it but I don't really care to remember it. My art class is kind of the same way. I love art and I love to hear about it, but I'm never good at remembering historical things about it. Although it has helped being able to see examples of the subjects in person. It makes it more real. I'm also thinking about the two papers I have to write. Thank goodness they are in English. They both have to be about 10 pages I think. I haven't written a paper in a while. I guess we'll see what happens.

Um...let's see. Oh yes I wanted to complain a bit about doing laundry. Why don't they have dryers here? I mean it just takes so much less time. At home if I need to wash something because I want to wear it the next day, it can happen. Now if I know I want to wear something and its dirty, I have to wash it like 3 days prior. Then I have to hang it on this thing thats pretty much like a clothes line to dry for days. Air drying your clothes is kind of like starching them. They get stiff and sometimes its not pleasant. Also they don't go back to their original shapes. I tend to stretch out my shirts when I wear them cause I pull on the bottom a lot. Without dryers they stay stretched out. Ugh.

This week I'm realizing how fun it is to talk about stereotypes with people from other countries. Everyone thinks that all we eat in the United States is hamburgers and all we drink is Coca-Cola. Obviously that is not the case. Sure they are popular but not for every meal every day. Pretty much everyday someone asks me a question about an American stereotype or if something they heard is real. Haha like my host. When we had dinner a few weeks ago, she brought up a book she'd read by John Grisham. The subject of this book had something to do with Christmas and in it he talks about how Americans have contests to see who can decorate their houses with the best lights/decorations. She was completely amazed when I said this was true. It was like a piece of her life was complete. Just makes me chuckle a bit to talk about these things.

Um something exciting this week is that I've lost 13 pounds! All this walking has been doing some good. Which brings me to my Verona story. I definitely did a lot of walking!

Lets start at the beginning. So the night before I was supposed to be asleep by 9 pm because the train left super early in the morning. Obviously this going to bed early thing didn't work and I really only got about 4 hours asleep. Surprisingly when I woke up I was really awake. Maybe from the excitement who knows. Anyways I got up, got ready, and left for the train station. Its really close and it was very nice walking around Venice when its pretty much abandoned. Its so peaceful and I didn't have to shove myself through large tourist groups. I got to the train station, so nervous I was going to miss the train or get on the wrong one, but I made it. It was the first time I've ever been on a train and I have to say I like it. Its easy and kind of relaxing and I can look out the window without being afraid of how high we are. I got to Verona at 7:30 in the morning and the first thing I did was buy a map. I bought a cheaper map because I was stupid and figured I could find my way without a super comprehensive one. Boy was I wrong. After I bought the horrible map I should have gone straight to the bus to let it take me to the touristy places, but did I do that? Of course not. I set out with my crappy map and my quickly jotted down mapquest directions and had quite the adventure. To start, cars are scary. I haven't been around them in so long it was bit jarring to have them whiz past me and to actually have to look for them when crossing the street. Also, I went in the complete wrong direction I was supposed to go which took me to a place that wasn't even on my map. So I turned around after I figured this out and went back to the train station. Did I go to the bus now? Of course not. I thought I figured out the map and started walking again. After about an hour I was like this just doesn't seem right. Haha yea I walked for an hour before I realized this. While it was nice to take a walking tour of the "real" Verona I was like lets just get to where I want to go. I kept walking though figuring at any moment I would find something to help me. I soon did! It was a sign pointing to the center of Verona, where all the touristy crap is. I was overjoyed! This sign did not lead to the city center though. I walked for another hour and a half, but not along safe residential roads. Oh was along the highway. I probably almost died about 5 times but hey I lived! Eventually I found civilization and got on the bus. So after like 3 hours I finally got to the first place I actually wanted to go! The rest of the Verona trip was fantastic. The city has this card called the VeronaCard that allows you to see 13 attractions around the city for 10 bucks. Pretty sweet deal. I went to 8 out of 13 during the day which is pretty good if you ask me. I walked to all of them too which makes it even more impressive lol. I saw two churches that took my breath away and the landscape was fantastic. The Romeo and Juliet attractions were kinda interesting so I'm glad I went but also kinda stupid. After walking to all these places and being on my feet for like 10 hours I decided I was done. The city was beautiful but it was starting to get dark and I was super tired. My dying legs were begging for me to return home. So went to catch a train 3 hours earlier than I planned. I didn't mind though.

Today I was supposed to go Torcello, an island like 45 minutes from Venice by waterbus, but I didn't feel like it. It was raining and my legs are very very very sore from yesterday. I have to go to do some research/studying for class. So I'm going tomorrow.

Anyways thats all I have. Until next time, peace out!

Monday, October 11, 2010


So its been like a week since I last updated and I'm very unsure what I talked about before so we'll see how this one goes.

Today is the start of a new round of classes. The school that I am at is set up a bit strange. They do sets of 4 week language classes and then they start all over. So last week I finished Level 3 and this week I'm starting Level 4. Eek! Time to start freaking out. I only have to do it for 4 weeks so thats only 20 classes. Then I will be finished with language and only have my other two classes. Ugh I don't know what I am going to do with all my free time. Friday night I read an entire book because I didn't have anything to do. It was a good Nicholas Sparks book called "The Lucky One." With some research on the net I found they are making it a movie and guess who is playing the lead. Oh come on just guess. Zac Efron! Thats right. I think he is completely wrong for the role, but we will see what he can do with the part.

Lets see...I guess I've been doing a little sightseeing. I went to the Palazzo Ducale last Tuesday (maybe). It was sooo cool. I didn't know what to expect but it was awesome. You would walk through these seemingly normal, small rooms and think oh this is boring. But then you reach the grand rooms and its fantastic. The walls are covered in these huge paintings, paintings that I would never be able to finish because I would get so pissed off at how long they were taking. Everything in the room is trimmed in this elaborate gold decoration. I could spend an entire day sitting in one room just looking at all the intricacy. Wow!

Wednesday and Thursday I began my art history and history of Venice lessons. I only have them each once a week for two hours so thats not bad at all. I've never really liked one-on-one teaching. I'm more of a lecture person because I can just fade into the background. This just me and the teacher thing is going to be weird, but I will definitely learn a lot more. I'll keep you updated.

Friday I read that book...boring.

Saturday I went to Murano, which specializes in working with glass. I only stayed for like 2 hours and didn't see as much as I should but there is always time to go back. I spent most of my time looking at the shops because I wanted to buy something for my parents. I ended up buying both of them a gift. Not very practical things, but I thought they were cool. I hope they like them, even if they are a bit pointless lol. That night when I got home I found Space Jam on tv! Yes! Of course it was in Italian, but it was still awesome to watch. I was really interested in how they would do the Looney Tune voices because they are so special to the characters, but they did a good job.

Yesterday, I went to Burano, which is known for making lace. I'm not really a fan of lace, but I wanted to see it anyway. It took like an hour by vaporetto to get there so I was a bit worn out when I arrived. I was expecting it to look very similar to Venice, just with a lot of lace shops. I was surprised to find that the houses were very brightly painted. In Venice, the houses are painted in earth tones, but in Burano the houses are rainbow colors. It was crazy. It was like in the Wizard of Oz when things go from black and white to color. God I hate that movie. Anyways, I just spent my entire time taking pictures of all the colored houses. When I got home I made dinner and found Varsity Blues on tv! Watching this movie in Italian was the most interesting thing I've ever experienced. Its not a great movie by any means but it fills time. This time it was utterly fantastic to watch.

I also bought a jacket yesterday. I needed a fall/early winter jacket. Its fake leather, grey, and very different from stuff I own. It was pretty cheap so I just went for it.

Meh anyways thats about it. Ciao, until next time!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

i don't know what to call this one

Wow its kind of been a while since I've updated so I'll try and include everything I've been up to.

First off, today is not a good day at all. I found out that a friend from high school died in a car crash. I found out over facebook. It's just not the way you want to find out about stuff like that. Even though I haven't talked to him in a while, it still hurts that he is gone. We were pretty close in high school since we had all of the same classes. We'll miss you Sebastian, you were a great guy with a great sense of humor and a great view on life.

Now for the less depressing stuff. I had a Mountain Dew! OMG it tasted sooooo good. I was told I wouldn't have one for another few weeks but low and behold one appeared. I was sitting having my morning coffee when I hear my name being called. I look up at the terrace of my school and a guy from my class is dangling the lovely green can over the side. I raced up the stairs to collect the soda. I tore it open and took a sip. It was fantastic. I tried to take small sips so that it would last longer. Apparently the guys who work on the military base can get it so one of the Americans brought some for everyone. It was the best thing ever.

Class has been going well I guess. I'm kind of blindly navigating my way through this weird set up of classes. Apparently after 4 weeks the classes end and then start over again. So I guess that means I'm moving up to level 4? We'll see. Also, I think my other two classes start this week, but I'm not completely sure. I was pulled out of class and shown times that I was supposed to meet with a new teacher. I'll let you know what happens after I have this special session. The worst thing about the school is trying to make friends. I've made some friends but they are all gone now. People are only here for 1 or 2 weeks so you get to know them and then they are gone. It really sucks. But I'm really getting used to being by myself. We'll see if anymore people come that I can make friends with.

I've been eating some really good Italian food lately because my host, Annamaria, has cooked two meals for me. One was some kind of vegetable stuffed with some kind of meat. Sorry about not knowing exactly what it is, but she said the name in Italian and I didn't catch it. She also made a salad of carrots and apples. I was like I am not eating that but it turned out to be pretty fantastic. The next day she made a really really really good soup. It was mainly rice, but it had a lot of vegetables in it. It was really thick and had minimal broth which is the way I like it. It was great.

I've pretty much been passing my time by going to museums. I bought a pass for like 12 museums in Venice, so I've taking advantage of that. This past Saturday I went to Accademia which has a lot of religious art. I mean I really don't want to ever see the stuff again. I like it and I think the paintings are beautiful but after a while they get really repetitive. It was cool though. Sunday I went to 3 museums. I only meant to go to one but they were really close to each other and I just stumbled on them so I thought why not? First I went to the Museum of Natural History. It was pretty much a collection of fossils and bones trying explain the evolution of human beings. The fossils were pretty cool. The end of the tour actually scared the crap out of me because the last 3 rooms or so is a collection of stuffed animals heads, dead bugs, etc. I walked into the room and just felt bad. I was scared that the animals were going to magically wake up and attack. I didn't like it. Plus, I felt really bad that all these animals had died. I did get to see a stuffed albino deer and a stuffed two-headed deer mount, so that was kind of interesting. After that I went to Ca' Pesaro, which is the modern art museum. I loved it! I prefer modern stuff so this was right up my alley. It made my day when I saw a couple of Kandinsky paintings. So great :) Then I went to the Palazzo Mocenigo which bothered me a lot. It was beautiful, but as I was walking through I thought about what the people might say if they saw tons of tourists walking through their former home. I pictured them sitting there going about their normal business and I just didn't feel good being there. It was the weirdest feeling ever. Yesterday I went to the Palazzo Ducale, which is in Piazza San Marco. It was huge! Its weird to think that people actually lived and worked in these places. The art is fantastic, the decorations are fantastic, its all fantastic. The prison downstairs was a bit frightening. I kinda had the same feeling I did at Mocenigo. I felt like the prisoners were judging me for being there. But I survived!

I've also been planning to travel many places. You get can a train pass to a couple of countries fairly cheap so I'm gonna do that. I'm just gonna do the touristy things and try to spend the least money possible but its making my trip a lot better just thinking about going to all these places. Plus its making the weekends fill up, thus making the trip go faster.

GELATO UPDATE! I've tried sooo many flavors and three are tied for my favorite flavor. They are yogurt, coffee, and mint. Weird flavors but sooo good. I'll keep you posted if I have more flavors.

Thats all I have for now, plus I'm about to be kicked out of the school. Ciao ciao.