Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I like to listen...even when I don't understand it all.
I have slept quite a bit since I went to Rome. I was really tired out by the trip and on Monday we had a very intense class in which we took a 4km walking tour/hiking tour in one of the neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city. It was a wonderful tour, but unexpected amount of activity for the group on the day after we all were kind of tired from weekend adventures.
I haven't been indulging in the siesta thing here. Most days I sleep for about 6 hours and I am good to go. Today I slept for three and woke up and was thinking about trying to traverse some of the more Bohemian parts of the city alone, but decided to go out with the group for dinner instead. It was really nice- I am pretty much loving this drink they have here called a clara or clarita, which is beer mixed with limodada, but when my food came it was not what I ordered, which was not a huge deal, except as I was eating my Caprese pizza (and what I wanted was a Caprese salad) someone asked me what that little swirly thing was in my Basil and it was none other than a snail. A first other joked and told me I was supposed to take it out of the shell to eat it, and then eventually we told the waiter who apologized to me a lot, and gave me a salad. It wasn't a huge deal. I got the impression that it was part in parcel with all the fresh basil on top of the salad.
I stuck around after dinner to hang out with Karl, who is one of the staff with the trip. He is truly amazing- knows the city very well and it a great organizer of the students, oh and PS he worked with he worked with CESAR CHAVEZ for eleven years, and just mentioned this casually in a convesation one day. I decided to hang out with Karl and his friend, whose name I am really bad a remembering. She is from and lives in Barcelona and although my Spanish is limited I have talked to her quite a bit, and I think I get a lot of what she is saying. I decided to stay with them and not make Karl translate everything, so I just listened to what I could understand and it was interesting... We wound up at this swanky cafe right next to our residence where we had a late night coffee and took from photos on the egg chair that is pictures above. Karl asked our friend how she had met her other friend Teresa that he knows and she said that she met her on the metro or the bus, (I am not sure which) and Karl commented that people in California rarely get to meet other people like that because most of them commute to their jobs in cars by themselves. I told them about how when I lived in DC no one ever talked on the metro, and Karl said that New York's metro system was much different that people talked a lot more and made eye contact with each other.
I am thinking that perhaps another summer I can come here a month of so and do an intense language school and if I keep in contact with these new friends we can go out and talk about other things. I think that it can get frustrating when you are in places and out with people and just can't understand what people are saying, but I think it's really fun to just sit and listen to people and try to pick up on what you can from words that are familiar, or sound the same as english words, or through body language. I enjoy times here the most when I try communicate with people in Spanish and they try really hard to communicate back. I don't always get 100 percent of the picture, but I think that trying and picking up a little bit at a time is important and for me it's what really counts.