Friday, June 27, 2008

On Time

It's hard to believe that I've already been in Europe for five weeks. Despite the slower pace of life in Italy, time still flies. Tonight we have our final concert in Urbania and tomorrow I'll begin my official week of vacation. The itinerary looks promising: 2 nights in Rome, 2 nights in Naples, 2 nights in Florence, and a final night in Bologna. Then I catch a flight for London, spend an evening there and then fly to Tel Aviv.

It's the oddest feeling, but I often get the sensation that I live in multiple worlds. Per esempio, I have this life in Italy at the moment. I go to school, I have rehearsals, I go grocery shopping, I eat gelato--basically I've settled into an Italian routine. I have fantastic friends, a great roommate, etc. but tomorrow this world will vanish. The people I've met will all go their separate ways and I'll then have to start a new life in Israel, where I'll stay just long enough to create a world and then leave.

All the above makes for an interesting lifestyle and it just happens to be one that I love. There are negative aspects, especially the good-byes and the transiency, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I get to meet fantastic people from random places around the world, study cultures and languages---all the time doing what I love and making music. And best of all, at the end I get to go home. To a semi-divided world in Utah/Michigan. Pretty sweet setup.

But the end of an existence is always a bit sad, hence my reflections of the day. Urbania has been wonderful and I love the Italian people and culture more than ever. (I've decided to retire in Italy). And I'm really looking forward to Tel Aviv and my rough sojourn in a hotel with free wireless.'s to the end of an existence and the beginning of another!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

France, Italy...guesses for next year?

Birthdays are fantastic. I mean nothing can beat that amazing feeling of aging overnight. Here's how June 5, 2008 went down:

I'm not normally much of a cereal fan, but this specific type, "Vitalis," especially the frutti di bosco flavor, is brilliant. I'm considering eating the cost of shipping multiple boxes home. It was the perfect way to start the greatest day of the calendar year.

I went to school to continue my commitment to education, occasionally perceived as avoidance of the real world, and the Scuola had gotten me a beautiful rose. Wanyi, a fellow pianist from Michigan, was my sidekick for the day and, more realistically, my entire time in Italy.

During our 30 minute class "pausa," we hit the Thursday morning market. Picked up some fresh fruit, porchetta panini, and calamari, but mostly just enjoyed the fact that it was a beautiful day. (It's tended to be a bit rainy thus far in my Italian experience.)

Urbania is small but beautiful and everywhere you look there's a hill that looks picture perfect. This is the view down the street from my apartment.

A little gelato appetizer---they don't eat dinner here until 8:30 or 9, so I swear it's necessary!

Went to dinner at a small hotel and it was fantastic! It was the 4 pianists, the director of the program, and one of the faculty coaches.

This was the antipasti. Delicious!

The dinner party.

It also happened to be Jennifer's birthday---another one of the pianists, so we went in on a cake that was pretty freakin' brilliant. Unfortunately we didn't get home from dinner until just after 11:30, so the actually eating of it was postponed until Friday. It was worth the wait and topped off with some amazing gelato.

I had planned several wishes over the past year, so even though I was candle-less I found a way to make do.

Overall, it was a lovely day. The most interesting bit to me, however, was in pondering last year's birthday in France with a mixture of nationalities in comparison to this one in Italy AND my 22nd in Utah. It's really just interesting to sit back and watch where life takes you. And wonder where I'll be next year on June 5th!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Should I take a Home Lunch?

Remember how exciting your very first day of school was? My Grandpa would give me rides to Shelley Elementary in the basket of his bicycle while my mom was teaching school and I loved it. Quality time with Grandpa AND Kindergarten rocked. Remember recess? Naptime? Storytime? Who wouldn't want to go to school?

And yet, somehow along the road we reach this stage.

Hopefully with a different outfit, but you get the picture.

Let's just say that it's been a while since I looked forward to my first day of school. BUT...this week I had my first day of Italian class and I was SO excited! I got to Italy last Wednesday evening quite late---mostly due to the fact that I'm in the middle of nowhere. In Italy. Seriously, it took about 5 hours to drive here from Rome. The nearest train connection is 1.5 hours away by bus. It's gorgeous and 100% authentic Italy, but it's still isolated which can occasionally be equivocated with boredom. Anyway, by the time Tuesday rolled around and Italian classes started I was so excited to go to school that I could hardly keep from skipping. (I refrained.) Not only did I get to find out which level I had tested into, but I would also become immediately fluent in a day! Realistically my expectations weren't THAT high, but I was excited. And I did make the top class, in case you had doubts. :)

Point of this rambling was nice. It took me back to those days when life started with the school year. It still does, but somehow it's become a little more overwhelming and less exciting. But my first two days at Scuola Italia have been nothing but enjoyable and it's quite refreshing. Maybe it's the school, or maybe it's it's just that I'm in Italy. Either bene!
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