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!

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