The Nine Month Mark in Rome

Piazza Farnese in Rome
Piazza Farnese in Rome

I know  it’s been more than two months since my last post. I swear I’m not lazy, just extra busy and unless I could have added 17 more hours to each day, something had to give and I sadly had to backburner my blogging.

So, on December 14, I’ll be heading home for Christmas!  I hit nine months in November and it’s kinda wild to think that my time in Italy has been equivalent to a full-term pregnancy and then some.  Since my last post, the highlight of my expat life was my parents’ visit in October. I didn’t want them to leave and I wish they would just pick up and move themselves here.

I know I recapped my one-month and six-month anniversaries with some dandy bullet point lists so I thought I’d do the same to recap nine (almost ten!) months. Here goes….

  1. I’m not a Thanksgiving person—I usually would choose to maximize meager U.S. vacation time by spending a few days in Paris over the long holiday weekend—but ironically, Thanksgiving was the first time I was actually not “Romesick” but rather a little homesick. No, I don’t want to move back to the States and I’m kinda over the homesickness now, but that doesn’t mean I’m any less excited about seeing my friends and family soon.
  2. Speaking of Paris, I went there the weekend of November 21st. The nine months I had been in Italy was the longest amount of time I had been in one country in I-don’t-know-how-many years. BUT I feel content here and therefore wasn’t squirming to get away. So that’s a good sign! I take it as meaning that I’m where I’m supposed to be.
  3. I enjoyed every second of Paris. I can’t believe it had been just shy of two years since I had last been. That amount of time will never, ever again lapse between visits. In fact, I have already decided that I’ll be spending my birthday there.
  4. I haven’t made it to Ireland yet to see my family, but that’s a major priority for 2014.
  5. I have made four unsuccessful attempts at completing the 30-Day squat challenge as part of my Milanese resolution. Hopefully fifth time’s the charm!
  6. I can’t wait to do the Blue Print Cleanse three-day (at least) juice cleanse. I still miss juice more than I can articulate!
  7. I still adore the bejuses out of Milan. In fact, I’m writing this from here. I think it’s safe to say that it’s my favorite city in Italy.
  8. Speaking of Milan, I did wind up getting a bigger suitcase that’s a little bigger than a carry-on, but I still haven’t completely mastered the city’s sartorial challenges. I’m trying.
  9. I love cooking more and more with each passing day and can’t wait to have the kitchen of my dreams.
  10. After this week, I’ll have cooked my first three-course dinner for a friend who has hosted me for dinner several times. I’m a staying in some nifty AirBnB digs and I’m hoping that I can pull it off in this kitchen.  It’s a lovely kitchen but not equipped with some of the hardcore cooking appliances that would help me execute the dinner seamlessly so I think lots of elbow grease will be in order. I’ll let you know how it goes. Fingers crossed!
  11. I was eager to learn more about wine and I’ve completed WSET Level 1 & 2 courses at the Tuscan Wine School in Florence. I’m taking Level 3 in March and the course book is nearly 300 pages so I have my work cut out for me. Oddio.
  12. I have been in the presence of a famous Italian Olympian.
  13. I’ve returned to Venice twice and I still love it. Honestly, it’s better to go during the colder months because even if it’s chilly, it’s way less crowded which means a decline in tourists.
  14. Sadly, I’m still not fluent in Italian, which frustrates me more than anything. Sometimes I wish life was like The Matrix and I could program myself for Italian fluency.  But I’m getting better! I’m really hoping that I don’t digress during the four weeks I’m in New York.
  15. Several months ago, I caved and put more English songs back on my iPhone. It was a little too overwhelming to constantly listen to a soundtrack of solely Italian music.
  16. Rome never ceases to amaze me. You can find hidden treasures anywhere and everywhere, including a street you may have walked down 87 million times.
  17. As amazing as Rome is, though, there are some days when I’m just completely bored out of my mind.
  18. I wish I had known enough to opt to major in the Classics in college. I heart anything and everything about Ancient Rome.
  19. Let me preface this by saying that I love this country and I love living here, but the bureaucracy never ceases to frustrate me. Please know that my intention is not to ruffle any feathers when I say this, but I’m starting to think/learn that one of Italy’s biggest flaws is that the country is its own worst enemy. What I mean by this is that I sometimes wish this country would just let itself be Italy with all its awesomeness.
  20. I’ll always be a big city girl at heart.

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