Friday, May 4, 2018

Rome Students: Welcome Back!

Dear STUDENTS who have just returned from your Semester in ROME: Welcome Back! I thought you might like a few tips that will help you to readjust to life in the United States of America (the USA, which the Italians call "ooozaa"😜).

You've been living "la dolce vita" for some time, so things might feel strange for a couple of days after your return to America. No need to see your doctor; this is perfectly normal and it will (mostly) wear off pretty quickly.

Helpful hints:

(1) Do NOT try to cross a street by walking into the middle of moving traffic.😉

(2) You get ONE HOUR for lunch, tops. No more "riposino"😴 in the afternoon. Eat fast, and get back to work.

(3) MONEY: When you first got to Italy you joked around about the "monopoly money" but by now you've gotten kinda used to Euros with their different colors and designs. Don't worry when you suddenly find all green stuff in your wallet. You may have the brief shock of: "What is this? Dollars? They're all green and the same size! How am I supposed to tell them apart? This money is...boring!" You'll get used to it again. Meanwhile, make sure you know the difference between a "Ben Franklin" and a "George Washington" and everything will be fine.

(4) You'll be DAZZLED by the Wi-Fi here for a few days. Like, "it WORKS!!! Why did I ever complain?" That too will wear off and you'll soon be back to complaining like you always did.

(5) When you ride a bus, remember that you actually have to pay the fare.

(6) Don't buy gelato in America. Now that you've had the real thing, it's just... not... the same.😑😒

(7) Coffee ☕ -- if you want a cappuccino here, order a "latte." If you want a cup of hot overly frothed skim milk, order an American cappuccino. [*This may vary from place to place.]

(8) Driving: Traffic at 65 or 70 miles an hour is going to seem like crawling. You've just come from a country where the old ladies drive 90. Watch your speedometer, especially on open roads. Not only can you get a ticket; you'll actually have to pay it! Slow. Down.

(9) No parking on the sidewalk.

(10) When you see a group of Americans in orderly formation at a store or fast food or pizza place, that's a "line." You may have gotten used to the "Italian scrum" where service is rendered to whoever jostles and elbows their way to the front. But remember, you're back in America now. You must wait in line again.

(11) Notice how HUGE America is. It's like even the sky is bigger. And there's space everywhere. Wow! And all different kinds of people. And oh how you've missed your home... it will all seem to shine with glitter for a few days. Take time during those days to be grateful for all of it.