Buon San Valentino (Happy Valentine's Day)!
Orientation has been officially over for a week or so now and life in Bologna has entered a new stage. Having been here for over a month now, life in Bologna is no longer a constant series of novel revelations and I've become as accustomed to the Fontana di Nettuno in Piazza Maggiore as I am to the Bunny or the Clocktower back at Wash U. I also no longer have the structure of orientation classes to fill my days, and while I've been searching around and trying out classes (and have so far found two out of the necessary three), the complete lack of daily homework and extracurricular commitments means that I still have far more free time than I could ever dream of in Saint Louis. This surplus of free time further compounded--to hyperbolize slightly--by the fact that I do not yet have friends. Of course, I have made many new friends from among my American program-mates, I get along very well with both of my roommates and am in the process of getting to know several other Italians (Matteo and his friends, some classmates) better, so on some level that statement was completely ridiculous. So allow me to clarify: I do not yet have friends who I can call anytime, all the time (and with whom I can speak, guilt-free, solo italiano). I have instead many friendly acquaintances and guilty fellow english-speakers.
This entry is not meant to be a complaint. It is instead meant to be a reflection of the exciting unknown that has been occupying my thoughts these past few days: What comes next? To borrow a favorite metaphor of Steve Shriberg, I am approaching the next drop on the roller coaster that is the abroad experience.
Here's to hoping it's as thrilling as the first.