It’s been nearly two full days, and I’ve already experienced so much . . . But what do you expect from a semester of a lifetime? I suppose I’ll start from the beginning:
First, I have to say I was a bit nervous when I got to the airport. It hadn’t hit me that I would be living approximately 5361.63 miles away from home for half a year, even after I said goodbye to all of my friends and family, until I got past the security checkpoint at JFK. At this point, I don’t know anyone else in my program. Utterly alone and detached, I found the gate of departure for my 6pm flight.
Then, I boarded the Alitalia airplane, only to find my seat at the front of the plane behind first-class. Consistent my previous trip to Italy 4 years ago, the seats were equipped with an interactive touch-screen with movies, TV shows, and music. Before lifting off, una donna romana sat next to me, explaining that she was born in Rome, but she studies at City University of London. She couldn’t wait to get back home from her trip to Denver before returning to London. We talked for a bit, but I discovered that she was . . . well . . . a hippie, to say the least. Dinner was okay, consisting of pasta, cuscus, and a dessert of sorts (#airlinefood). Did I mention the wine was free? Hoping to sleep after two glasses of vino rosso, I decided to watch the film Benvenuti al Sud, which is a funny movie about a northern Italian postal worker who transfers to Campania. I didn’t get to watch it with the Italian Club last semester, so I was excited to see it.
Much to my chagrin, I didn’t sleep at all during the 7.5 hour flight. We landed in Rome’s Fiumicino Airport soon after a sub-par breakfast of croissant and yogurt (again, #airlinefood). Once I got off the plane, got through immigration, and found my gate, I saw that my
flight to Venice would delayed for half an hour — not a problem, since I purchased a copy of one of the national newspapers, Corriere della Sera, to occupy myself. Upon boarding the plane, I soon realized that reading the newspaper would be futile, since my lack of sleep got the better of me.
Finalmente, the 45 minute Alitalia flight landed in Venezia, and to my surprise, I found my bags right away. Then I met up with the Boston University group running the program. They got us a coach bus to take us to Padova, which didn’t take long. Once we got to the Prato delle Valle, one of the city centers, we met our host families.
Stay tuned for the next post!