I started school last Friday. I was really nervous, butterflies in my stomach... I think I was blushing and had a deer-in-the-headlights look all day. I felt like a lamb being led into a slaughterhouse. No one paid me much mind at first, though, which I think is a good thing. My host brother Giorgio and I didn't know which class I was supposed to be in, so he told me to just sit in his class with him for that day. I was doodling and about to fall asleep when my tutor found me and took me to the class I was supposed to be in. As soon as I walked in the door, everyone in the class turned, all eyes on me, and began to whisper incessantly. I'm pretty sure I almost peed my pants. A few of my teachers spoke English and asked me about where I was from and why I was here and what I wanted to do as a career later on. During breaks, everyone rushed to my desk and started introducing themselves... I said "Ciao, piacere" ("Hi, nice to meet you") about thirty times in less than five minutes. I came home and passed out for a good three or four hours... Needless to say, being a foreigner is exhausting.
The "Light Party" for Kylie and I was also on Friday. We went together, with Giorgio and Claudio. It was a bit boring at first; just mid-twenties Italian people mingling with each other and taking lots of buddy pics. The music was all American, and at least two years old. Kylie and I had good laugh about that. Eventually, the four of us just decided to have fun and started to dance. It turned out to be really fun. We danced and goofed around for a couple of hours, then decided to sneak off to the actual beach to walk around and dip our feet in the water... Absolutely amazing, and terrifying, at the same time. It's scary to see all that water and not know what may be lurking beneath the waves, but it's also awe-inspiring to look out and find it difficult to distinguish between sea and sky.
Saturday night, I went to Piazza Duomo with Miriam, Roberto, and Giulia. We walked around, passed Teatro Romano (I think?) where a live opera was being performed (part of the Bellini Festival), down to the square, and had a small dinner. The piazza was PACKED. There was to be a concert later that night; it was to start at 11pm (isn't that when most concerts END in America!?). We met up with Kylie and her host parents, and went to a pub / restaurant so they could have dinner; I nibbled off of Kylie's couscous con carne and had some dessert- white chocolate and mint ice cream with whipped cream. It was delicious.
The next day, Kylie's host parent took Kylie and I to their house on the beach in Bruccoli; undoubtedly the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. The house was enormous, very Mediterranean, and right on the beach... Now, this is very different from any beach I've been to previously. This was a rock beach. The water was clearer, but I am terrified of sea critters and algae freaks me out, so hopping from rock to rock and then into the water where I am surrounded by rocks really freaked me out... But eventually, I calmed down, closed my eyes, and just floated for a while. It was very serene. After splashing around in the Mediterranean for a bit, we went up to their huge pool... I can't believe they have beachside property AND a pool. It was like a spa vacation. It was starting to get cloudy and a bit cold, so we went upstairs for some lunch (pasta pomodoro and pesto pasta), then back down to the pool for some sun.
Then, as always, Monday came... Second day of school. I didn't get enough sleep the night before, my alarm didn't go off, and I went to school looking like a total wreck. During math, which I didn't understand because it was in Italian, I closed my eyes for a few moments... Bad idea. My fiendish teacher slammed her hand down on the desk and started yelling in Italian; I only caught "Americana dorme!" which means "The American is sleeping!" but she definitely said more than just that. Everyone was staring at me, and the next thing I know, she's forcing me to go up to the board to solve equations... This is a problem. First off, I didn't understand any of what she was telling me to write, because she was telling me in Italian. I tried to explain that I didn't understand, but she just got more frustrated and obviously thought I was an idiot. Second off, I couldn't remember for the life of me how to solve the equations, which I also tried to explain, but she would hear none of it. The other students that went up to the board before me only had to solve one equation; she made me do five. I don't think I've ever been so mortified and humiliated in my life. I will definitely be getting more sleep on school nights, and remember to be very cautious in her class...
I rode on a motorbike for the first time today! We couldn't find Giorgio's friend Angelo, who is the only one of us that can drive a car, to give me a ride home... Giorgio decided to just give me a ride home on the motorbike. It was absolutely, positively exhilarating. I was holding onto Giorgio so tight, I probably left marks on his abdomen. However, I was wearing probably the most dangerous dress for the occasion... A long, flowy dress that got a wee-bit caught in the back tire... Luckily, it didn't cause any problems whatsoever during or after the ride, and I managed to rip my dress free from the wheel, but next time, I will definitely dress more appropriately!
Ciao for now!