the rain here is endless not really but it feels that way. I’m sick and going to the Italian pharmacy felt so ridiculously simple and impossible. i didnt understand that you had to take a number, that all the meds were behind the counter, that none of the same brands exist here(that bit, at least, I can definitely attribute to some weird underlying american-centrism definitely weeeee)
I told the woman I had a headache in my nose and she gave me some weird medicinal tea. I couldn’t describe my symptoms properly but when we were talking about flavors I was really good which makes me worry about the sort of topics we prioritize in language classes. mostly,i just feel so adamantly american all the time, not bad or good about that so much as silly and uninformed. it’s weird, the seeming totality of the culture you grow up in, as if, of course, this is how it has to be done. here,no one says excuse me or acknowledges if they get in your space, they just maneuver however they need to and move on. it seems like everything is divided into men and women. bus drivers: only men. post office: only women. pharmacy: women. bookstore: women in perfectly dreamy/architectural reading glasses. antique store: ok only one man but he was impressive for the way his gleaming bald head matched the silver he was selling. this past Saturday we went to ferrarra and bologna on this shit tour with ESN. in ferrarra we saw this castle built in the 1300s and the duomo where someone was becoming a bishop and i made a stupid joke about the pope getting bat mitzvahed and no on laughed they just corrected me. and the circle/piazza where every year for hundreds of years they have a race day for children,horses, and donkeys (three separate races ok) but we were supposed to be getting to know everybody and really everyone stuck with their groups and we just ended up feeling dumb because of how beautiful the Spanish girls were. we went to a bar and drank spritzers and bought some beer for the train (drinking on trains!!!) and then bologna was so nice, this guy enrico
showed us a few of the ” seven secrets of bologna” which are all goofy as hell ie an ancient fresco celebrating weed and a certain spot in the piazza where the Neptune statue looks like it has a boner and one of those whisper walls. and it was some giant festival so the streets were full, like full,and I feel like you dont see people all go out all at once like that for blocks and blocks and blocks unless youre in new orleans or something and bologna is a big city but not that big idk it was so nice. and we had pizza and sat on cobble stones and got a little drunk but all the american girls wanted to leave ( I should have stayed but I got too nervy/scared of new people) cos the rest weren’t gonna get back til seven in the morning (!!!! ESN is apparently just an excuse to party who knew) but there was a train strike ( uno sciopero, apparently v. common) so they all freaked out but we snagged a cab (€€€€€€€€€€) back with Enrico and a random guy from Albania who I talked to a bit. he had really tiny teeth, was about our age and was very religious. he works at a store in the center but I can’t remember his name of where. his voice was so quiet but he spoke really good Italian and he was wearing the weirdest athletic pants, like that weird light material with like four stripes down the side and they were a little too short. on the way back means Enrico talked about Bruce Springsteen and also I thought I was going to die because of how fast our taxi driver as going, holy shit. generally these weeks feel like I am waiting for things to happen: for the sun to come,for my Italian to improve, to make non-american friends, to stop being sick, for class to start, to start/stop missing alternating people. I was reading some Adrienne rich ( I got a bunch of books outof the library, some poetry in English and Italian, and I already finished purple hibiscus and am reading Midnight’s children and I’m just happy i’m reading a lot again) but anyway Adrienne (mon couer; il mio piccolo cuore) had this line and I cant stop thinking about it in this north Italian fog, she wrote “interviewing mist” just that, that line alone.