Salve from Italia! Yes, I will mix the two languages together here, or translate. The family goes to sleep at 9:30pm but know I will be talking to family and friends back home after with the 7-9 hour time differences. Plus we get up at 7:30am so that offers me an adequate amount of time to sleep.
Only problem so far: plug-ins. I have to use the big converter to plug my computer power chord into and my flatiron, which does not appear to work here. Frizzy hair from day to day- hope no one minds! Since I have to use the wifi downstairs at the moment, I can only use my laptop until the power runs out. I'm at 39% now.
Yesterday was really long, with being at MSP at 3:30am, flying to Newark on a small plane in a lot of turbulence and 19 people on board, and then sitting at EWR for 8 hours between flights. None of that is really interesting enough to describe in detail so fast forward to Rome.
We landed and were told that "since it is a nice day out, we are bringing the stairs to exit on the tarmac." So all 500 of us (or whatever) had to exit the plane outside and then hop on a tram to bring us to the actual building. There is no going right to the baggage claim- you have to go through Immigration first. Imagine several planes landing at the same time and everyone crowding to try to get through one of only TWO lines of Immigration to check passports. I thought I was going to be there for hours. Some British ladies that flew in from Singapore felt bad for me, being alone I presume, and brought me with as they fought their way through the crowd. The process for me probably was a total of 45 minutes and would've been much longer without those ladies.
By the way, not one single person here has had a stigma about me being American. The Italians *are* as welcoming as people claim and even though I haven't met any that speak English yet, it is still possible to sort of communicate.
The luggage turnstile took forever and I began to think my luggage went MIA after MSP. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to re-claim and check it in Newark or not but the tag did say EWR and FCO (Rome). Luckily, both of my suitcases showed up and only 1 thing in my bag exploded/had a mishap- my eyeshadow pallet. I hadn't even thought to put that in a separate baggie from my cosmetics case. Anyway, I wasn't sure where I was supposed to meet my family and had already passed a few people holding signs. I ventured outside and low and behold, there was my Italian dad, Mossimo, with a sign reading my name. He knew who I was right away and he, along with mom Alessia and the youngest boy, Filippo greeted me. We hopped in the car to get some breakfast and since I'm not a coffee connesseur yet, I ordered a standard cappuccino and brioche (a croissant). The guys working at the bar, which is their coffee shop, were about my age and the one making my cappuccino drew a heart in it for "the American" HAHA! I did take a picture of that via iPhone so I'll add it to this post later.
Then we were off to the polizia with a copy of my passport, I gathered to report I was living here as a temporary citizen. The Romans really do drive as crazy as everyone says; there are no stoplights and the few stop signs you see are not obeyed. It is pretty much every man for himself on the road. They also do not care if you are a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Almost all of the cars I saw were small Fiats, except the one I will be driving, which is a Mercedes. I was starting to feel a bit ill during the ride with all the craziness on the road and some jetlag but we only had one more stop to get a SIM card for my international phone.
After that, we made it to the house. It's really a bunch of houses built around gardens with a building in the center of it. I'm not sure what that is yet. My bedroom is on the top floor and the French doors to the balcony open up to the garden, which is my favorite part so far. I also have use of a walk-in closet, my own desk & chair, and my king-sized bed. I showered, put away my clothes, and then took a nap. The family was out running errands so I could rest a bit and settle in. I'm not positive how long I napped but I believe it was about 4 hours (and seemed like 30 minutes).
I walked downstairs and Mossimo and Fillipo were down there, waiting for the other boys and Alessia to come in from buying vegetables. The family eats organically, which is awesome. I said ciao to the other two boys, Tomasso and Edouardo and they showed me some Italian singers on youtube. One was a rapper and I wrote his name down because he was too funny. Then I cut some strawberries for dinner and a torta (pie) that we will be bringing to a party tomorrow. I'm not clear on the details for that yet but I think we are going to the Mediterranean Sea first and then the party. Dinner was really good and all new things I'd never had before. I think 3 of the items were meat, there were homemade fries and then greens and bread. We had strawberries with freshly squeezed lemon juice and brown sugar over them. Those were delicious.
After I helped clean up from dinner, I got out the tshirts I brought everyone. They were all perfect-size and the boys wanted to sleep in theirs. They usually go to sleep at 8:30pm and the parents 9:30 or a bit after. We will get up at 7:30am tomorrow.
My first impression of the outskirts of Rome is that I love it. Passing by the shops and cute elderly people and everyone seeming to know everyone else was fun to see. I got to see some Mussolini-era buildings near the polizia. That's all I have for my first update, other than the fact to say I am getting tired. At home, it would only be 3:16pm! It is 10:16 here!