So, here we are in Italia! Finally! My friend Crystal, from John Marshall is along on this trip with me. Her bags got lost somewhere during her 2 connections to Rome. Needless to say that was the first adventure on this trip...looking for those dang bags. I waited with the rest of the luggage at FCO while Crystal basically searched the airport for her bags. Interesting people watching. There was some fresh prosciutto on the ground that everyone wheeled their suitcase over, actually it was quite disgusting. While I was waiting, this older Italian gentleman was definitely in my personal space. So I boxed him out and held tight to the luggage (have you heard the horror stories about pick pocketing here? If so, you understand my paranoia. I know I'm usually paranoid, but you can never be too careful, right mom??) I think the man sensed that I was uncomfortable so he proceeded to head towards the exit, got on his phone and started SCREAMING in Italian. I of course, stared (now I know why my family also screams on the phone). I'm pretty sure that this was some sort of scam to get me to stare so that one of this older Italian's gentlemen friends could steal my stuff (again, paranoid), but let's just say I outsmarted them! :)
We got on the Leonardo Express and took it to Termini. Ok, no one told me that if I chose to take the train instead of getting a cab to our apartment, that I would have to lug 70+lbs of luggage up and down a million flights of stairs while every Italian speaking man offered to help! We finally made it to the Metro after walking through this mini mall underground. From there we got off at the Cipro stop and decided I was done lugging for the time being and got a taxi. While looking for this taxi, this Indian man insisted on giving us directions and asking Crystal if she was Japanese (she's Chinese).
When we arrived to the hotel we met Sebastiano (for those of you who don't know Italian, I believe it's Sebastian, just a guess). He is the hotel manager. He has blue eyes, so next time one of you crazy people tell me EYE-talians can't have blue eyes, you can shove it! So Sebastiano shows us to Room 37 at Villa Tassoni. Do these people use AC? No, actually most of them DO NOT. So Sebastiano is trying to do everything in his power to get it to work. He gets it running. I start to mess with it trying to get it cooler in this place and I start pushing buttons. Apparently, when you press "mode" it shuts off the entire AC in the place and turns the heat on. OOPS! Sorry Sebastiano. After complaining for 20 minutes about how hot it is, he informs me it was my fault. Trying to be witty and lighten the mood (of course), I start to become my sarcastic self. I asked Sebastiano "Well I guess we shouldn't mess with it then, huh? Well let's just say Sebastiano does not think that pressing "mode" is a great joke and I got a blank stare. I tried to make small talk, "So, Sebastiano, are you here everyday?" He replied, "Not everyday, but this is my job." Needless to say he wasn't excited to chat it up.
I did not sleep great on Saturday night, apparently the Romans like to party. I guess that's a good thing. There was a car accident outside our apartment at 2am and the police lights pretty much kept me up all night. Didn't get much sleep, but I am sure I will survive without it, like usual.
This morning we visited the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, the Parthenon and Piazza Navona. It started raining right when we got to the Spanish Steps and we got soaked because we refused to spend three euros on an umbrella when we had rain gear at the apartment. I tried bargaining for the umbrella for one euro, but I was unsuccessful. I guess it is our punishment for unpreparedness.
I had pistachio gelato today at the Trevi Fountain (yum-o!), a cappachino, a mozzarella panini at the Spanish Steps and a pizza (which I don't know the name of because I asked the server just to bring me her favorite dish) with two Peroni at dinner (il peperoncino dispettoso) with our classmates and our Professor, Luca. All of our classmates seem to be really nice. There are nine students from St. John's (the host school of the program), one student from John Marshall Chicago, one student from Georgetown, and five students from NOVA. It was fun getting to know everyone.
The Trevi Fountain was my favorite site today. I thought it was amazing! I hope this blog will entertain you guys. Love and miss all of you and wish you were here! Check back tomorrow for more!