Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mi dispiace. Sono Americana.

Yesterday was a good day.
I slept in a bit (I think my body is still adjusting to all this...)
Then I woke up and went running into Arezzo. The hills here are nuts, but it felt SO good. I can't wait to discover more paths. It's tricky though, you can't vear off the main road because the alleys all look the same....I found this out later.
I came back and showered. The rest of the girls had gone down to this market that was happening in the middle of the city, but I had been running, so I went down after my shower to try and meet them. Didn't end up finding them - and by this point I was starving (they only serve meals at our school during the week, so on weekends you have to eat out). I was so nervous because I only know a couple phrases in Italian, and from what I've discovered so far, because Arezzo isn't a "Rome" or a "Florence", a lot of people here do not speak English. So finally, I got over my nerves and walked into this little cafe called "Caffe del teatro" (ironic?) I walk inside and the man behind the counter says something to me in Italian and I replied with, "Sono Americana, Mi dispiace. Studio Italiano." Which to my knowledge means, I am American, I'm sorry, I'm learning Italian. He said something along the lines of, "Ah! Bene! Benvenuta!" - (ah, good, welcome!) and then he and the girl at the counter said something that seemed reassuring...I'm pretty sure it was something like, "No, it's okay! you are trying!" but who knows - - they could have been making fun of me too. We went from there. He continued speaking Italian, and I tried to follow him. (Good practice). I basically pointed at what I wanted and I couldn't really tell you what I ate - I'm pretty sure it was just their version of a ham sandwich. Afterwards, I paid and said "grazie mille" (Thanks a lot) because I felt bad that he had to help me stumble my way through all of that. But HEY! I did it! Even though I royally SUCKED, I made it through all on my own which I was pretty happy about.
I do a better job of blending into this city than I thought I would. I ended up getting lost for a little bit, but apparently I didn't look lost to others because a couple different Italian people came up to me and asked me for directions to places. Unfortunately, I had to tell them: "Mi dispiace. Sono Americana." but every person seemed so pleased that I at least started out with that instead of, "Oh. Sorry. I have no idea. I'm American." My Italian stopped at that point, other than the occasional, "Grazie" or "Va Bene" (ok) or "Benissimo" (excellent) or "Come Sta" (how are you) or "Ciao!" - - but that's more than I knew a couple days ago! So I am learning. Slowly but surely.
I managed to find my way back to the center of town and when I did, I walked back home. Upon arriving, I was so tired from running into town and then walking into town that I took a nap. When I woke up, it was time for dinner so the entire group of us walked back into town, yet again, to this restaurant (shoot. I forget the name.) For Seven Euros you order a drink, and then once you order that drink, it's an all you can eat buffet. Not a bad deal.
After this, the group of us (all 9 theatre students, all 9 dance students) met up with our movement teacher Claudia for our first field trip! We went to go see a dance show at this little theatre in Arezzo. It was three soloists - one of whom (Stefano) is a guest teacher at the Accademia for dance. The first girl was okay. The choreography was not so great, but the amount of control she had over her body was absolutely incredible. The second girl was alright, she was my least favorite out of the three. But Stefano!! Oh my god. I Am so jealous that the dancers get to learn from him. He was incredible. Each of the dancers had three distinct movements to their pieces. His first one was hilarious - all about the "things" in our life. At one point he was smoking a cigarette and brushing his teeth at the same time - hilarious. But his last movement was by far the most powerful and his musicality was INGENIOUS. So inspirational. I hope that he does at least one workshop with the actors too.
After the show, three other theatre students (Morgan, Sam, Kathryn) and I went and got cappucino and espresso at this Mexican restaurant that is on the way back to the Villa. How random is that? Coffee at a Mexican restaurant in Italy. haha. It was quite a trip - but the cappucino was delicious.
Upon arriving back at the Villa, I stayed outside for a while with Morgan and Sam. We hung out on the balcony and just looked at the city of Arezzo at night. I ended up getting super emotional - not because I was homesick or anything but I think just because I'm here and it's still pretty surreal. The three of us spent the rest of the night talking (literally...I think all of us were up until around 5:30/6 in the morning) in the Mensa (kitchen) of the school where we drank tea and at about 4 in the morning decided we wanted leftover Gnocchi. :)
So that was yesterday.
More on today later...

Ciao, amici!

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