As a study abroad student I often hear the term “culture shock”, so much that it was even the title of one of my first posts. And now, as all of us students prepared to head back to our American homes, we asked one another if we might in fact experience a counter culture shock as we return to the states. While I adjusted rather quickly to the Italian lifestyle, I question how easy it will be to transition back to the ole Missouri lifestyle. Although I’m not worried and am in fact quite excited to return to my family and friends, there are aspects of living here in Italy that I do not want to ever forget. Thus I created the following “Top Ten Miss List” as I look back on all the things about Sorrento that I love.
1) First and foremost, the people. The wonderful staff at Sorrento Lingue, my buddies at the English Inn, and of course, all my new friends from Alfred State and SAI.
2) Nature. The ocean and the mountains (especially you Vesuvius). The bright flowers (especially you wisteria) and beautiful palm trees (none of those in particular). You just want to be outside all the time and can sit for hours simply staring at the land.
3) The Simplicity. Getting breakfast each morning at a local fresh fruit stand. Walking everywhere, not worrying about schedules or deadlines. You live one day at a time and enjoy the moment at hand.
4) The traveling. You can get nearly anywhere in Europe by a train and a fairly cheap train at that. Want to go to Spain? Sure why not, let’s go tomorrow…
5) The food, and yes, not just gelato. Both eating it and cooking it. The fresh vegetables and handmade pastas, it’s not like anywhere else.
6) The festivals. Every holiday seems as important as the next as the whole town shuts down and the streets fill with music and vendors. There seems to be fireworks at least once a week and a reason to celebrate more often than not.
7) School, dare I say it. My classes were better than I ever imagined and my teachers were the same. How often do you take field trips to the beach or have a class as the only student.
8) The fashion. Not so much the actual Italian style but the appreciation. You know you’re not in America anymore when men wear suits and ladies brave the cobble stone streets in stilettos just to go out at night.
9) The culture and traditions. In Italy family is everything, religion is part of the everyday life, and relationships hold such a high importance. Everyone you meet is so friendly and hospitable, not once did I feel unwelcome.
10) And last but not least the art. The country takes so much pride in its background and makes such an effort to preserve what was once before. From music and paintings on every street to the beautiful architecture full of color and history, it was incredible to be part of a place with such an amazing past.
Now now, don’t get me wrong, as much as I love Italy I can’t forget about my homeland. Thus it is only fair that I create a list of that which I am anxiously awaiting in my return to America. Let’s call it the “Top Ten Bliss List” for rhyming sake shall we?
1) Similar to that of the previous list, I simply cannot wait to see my family and friends at home. If that includes you and you are reading this, yes, I do expect a welcome home party, a surprise one preferably. Thanks.
2) The little conveniences. Cars, extended shower time, clothes dryers, electric stoves, dishwashers, you know, those things we American’s assume everyone has. I mean, it’s not as though I were in a third world country… I’m just saying, a little air conditioning never hurt anyone.
3) Food. Yes I know I said that about Italy too, but I mean it differently. I am excited for more variety and less carbs. Frozen Yogurt, Chinese food, salad options, a real breakfast… bring on the pancakes.
4) On the complete opposite note… exercise. While yes, you walk everywhere in Sorrento, I’m quite excited for a treadmill and some free weights. Lifting barstools as a replacement just doesn’t offer the quite same effect.
5) ENGLISH. Italian has a beautiful language but with hopes my teacher isn’t reading this, I can’t understand a darn thing. The first thing I’m going to upon landing in the states is read every form of text in sight, maybe stop a complete stranger just to say hello.
6) The space. Although I like the compactness of everything in the small of Sorrento, it will be a pleasant change to once again have my own room and a little “me” time (which basically means my “I’m in the car alone so I am going to belt every song I know” time).
7) American fashion. And this I do mean the style. Look out Forever 21, Christie Lee is coming home.
8) FREE WATER. DON’T JUDGE ME.
9) Seeing movies in a movie theater. That may seem random but I cannot wait to see all the new ones that released. The Hunger Games, Batman, The Lorax, anyone?
10) SUMMER. School’s out homies, it’s time for lazy days, lake trips, concerts, and McDonald’s 50 cent ice cream cones. WHO’S WITH ME.
Well friends, I suppose this concludes my posts via Italy. The next time you hear from me I’ll be standing on good ole U.S. of A. soil. CIAO SORRENTO!