Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hideous blisters, and How to Get Them

First of all, I would like to say that I am typically very cautious about what kind of footwear I put on in the morning and how it will affect the rest of my day.  That being said, I (falsely) assumed that having orientation activities (and by that I mean the activity of sitting) all day, my choice of foot wear would not be nearly as important as what was supposed to be communicated during these lectures. So that was a dud of a plan. John Cabot University is divided into two separate campuses-the Tiber (about 15 minute walk from our apartment) and the Guarini (another ten minutes after that one--25ish total).  The first activity of the day had to be to find some coffee/breakfast, but mostly coffee. So on our way to the Guarini campus, we stopped at this little coffee/pastry shop and each had a croissant and a macchiato.  Now for those of you who know my coffee preferences, I like my coffee black. No cream, no sugar, no nonsense. This 'coffee' was not that. It was all nonsense. Now if you like steamed milk, this is the drink for you. This isn't to say that it wasn't good-because it was.  It's just now my style.  Tomorrow, I'm up to expresso. No more of these shenanigans. And the croissants were d-e-licious. In fact, Kate asked me to pinch her.  Not wanting to be a bad friend-I did.

Let the orientation activities begin! And by this point I firmly believe that if I had had an expresso, I would have found these to be interesting and enlightening.  But, alas, no. We've all been there. That speaker who just kind of went through the motions, the non-interesting, the non-excited version? So all enjoyment was derived from the incredibly corny pictures that appeared on almost every slide. We're talking the kind that makes you mildly uncomfortable, but laugh for a good long while instead of sacrificing your mental capacity to the watch-the-paint-dry-speaker. TWO HOURS LATER-I'm drooling onto my shirt because that's more fun, and I'm beginning to notice the blisters forming on the backs of my heels-turns out steamed milk doesn't help that either.  So I use the nifty new JCU lanyard to mop up the drool, and move on because there's nothing to do about the shoes or the blisters now. We move on to take the pictures for our IDs, fill out some paper work which involved something about a sport's team.  It wasn't exactly a universal form, but everyone filled it out none the less.

After that we knew that we had to be at the Tiber campus for some more sparkling adventures with orientation. But that wasn't until 3 (or 15:00 if you're using the clock on my cell phone), so Erica, Molly, Kate and I all went out to lunch at this delightful little place that was tucked back in some of the itty-bitty streets between campuses. Everyone got something different.  Personally, the lasagna I had was divine. All melty cheese and just good feelings all over.  We laughed and talked and eventually headed back toward the Tiber campus. Side note- the Tiber campus is so named because it is on the street that runs along next to the Tiber River. Fun facts for the day. Go over there, drool some more... kind of... the US Embassy representative had a presentation that was decent. Props to him for making that kind of stuff sound easy, and light. Also, Rick Steve's son (Andy) was there.  So that was fun? Unfortunately, he was only handing out discounts and not his number...  Alas. But we survived it, with maybe only a few cellphone game-Snake Masters to prove it. More paperwork, followed by Kate and I heading back to the apartment. We found Erica there, with her feet propped up on the dashing blue trunk.

At that point, I was nearly limping because of these blasted blisters. For those of you with light stomachs, skip this part. My right foot was definitely bleeding from this all day excursion. A little Girl Scout first aid involved washing both heels off with soap and water=stingzilla. Got that done, ointment (to parry off of Michelle's blog, let's focus on the 'oi' sound of that word for a moment. Oi? Oy. Oy-vey.) bandaids, and tennis shoes for the rest of the day.

Once everyone was home from their extravagant paperwork spree, we decided that we needed some of the necessities: Toilet paper, dish soap, food.  These are things that one finds useful in an apartment. Granted, we do have a bidet (fondly called Buddah, no offense intened-just a slip of the tongue by one of my darling roomies, and it stuck), but we 'Murican gurls just haven't master that cultural experience. So off we went to find a grocery store!

Most people would refer to this place as a "maze". It just keeps winding back farther and farther. And passing shopping carts? not really an option. The aisles are narrow, everything is compact-some of the shelves are even shorter. We decided to split all of the things that we thought we would use together-TP, paper towels, detergent etc-but get anything we wanted just for ourselves. It was a hectic experience considering all of our limited Italian skills and that almost everything was written in Italian.  Some things were familiar-some softeners, some labels with brand names, but most of this was done through experience and clever cognate association. None the less, we figured it out, got some grub, and hauled it home. And I do mean hauled. I guess I forgot to mention that the grocery store that we eventually found was between here and the Tiber campus, but was in a block or so-so that's about a 10ish minute walk. But on the way back we were hauling things like large bottles of detergent, and potatoes=heavy things. But we made it back without incident, and promptly put things in the fridge the HAD to go find dinner. Of course it was 8:30pm at that time, and we were starved. So we went back to the same place that Kate, Molly and I had dinner yesterday (I have a feeling that they'll be seeing a lot of us this semester) and just relaxed and ate for a while. I feel like it was well earned.

After being home, Kate and I facebook video called Sam, and got to see part of the team room!!  Huzzah! Seeing the beautiful faces of Sam, Hannah, Sonja, Shelby, and Mariecus was wonderful. Like a little taste of home even in the cobble stone streets here. Keep it up team! Work hard!

Anyway, we have a long day a head of us tomorrow with a walking tour and such.  But that's for tomorrow to talk about. Ciao!


  1. Are Molly and Erica your other roommates? How many hours are you ahead of us?

    Ouch, your poor feet!!

    You are so funny on your blog (as well as in person, but since you are thousands of miles away your blog will just have to do for now) I laughed out loud at home and my family gave me weird looks. Miss you dear!!!! I will be sending you a letter shortly!!!! : ) Love you!!!

  2. I can sooo hear your voice as I read of your escapades! How exciting and what a treat after dealing with middle schoolers!Thanks Kelsey! If you ever head to Torino or San Remo, let me know. I have some people who would enjoy meeting you and showing you around. They are part of our extended AFS Family. Keep the blog coming! Singers will enjoy them, provided I receive your permission!