la segonda parte

I have made it safely to Rome, which means that the month and a half of the slightly-schizo world tour is actually over. I can’t believe I’ll be home in just three months. I also can’t believe that I’ve gotten to the point where three months away from home doesn’t even feel like much.

Well, this is going to be a shock to all of you, but I love Rome. It’s so nice to be able to speak Italian again; it’s the closest thing I have to a second language. And even though my northern Italian friends all warned me that the Romans supposedly speak in a laughably relaxed and inarticulate manner, I have found the good ole Romans completely understandable.

I’m in a program now, which feels quite different than my first semester of relative independence. I still feel very untethered, but it’s certainly a bit strange to suddenly be part of an automatic group. I’ve gotten so used to exploring on my own and hanging out with only Europeans that I’m still adjusting to actually being able to talk to people about home and be thoroughly understood.

When I arrived here in Rome, I settled in immediately: slippers on my feet, books arranged artfully along my desk, clothes unpacked in record time. One of my roommates commented on how quickly I made this place “home”. I hadn’t thought about it, but I guess I’ve become a sort of master home-maker, as a traveling nomad for the last month and a half. I am ever-ready to settle in to wherever I next deem “home”. It feels nice and warm and cozy and reassuring to know that what really makes me at home is actually within me. I know this is starting to get all Gap-Year-existential-crisis-profundity. I guess I just like this new feeling of self-sufficiency and comfort.

From the Jewish Museum in Berlin (I studied it in architecture last year in school, and yes, it does make you feel exactly like the architect intends. Very surreal. I felt so manipulated by space but I also couldn't make myself feel any different.)

Turns out all of this stuff is reconstructed. Apparently the Americans tore their signs down when the sectors reunited, and only reconstructed them for historical (and touristy?) value.

You know.

Tiergarten.

A nice lil' selfy. People in Berlin dressed kind of grungy cool (I think you can actually tell a sizable amount about a city by looking at how people present themselves) so I thought it was a blue lipstick kind of day.

From the Memorial to the Murdered Jews. (Also surreal, a massive memorial you're meant to walk through. There are no signs explaining what the monument is, and it is in the middle of a real neighborhood.)

Now we go to Rome! I liked these flowers.

The clouds were actually that color. I kid you not.

Hello, Mr. Man!

Can you believe how sunny and nice it is here? It's like (what the tourists imagine as) San Francisco weather, which is so so nice after the freeeeezing locales I have frequented. (It snowed in Berlin while I was there.)

Casual people walking around the Colosseum.

I cross this bridge nearly every day on the walk from home to school. S.P.Q.R.!

This is the view from said bridge.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “la segonda parte

  1. Lakisha May

    I love this!! ” I am ever-ready to settle in to wherever I next deem “home”. It feels nice and warm and cozy and reassuring to know that what really makes me at home is actually within me.” Thank you for sharing your experience. I read all your posts! Sending you love, blessing, and positive energy. Hope to re-connect when you return stateside.

    • Lakisha, it’s so nice to hear that you read all of my posts — I am absolutely touched and honored. I cannot wait to reconnect once I’m back in the US! Indeed, I’ll be stopping in New York for a few days before returning home; it would be fantastic to see you then. Sending love and positive energy right back to you!!

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