Boy oh boy, have the last few weeks been hectic. That’s, of course, why it’s been so long since my last blog post. Busy, busy, busy! Of course, I do like to update you about my shenanigans, especially when I have a lot of studying to do. Just know that this post is only procrastination in part. And so we go:
Oktoberfest, three weekends ago now, lived up to and exceeded every one of my expectations. I had a great time, and met a lot of interesting people. Before going, I’d heard from different people that the event is a huge tourist magnet, so I’d mostly be seeing other American college students studying abroad. I was overjoyed to find that this was not the case. Oktoberfest had so many people, and they were from all over the world. My friends and I met people from Italy, the U.S., Germany, New Zealand, and England, just to name a few. I thought that the event was particularly special because, no matter the attendees’ country, culture, or language, everyone was united in their love of having a good time. Our group encountered some challenges before, during, and after the event, but I’m so glad that I went.
I still couldn’t wait to return to Rome, though, since my good friend Deep, who is studying in Copenhagen this semester, was visiting! We got to hang out for two nights in a row before he left, and it felt great to see someone who I actually know from back home.
But I got another dose of this feeling just a couple of days later, when my parents arrived for their visit! Our weekend was packed full of quality time, sightseeing, and, of course, eating. They seemed to like my new home city a lot, and I had a great time showing them around. They left for a week of traveling around Italy and returned to Rome on Friday. We spent the day together at the Vatican Museum, and after a nice dinner at this restaurant that is the oldest Roman building still in practical use, we said our goodbyes. The feeling that I had was interesting. I’ve never had any visitors during my previous abroad experiences, but have always kept in contact via Skype. However, seeing my parents in person actually made me miss home more, I think. It’s a good think that I spend too much time loving Rome to spend any missing home!
As far as the “study” component of study abroad goes, things have been ramping up very quickly. Last week, I had a midterm and two presentations, and this week, I have three midterms. It’s not so bad, but at the same time, it’s hard to keep a steady focus on school when there’s so much else going on. I’ve now racked up two nights in a row of studying that can only be rivaled by those that take place during Wofford’s finals week. Everything will work out, though, since right after midterms end, Fall Break begins! For me, it’ll be ten fun-filled days of traveling with friends in Paris, and then with my cousins in Madrid an Barcelona. I’m really looking forward to it for obvious reasons.
Despite all of the busyness of the week, between class, studying, and travel coordinating, I still made some time earlier today to step back for a moment and take a cooking class. This class’s specialty was eggplant! I’d never taken part in the purple fruit as of this morning, but I’m definitely glad that I did. It’s a really versatile ingredient, which we used to prepare three different dishes. I can’t remember any of the Italian names, of course, with the obvious exception of Eggplant Parmigiana. The little things like random cooking classes are really completing my whole Roman experience, and I really appreciate them.
If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, I’m sure you know how much I love food. That is, if my taking a cooking class isn’t enough evidence in itself. I enjoy sampling all different kinds of food, and I’m ready and willing to try anything anything at least once. During my especially late study escapades of this week, I tried another new food, with which I fell in love. Amidst cramming for my Italy and the Mediterranean exam with my roommate, we decided that we needed a study break/late night snack. If we were in the States, we would naturally take a quick trip to Taco Bell, Cookout, or Wendy’s to pick up some fast food, but that’s not really an option here. Instead, we met up with some other friends and walked to what is, to my knowledge, the only 24-hour bakery in Rome. We’d been here a few times before in the evening, but I never made the connection to the late-night Cookout runs I make at Wofford. I got a donut that was as big as my face, and was more than satisfied.
I’m happy to report that Rome is still just…fun. The food is delicious, the people are great, and the experiences are unforgettable. The end of midterms tomorrow will mark the halfway point in my semester. I can’t believe that so much time has gone by, and what seemed like an infinite amount just weeks ago now seems to be disappearing right before my eyes. I suppose my only choice is to take advantage of the time that I have left, and really enjoy every second of my abroad experience, not that I haven’t been doing that the whole time anyway.
Now, it’s back to studying. Ciao!