Sunday, July 13, 2014

Things I Take for Granted in the States

Resting my swollen ankles by the sea.

I love Italy. I love it. It's beautiful and I am in food heaven. HOWEVER, there are things about home that I certainly miss and definitely take for granted since I'm from the US. So I thought I'd make a list of things that I miss or that I take for granted. I've been gone two weeks, so I'm sure some of this is homesickness, but some of it is just the Truth!

1. Normal operating hours of restaurants - Things are just not open here. Restaurants here seem to be open 12-2 and 7-10:30ish.
Stores! Why you no want my money?

2. Reliable Internet - Now this may be a product of where we are staying, but it has been a burden getting logged on and staying logged on. Not just for Facebook... lol.. but actual work. I am teaching a virtual class and grading all things online here.

I am ready for you Internet. I want you. 

3. My Jeep -More specifically, the freedom to drive at will. I miss having an automobile at the ready. That said, I have walked a TON (an average of 3-4 miles a day), but my ankles are not enjoying it.

Meg cankles for the win... No. :(

4. Iced Coffee / Latte's - It's summer. And while I love the espressos and cappuccinos I am having multiple times a day here... it's very humid and hot. An iced latte would be AMAZING right now.

It's 90 degrees. Gimme dat ice!

5. My Sized Clothing - I'm fat. Or at least chunky. There's no denying it. And I've had a bitch of a time trying to find anything remotely close to my size. (I GET THE MESSAGE NORTHERN ITALY! MAYBE SICILY WILL LOVE ME FOR WHO I AM!). The one thing I found close to my size was listed as a 3X. What... The... Fu...
 They made my likeness into a statue.

6. Free Water - In restaurants at least. Aqua Naturalie is about 3 euros. And for some reason, traveling to Europe makes me a friggin camel. I am craving water like woah. I may spend half of my money on the trip on the world's most abundant resource. Thank you, Virginia, for requiring free water in restaurants.

Aqua... why you so expensive for!?

7. Texting / Calling - I have figured out how to Skype call home phones in the states, so that's helped me keep up with Dad and Mom. And I am What's App-ing and Skyping with Kris and Joe, but I do miss the freedom of picking up the phone anywhere and dialing or texting without a HUGE fee (or just no service). Yes. I am a slave to my device. No. I am not ashamed. I am a product of my culture, and I need maps to work since I left my 3x3 atlas under the seat of my Jeep.

8. Freely Using Credit Cards - Italy is a cash country. The look on people's faces when you hand them a credit card is priceless (there is a VISA commercial somewhere in that statement)... I am used to debit/credit swiping and being on my way in the states. Here, while places (in general) do accept cards, they prefer the cash. And if they don't mind cards, they want one with a chip in it (Shout-out to the Bank of America guy who talked me into the travel card with a chip before I left! You've saved me, bro.). So I've had to get used to taking out a lot of cash at once (oh the coins! help me!) AND they tend to give you the death stare if you hand them a 50 euro bill... sooo small bills are king here?

9. CVS (US Pharmacies) - This sounds dumb. But the convenience of CVS is amazing. I can get my meds, sinus and headache stuff, a foot wrap, Twizzlers (very important), shampoos and body washes, and makeup in one fell swoop. And food if I so desired. The pharmacies here are quite small so very limited in choices. My arches dropped so my feet have been in serious pain for over a week. I was trying to get a foot wrap or old person compression sock and finally found one... for 30 euros. No. I will take Ibuprofen and pray.

Why can't you fulfill my needs Farmacia!?

10. Family and Friends - Duh. I miss people. I miss seeing them and calling them freely without accounting for the time difference. Seven hours ahead of Joe has made it impossible for me to call him on his way to work, and a burden on me getting to bed on time when he gets off of work (11pm for me, and I get up around 6-7am). Six hours ahead of the fam (including K) which is just as much of an issue. I feel so very far from them and I wish I could share more than just this blog as an experience with them. I am so pleased that Dad will be here in a week. :o) But yes, Bear got sick yesterday and poor Kris spent all morning trying to reach me and I spent the evening trying to reach her. Bah!

Again... I love it here. I just needed to make a list.

Buona Sera,

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