Wednesday, October 1, 2008

benvenuti a milano

It’s the end of my first full day in Milan. My apartment is beautiful, and seems very big for one person. I have two balconies, all for me. My second suitcase (my beloved backpack) arrived today, so everything is here.

After cooking dinner tonight and sipping my second glass of wine, I lit the candles I found in the flat and a stick of incense I imported from California. It already feels like home.

I taught my first English lesson today and sat in on a class with the kids I will be teaching next week. I loved both – not hard at all!

Valentina has been very helpful in getting me set up with a telephone (still not programmed), internet (haven’t received the adapter yet), directions (I got lost walking to the school), tv (BBC decoder should work by tomorrow), and groceries (the supermarket is a two minute walk). Really she, and her family, have been wonderful and I am so thankful for their help.

I already understand so much Italian, but I really need to speak it for goodness sakes! I think I have not said a single sentence in Italian yet. It runs through my mind constantly though. It’s so easy and fluid. I tried to take a nap (jetlag fighting with two or three espressos) and realized after twenty minutes that I was processing Italian grammar the whole time. I love this part of the process. I can see, too, that I have matured since (and largely because of) my experience five years ago in Romania. I am not afraid to step out of my apartment, not afraid that someone will say something to me I don’t understand, not afraid of making a huge grievous error and receiving angry foreign reprimands. (Remember the ice cream, Sarah?)

Tomorrow I will go into the city of Milan. Where I live is actually a suburb called Rho. Actually, I live in a sort of suburb of the suburb, called Mazzo di Rho. As far as I can tell, Mazzo di Rho is a small shopping center (supermarket, café, flower shop, beautician, tabaccheria, etc) and public school surrounded by apartment buildings and some houses extending out from the shopping center in rings (that’s where I live, and where the English school is). The outermost ring has a lot of industry and connects to the highway. (The lesson I taught today was in one of those companies – they sell ball bearings.) It really is a beautiful model for a tiny suburb. A nice change from my suburb of Boston, where the closest industry is the pizza shop a mile away – and another mile to anything of substance or usefulness.

The supermarket, though tiny, carries pretty much everything I could want or need. I succumbed to its temptation today and bought, aside from the essentials, several luxury items: a bottle of wine (3,49 euros, delicious), a block of cheese (called Nostrano val Lesina, 1,92 euro), and the most amazing mushrooms I have ever laid eyes on (1,99 euro, the same price as their boring old white button mushrooms). So none of those things were bank breakers, and they make me very happy, but I must remember that I am on a budget, at least until I start making money.

One more observation: supposedly all Italian people do is smoke! but I have yet to see a single Italian person smoking. Maybe that will change tomorrow when I go to the city. I’m holding my breath! (haha, pun. ok, i’m sad.)

Now I must try to sleep, even though my body and mind think it’s only seven in the evening. Hoping the two glasses of wine will help…

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Ahhh! So I have been behind on my blog-reading but I just read this one and YES I remember "lapte baitii" which came shortly AFTER the ice cream. A traumatic day. It is so great to hear how you're doing though--the apartment sounds lovely!!