Monday, September 15, 2008

Random Thoughts

Italians LOVE Obama. Check out this ad in one of their local newspapers:

**Roughly** translated it reads: THE MAN. and at the bottom: It is born (or maybe he is born). The man of the day (the man of the hour). A new definition of man.

I went to mass at the Duomo this past Sunday with some other people from my program. What a beautiful church and service. The atmosphere in this massive cathedral was unlike any other. It didn't matter that there were tourist coming in and out taking pictures. You didn't even notice them. All you could focus on was the sound of the young but talented choir, the prayers and readings, or the chaos of your own thoughts and prayers. The entire mass was in Italian but being raised Catholic I was able to follow along to an extent. It's still so surreal living here in Milan. "So where do you go to church?" " know... THE Duomo!"

Things I took for granted (too be continued in future journals I'm sure):

1. COLD milk
(Yes it is true, Italians don't drink milk. They don't really eat cereal... so no need for it there and the only milk we find at breakfast in the morning is steaming hot milk meant to be used in coffee or tea. We've been using yogurt in our cereal and suffering without a tall glass of ice cold milk...sigh)

2. Starbucks
(While I don't consider myself a Starbucks addict necessarily, I def. crave a good java chip frapp or vanilla chai at least once a week depending on stress level... double sigh. Although, I have started to grow accustomed to the ridiculously strong Italian coffee (with a lot of caldo latte e zucchero (hot milk and sugar) of course))

3. A/C metros and hygiene conscience Americans
(God has definitely prepared me for this trip in more ways than one. While I was in Chicago I got a lot of practice using a metro/bus system with a unique mix of people. However, He neglected to prepare me for this same task in non air conditioned metro cars with a culture that doesn't rank hygiene at as high a priority as a majority of Americans. Not to mention the stares we receive on the metro. We've been assured this is part of the culture and is not done just because we are Americans...sureeee)

4. The abundance of energy in general
(One washer and One dryer for 100 people... really?! Ok, I should be happy I even have a washer let alone a dryer! Thank God we don't have to get our electricity from the next country over. Italy gets theirs from France.)

5. Dinner at least by 6pm
(Breakfast is served here from 7:30am-10:00am; normal. Lunch is served from 12:30am-2pm; again normal. Dinner is served 7:30pm-9pm; not so normal at least in my life. These times would be fine if I ate breakfast at 10am and could hold out for lunch until 2pm then dinner at 7:30 wouldn't be so bad. But in order to get to class on time I eat breakfast at 8am. And breakfast is simply a croissant or some corn flakes with yogurt.....EVERY single morning. Which means by 12:30 after traveling to class, going to class and traveling home from class, I'm starving! So dinner 7! hours later just isnt cutting it!)

6. English -- the language... enough said. haha

Don't get me wrong. I still LOVE Italy and have/will continue to adjust to the differences. Just thought it'd be fun to share a few of these "small" bumps in the road. ;)


Laura Curtin said...

obama IS the man! duh :)

so cool you went to church there... thats so crazy.

too bad i can't ship you starbucks :(

love youuuuu

Julie said...

hi sam!

Everything looks so pretty - I'm jealous, even though you have a few culture shock things to get over.

i started student teaching - and I really like it. I've been having lots of fun, talking in a British accent and reading "If you give a mouse a cookie."

Sonja said...

I am so impressed with your BLOG. I am going to share it with my class. I would like to have them start writing you soon. Look forward to the comments. Please respond if you are able.
Thanks so much,
Sonja Johnson

bethie414 said...

Wow! great church sam!!! i'm so excited for you. i wish i could mail milk to you but ....that just wouldn't work... ;(

love you!