Friday, April 29, 2011

029 - Going out with a bang.

I thought I'd get a post in here before finals began and I wouldn't have time to do much of anything but study and soak up my remaining time here. (Erica, stop laughing)

In Roma, they have a little thing called Pasquetta, or Easter Monday. Its essentially an extension of holiday and everyone goes on vacation or something. A few of us had originally planned on going to the beach but the weather was uncooperative. Instead, a trip to the local Chinese restaurant for lunch was in order. It was hella cheap, but not as good as American-Chinese food (yes there is a difference.) A good 4 day weekend for sure.

Tuesday, turned out to be my last Italian class for the semester. But in addition, that evening two of my friends had a little "shindig" at the Parliament Building downtown. They did some research about tourism for their internship this semesters and so a group of us went too hear what some big wig Italians had to say about it. We got to sit in an awesome room, something straight out of C-SPAN, comfy chairs, microphones at each seat. The whole thing was in Italian, I did my best to understand what was being said and I did for the most part but one of the presenters spoke so fast I got maybe two words. Evidently the Italians were very pleased with the research. Afterward, instead of going back for crappy Mensa, we went out to the same restaurant that the church crawl finished at. I was thrilled at this fact because the pizza was incredible. I mean really though, I have yet to have bad pizza here...even the worst pizza in Italy I will go so far as to say is better than the best pizza in the States. THERE I said it, think of it what you will. A stop at Giolitti for gelato finished up the night, it was oddly not busy there but then we realized it was a tuesday night.

Wednesday brought with it my last class of the semester (WHERE DID THE TIME GO?). Got my paper back for that class, Evolution of European Security, did a lot better on this paper than the midterm, so the Ambassador doesn't hate me as I previously thought. Whew, what a relief to be done for a while. I took the afternoon "off" and laid in the sun for a while, don't worry, I'm still pale. I said I really wanted to take advantage of my remaining time here so wednesday night there was a group tour to the Capitoline (Capital building of Rome) in the Campidoglio over looking the Roman Forum. City councilman Federico Guidi gave us the tour, again in Italian...its like everyone speaks that here or something. It was quite the experience, and once in a lifetime because the building is not generally open to the public. We even caught a glimpse of the mayor of Rome, but he looked busy (and it was even 8pm, I thought they all stopped working at 3?) The visit caused us to miss the calcio finals, but it was raining anyway and I only like to play in the rain, watching while raining is just annoying.

Thursday, I totally did not skip my last Italian was "optional". And optional to a college student means no. Sometime after lunch I went on a quest to get a wine key, I can't believe I went all semester without one. And you can just buy a wine key, you have to buy some wine with it. Picked up a bottle of cheap euro and fifty cent white wine. You get what you pay for when you buy a less than 3 euro bottle of wine. Even after chilling it, it was still mediocre at best. But a number of us were drinking wine while getting ready for the End of the Semester banquet. Basically all the hard work and traveling we put in during the semester all leads up to this night of celebration.

It was at a fancy pants ristotheatre downtown. Your traditional 3 course italian meal, complete with wine and bread. Pasta, beef & potatos and tiramisu. A number of professors and father Ted gave speeches. But probably my favorite was Christina's brief stand-up routine; I'd share some of the jokes but you really have to have lived at the JFRC to get the joke. She had everyone laughing. Awards and various superlatives were given out, and this brings me to the first point that this night reminded me of Prom. The superlative voting was your run of the mill popularity contest. And myself, being the laid back, under the radar guy I did not get anything. So sue me for not having 2 million friends because I go out every night and drink. Bringing me to my next Prom like aspect, the pre-gaming. It was very evident that most of the JFRC-ers went all out, and sure I had wine before had but I know how to be responsible. Sorry for getting angsty, but it just really ticks me off that some people don't know their limits and make a fool of themselves. It was supposed to be a night of celebration in remembrance for this semester and I mean in a large part it was, for me at least. But I guess if you drank the semester away, why would the banquet be different? I just don't have a tolerance for stupid irresponsible people, how old are you??

Anyway, Prom likeness #3. Dancing. After dinner and stuff was finished, the tables were cleared and the DJ turn the music up, loud...seriously...very loud. Thus beginning two solid hours of in your face dance music. It was really great to just go all out and dance. Who cares if you don't know how to dance, just move your damn hips to the music and maybe throw your hands up every now and then. Sadly, the night had to come to and eventually, I just wish they would have let us know it was the last song...they just stopped the music. Oh well, it was more than enough dancing for one night.

For me, the banquet was incredible. It really wrapped up the semester nicely; good food, good people, what else can you ask for? Each day here has felt like a dream, I have to keep reminding myself that I am in Rome. And now that it's coming to a close, I'm going to have to constantly realizing that I am leaving soon. It's going to take a while to readjust to life in the States and I know I am going to miss this semester more than I can put in to words, but maybe that's okay. How can you describe the best semester of your life in a couple of sentences? You can't. I know when I get back I will get the question "How was Rome?" .... I'm afraid I don't know how to answer that. Just try to imagine how difficult of a question that is.

I know I said I was homesick in my first couple of posts and I couldn't wait to get back. That was the old me, the uncultured ignorant me. I've changed. I like who I am now so much better. I'm ready to go back, but I am not 100% happy about it. Leaving all my new friends, leaving this lifestyle. God, if there was ever the worst catch 22 this is it.

Sorry for ending the post so short like this, but I've got some more Rome livin' to do.

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