There’s a funny thing that happens when one moves away from their home, even if it’s for a short period of time. First you’re excited about finding out everything about the place you’re moving into. Then if you don’t actually have a clue about talking, writing, reading or basically understanding the language of said place you panic and then try and learn it by yourself. You download an app to help you and for the first week (day) you rock it: you write down pronouns, vocabulary words and even a verb or two, you feel as if this new language you’re learning was actually meant for you. Week (day) two comes by and you don’t use the app, this continues for the following days until even the app gets so tired of reminding you to use it when it’s clear that you just won’t. And of course you don’t.

The day of your departure comes by and because you’re you and apparently cannot pack light even if your life depended on it, you have to pay for an extra bag, which means that you now have 2 checked bags, one carry-on bag and your backpack which will make mobility a nightmare.

You get on the first plane and after 4 hours you’re in the first stop of your trip. An officer questions the legality of your stay in the country, which makes no sense as: 1. you have a valid visa, and 2. you’re just transiting there. Finally you convince him that you’re a decent person and that you mean no harm thus he lets you go. At security check you also get held by an official since apparently your leggings and hoodie seem suspicious and thus they need to make a manual examination. Ten minutes later you’re free to go. You arrive late to your gate which means the plane was basically just waiting for you, which means every single passenger is judging you as you’re walking down the aisles and into your seat with your so-very-heavy-carry-on-bag, your backpack, a jacket, and a McDonald’s bag. You take confort in the fact that at least a couple of people found the situation funny which means that they’re not angry at you (or at lest they don’t seem like it).  Ten hours later you arrive to your second stop, only now it’s in Germany and you understand exactly 0% of their language. Your hoodie and leggings remain suspicious for everyone thus a German officer is required to make a manual examination at security check. You’re free to go after being judged by just about everyone and finally (after a delay on the flight) you’re in the air and on your way to your final destination.

The day of your arrival (day 0) you do nothing because let’s face it, having no sleep for 24hrs is no good for anyone, thus after you unpack and eat a toast you sleep. Of course you wake up at 1AM because jet lag.

Day 1 means Google Maps is your new best friend as you start walk around the city, nevertheless somehow you manage to get lost more than a couple of times, but who cares because it’s you that’s in a new country and everything seems so beautiful. By Day 3 (more like day 6) it feels as if you’ve already lived there way longer than you actually have. Yes you still use your GPS to search for specific stores but you already know your way to the city’s center, the nearest supermarket (or four), the train station, the laundry place, a couple of restaurants and your new Italian cellphone company – because even though you don’t want to admit it, you’ve been there almost every single day since you arrived and the employees there already know you (and probably hate your confused foreigner’s ass).

A week passes by since your arrival. Now you do manage to word out a couple of Italian words: Ciao ! , Buongiorno !  Buona Sera ! Grazie !. You try to ignore the fact that you had to google each one of them in order to write them down but take pride in the fact that at least Ciao! and Grazie! were actually correct the first time you wrote them.

 

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