It is the end of the (almost) first full week in Rome and life has been... interesting. My team and I have settled in, for the most part, and are starting to figure out what the next week or so will contain. To be honest, I dont really have too good of a grasp of what life will look like beyond that but I am ok living with that uncertainty right now. I guess life is interesting enough with the mundane; I went to the grocery store by myself, am trying to figure out a monthly budget, and still wishing I had actually studied and practiced Italian over the summer.
Some fun stories from this last week... the grocery store. We were walking back from I dont know where and I needed to pick up groceries, so I split off and decided to give it a go. The one thing I was warned about was that you can't touch the fruit with your hands, but use gloves, bag it, weigh it, and print out a sticker with the cost. Grocery stores have always been fascinating for me; I guess it comes from growing up in a family of seven kids, where a four item grocery list could turn into a $300 dollar order in a matter of 15 minutes. I wandered, couldn't read the names of anything, and depended on pictures/the actual look of the food to figure out what I was buying. When I got to the checkout lane, the man who was checking out had a HUGE order and his credit card wouldnt work. So the lady standing in front of me in line turns and starts talking to me. In Italian. I didn't understand a word and simply smiled... and finally sheepishly said "Me despiache, io non capisco litaliano (I'm sorry I dont understand Italian)". I don't she understood me because she kept talking. She was great.
Another fun lost in translation moment; this morning I went to Trastevere Baptist, an evangelical church here in Rome. The sermon was a guest speaker speaking in Portuguese, being translated into Italian, of which I understood neither. I checked out mentally and read the Bible passage the sermon was on instead. The night before at the same church, a Canadian group came and sang in English, which the sermon was translated into Italian. Talk about international. The group was really good actually and you can check them out at www.myspace.com/themacgregors . And the older girl was kind of cute, so that helped too :)
Some last random quick hits before I go. I got to hang out with a couple Italian students who are part of the Agape Italia movement here; Ana, Daniele (a guy) and Lisa are all pretty sweet but it just makes me want to learn Italian even more. They spoke English, but its more fun in Italian. It was my teammate Matt Reis's birthday today. I got the first picture with him as a 25 year old. We cooked out first meal here in the apartment... some pasta and veggies and chicken dish. They/we eat a lot of pizza here. Not really like American pizza... thinner, less sauce, funkier vegetables.
And oh yea, if you read this, post a reply. I would love to know at least one person looks at this (thanks to Kevin for responding to the last one).