Speak, Pray, Cook – Day 3 (A Rainy Start Leads to a Great Finish)

Jet lag seems to be getting worse with age. Even two years ago, when I traveled with a friend to the U.K., the jet lag didn’t seem so bad. However, my pilgrimage last April and this return trip to Rome seem to be a different story. Last night, it took a long time for me to fall asleep again, and of course, I was dead asleep when the alarm went off at 7:30.

Since this was my second day of class, I had a full class session instead of a partial class like yesterday. When I walked into my level 2 class at 10:30 yesterday after receiving my placement, I was walking into a classroom that was already in session. Only the French guy and I were new. Everyone else in this class has been here for a while.

What I also failed to mention yesterday is that we’re on “lezione sette” (lesson 7) of the Level 2 book. In other words, they didn’t just put me in Level 2. They stuck me in the middle of the second level. I told the teacher today that listening is very hard for me, and she replied (or at least I think this is what she said) that I spoke very well and with the time in class and a roommate that only speaks Italian, I will get used to it. I hope so!

Yesterday, after class, I had a funny little conversation with the woman from Germany. It was a weird mixture of Italian, English, and German (which I studied in high school). Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Sei di Germania? (Italian for “You are from Germany?”)
Her: Si.
Me: Sie sprechen Deutsch? (German for “You speak German?”)
Her: Ja.
Me: Ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch aber ich weiss nicht ob mein Deutsch ist besser als mein italianische? (My bad German translation for, “I speak a little German but I don’t know if my German is better than my Italian.)
Her: You speak Italian well. (I can’t remember what language she said it in, but I understood that’s what she meant.) Then she asked in Italian (I think?) how long I was staying.
Me: Due settimane. (Italian for “two weeks”) Und sie? (German for “And you?”)
Her: Funf wochen. (German for “Five weeks”)
But I had a little trouble hearing her, so she said, “Five weeks” in English.
Me: Oh, you speak a little English, too.
Her: Yes.
Worn out by my multilingual experience, I closed with the Italian “A domani.” (Until tomorrow.)
Her: A domani.

Today we spoke again, but mostly in English. The funny thing is that I found myself speaking English very slowly. Not sure if that was out of consideration for her, my sleepiness, or if I’m already forgetting my mother tongue!

Rain ruined my plans for the afternoon. I was planning on heading out to San Crispino, the gelato place mentioned in Eat, Pray, Love, but it was raining pretty hard when class got out, and it was too far of a walk to do in the cold rain. I tried to duck back into Chiesa Nuova again to wait out the rain, but it’s closed from noon until 4:00 or something like that. It appears a good number of churches close for a “siesta” in the afternoon, so that will alter some of my plans for the upcoming days.

The rain also ruined my lunch plans. I couldn’t even enter a sandwich shop because of it. The guy yelled at me (first in Italian and then in English) about bringing an umbrella in. (“No umbrella out!”) My umbrella was closed so I’m not sure what he expected me to do. Put my soaking wet umbrella in my bag? I also noticed his shop was empty, so maybe he was just a crank.

Back at the apartment, I had some of the food I bought yesterday. No need for a big lunch anyway. Tonight was a dinner for the students at the school. I had to pay for it separately, but it was a chance to talk (in Italian, of course) with other students.

Or at least, I thought it would be a chance to speak in Italian. While I did speak some Italian, it seems like all the students have at least some knowledge of English, and when they find out I’m an American, they are eager to practice. At dinner tonight, about 30 students from all different levels showed up. We met at the school, and before walking to the restaurant, the teacher had us introduce ourselves and what country we were from. Besides myself, the only other Americans were an elderly couple. (BTW, kudos to them for studying a language at their age!)

At dinner, I sat at a table with a guy from France, a woman from Germany, a girl from France, two young women from Russia, the Italian teacher, and a girl from Poland. The Russian girls spoke French so there were some French conversation, but mostly it was a mix of Italian and English. Eva, the Polish girl next to me, is just starting her Italian lessons, so she could offer little in Italian but was eager to try her English on me. I made sure to weave in a few Italian words so we could both practice.

We had a nice three-course meal:
-bruschetta and grilled zucchini for appetizers
-a choice of main courses (I had risotto con crema di scampi)
-un dolce (a dessert that I would guess was a semi-freddo [semi~frozen] because it was like ice cream on top of a very thin pineapple slice with some kind of sauce over it)

Overall, I had a good time talking with the students. Eva and I have made plans to meet each other again tomorrow for the next nightly “extra-curricular” activity planned by the school, which I believe is a guided tour of the neighborhood at night.

On the way home, I took a slight detour to capture evening photos of a couple old haunts. First, Castel Sant’Angelo at night:

I love how one of the angel statues from the bridge is silhouetted against the castle in this photo.

I love how one of the angel statues from the bridge is silhouetted against the castle in this photo.

And then a shot down Via della Conciliazione toward St. Peter’s:

St. Peter's at night

St. Peter’s at night

I’ve taken my ZzQuill, so hopefully, I’ll get some good sleep tonight.

A domani!

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One Response to Speak, Pray, Cook – Day 3 (A Rainy Start Leads to a Great Finish)

  1. Ginny Marie says:

    I have been keeping up with your adventures in my email! It sounds like you are having a wonderful time! I hope the jet lag gets easier as you go along, and keep us updated! 🙂

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