Today was the first day of classes! Very exciting. We woke up around 9:30 because we didn't have class until 1:00. Maria had gone to the bank but she wrote a note for us and left milk and biscuits (which are like cookies) because this is what Italians eat in the morning, not very much since they have such large and late dinners. She came back just before we left and showed us how to use the lock on the door. We were warned by Aurora, our program director who is Italian, that they have very complicated locks. Luckily ours is not too bad, but the key is big and old fashioned. Maria hugged and kissed us on our way out. She is wonderful.
Marie and I had to mail our Permesso di Soggiorno and to do this we needed to buy a stamp so we had to go into a Tabacchi for the first time. These are small stores on almost every street corner that sell cigarettes and lottery tickets and some sell coffee, but apparently this is also where you get stamps. I guess it is sort of like a convenience store. That wasn't too bad but our next stop was the post office which was quite something. We walked in the first door and then you had to go through sliding doors into a box type thing that I guess scans you. So you stand there for a minute and then they let you in on the other side, which is the post office. It was pretty busy, and we had no idea what to do. We knew you had to press a button to get a ticket with your number but we had no idea which button to press (there were 4). As we were looking an old Italian woman nudged us out of the way to get her ticket and we think she was speaking to us but we still aren't sure... We almost gave up, the whole scene was very overwhelming, but we stepped outside and called Aurora who told us what to do so we went back in, and pressed the right button for the ticket. There is a board and your number appears next to the desk number you're supposed to go to. The man at my desk spoke no English so that was interesting, but he let Marie and I go together since someone took her place, and it all worked out ok! Now we just have to get fingerprinted on February 5th...
After this we headed over to the school. We got a cafe and headed to the school. Our first class was business ethics, and only five people are in it! Crazy! It's me, Marie, my friend Lara who I've known since freshman year, another Loyola girl, and a Catholic girl. The professor is nice and I think it will be an interesting class because it's something really different than what I normally take. The class is very religion heavy though, as the professor is from CUA and this is not something I'm used to, even at Loyola, except maybe in theology.
After class we had to go right to our Italian placement tests at the Italian school which is a few metro stops away, right by the Spanish Steps. We all sat in the room nervously waiting to be called for the oral part of the test. I finally went and it wasn't horrible but I am pretty rusty since I wasn't able to take Italian this past semester. So we'll see how this goes...
We took the metro to the area of Trastevere after the placement test but didn't have too much time to walk around because we had to be back for dinner. We definitely want to go back though because apparently this is a great place to go out we've heard, so we want to scope it out in the daytime first. It was a different neighborhood than what we've seen so far though we've noticed.
Maria made pasta with tomato sauce and meatballs for dinner (side note, meatballs are served on a separate plate here, not on the pasta) they were fantastic. She also had a salad and bruschetta again this time with fennel instead of tomatoes. UNREAL. And tonight I learned that we've been eating HOME MADE olive oil. It's insane. And she also told me she rubs the garlic on the bread before she puts the oil and fennel on. Definitely the way to go.
Now Marie and I are in bed watching the Lizzie McGuire movie because we've been to all the places in it now! So exciting. Tomorrow we have Italian Art and Architecture and Italian again. In between we're going to look into locating a hair dryer (it's much needed)
Ciao for now!