Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Saying goodbye, and hello.

Today was a day of reminiscence and review, as we prepare for our final and deplore the fact that tomorrow will be our last day in this beautiful city. Europe has never particularly been a region of interest for me but it's hard to not be captivated by the ancient wonder of Rome. Unlike the majority of people on this trip, Rome is my first experience abroad. As I review my notes from our guest professor's lectures I realize their is a large difference between text book Rome, and the actual Rome. It's hard to think of corruption, economic hardship, and political turmoil when staring at the sky through the Pantheon ceiling, or wandering the majestic streets of Vatican city. Rome is picturesque from every angle. Despite how enamored I have become with the aesthetic of  this city,when
Taking on the world one country at a time.
people ask if I could live here, I say no. During our mandatory orientation we were told that if we were expecting America, then stay home. When I read the advice of previous global scholars, things typically missed by Americans, I was able to deal with. I do not mind that there is no air conditioning or screening for the windows. I have become accustomed with hanging my laundry to dry, pressing a button for hot water, and even paying for water which is typically free in the United States. However, the one thing I didn't realize I valued so much until I left the United States was diversity. As a child I was introduced to Panini, Pasta (of all kinds), and Pizza. I knew these foods were Italian, but I did not realize how integrated they were into Italian culture. I am positive that 80% of what I ate here was some variation of Pizza, Pasta, or Panini. I was looked at weirdly by classmates when I suddenly craved for Latino or Asian food . I was looked at weirdly by Italians who were not accustomed to seeing people of color. I realized that because I grew up in America, I was used to diversity, of people, of food, and most everything else. Italy has a rustic charm, and I would never try to encourage it to change. The culture is rich and warm, and I'll definitely miss being able to get fresh fruit and vegetables on practically any main street. Thus while it is hard to turn away from the beautiful city, I am excited to welcome the change in scenery and food that Istanbul will offer.

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