First Day

January 14, 2009

Roma, Italia, 23:36 CET

Hello from Italy!

Last night I finally arrived at the apartment after spending two hours at the airport trying to file a claim for my luggage, which didn’t follow me when my flight got moved up by an hour out of Dulles. Fortunately, it arrived tonight around 10pm, so I only had to go one day without it.

Our apartment here at the Residence Medaglie d’Oro is quite nice, with two bedrooms, one bath, a sitting room with a day bed and adjoining tiny kitchen area. It came furnished with plates and cutlery and a few pots. Our greatest excitement of the evening was trying to cook dinner on the gas-burning stove: none of the four of us had ever lit a stove like this before! We had to ask the porter to come up and show us how. The weather here has been overcast and a little rainy, but not too cold; almost exactly like weather at Duke usually is in the winter. Maybe a little warmer here than at Duke. But the scenery is obviously very different! On the shuttle here from the airport, we passed il Colosseo (the Colosseum) and le terme di Caracalla (the baths of Caracalla); the Borghese gardens; and il piazza Reppublica. Everything brings back memories of the last time I was in Italy, but also seems different, since my memory doesn’t usually record things perfectly.

This morning Sara arrived after having to spend the night in Dulles, so the four of us are all here! My other two roommates are from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, Sam (Samantha) and Jackie (Jaclyn). They agree with us about trying to cook every night for dinner, so we’re going to rotate cooking & washing dishes during the week. Tonight Jackie cooked pasta with vegetables, and Sara & I bought some bread to have with oil and vinegar. We’ll experiment with fancier things soon, I’m sure, but for now that was hard enough to make in the tiny kitchen area we have!

This afternoon Sara and I went to Temple Rome, located in the Villa Caproni, for orientation; we took the metro, and by metro it’s neither too far nor too hard to find. We got our keys to the school gate and our internet passwords, and met a couple nice people. The staff seems very nice, as well. Orientation continues this week, and then next week classes begin! More to come on that later!

The internet here at the Residence seems to work pretty well for me, so I can definitely receive e-mails, but I haven’t yet figured out a good way to make calls. I’ve bought time from Skype for calling home, since it’s amazingly cheap (2 eurocents/minute), but the quality isn’t very good so I might try something else. I’ll e-mail out my Italian cell number when I get one.

Reminder to family: Please send any mail to the Temple address; do NOT send packages are these are usually fined by Italian customs.