Siena pt. 1 - "It's going to be okay"

Sunday, May 10, 2015

In which I discover jet lag and culture shock are a real thing

Today has lasted much longer than my usual day. I left my house at 1:30ish in the pouring rain, got on a plane to Paris around 5:00 pm, got to Paris at 10:30 am on Sunday, and flew an hour a half from Paris to Florence, then took a bus from the airport to the train station, and now I have to ride a train to Siena That will take about an hour and a half. I'm exhausted. I didn't sleep more than 4 hours on the plane and I couldn't sleep the night before because I was too excited to go to Italy.

Now I'm here, in this place that was the source of all my excitement and I'm sleep deprived and overwhelmed. I mean, I've been obsessed with Italy since 7 th grade. I used to quiz myself on vocabulary words because I couldn't take an Italian class yet and I just wanted to learn the language, so bad. I could not wait to be in a country where this magical language was spoken and written and displayed everywhere. Let me just tell you, the quickest way to realize you know absolutely nothing is to jump headfirst into a culture that you only know about two semester's worth. I felt stupid and confused and so ... American. I'm obviously foreign there's no hiding that, and I also just don't know how anything works.

At the train station I tried to buy a ticket for a train to Siena and the train hadn't arrived at the platform yet so it was not on the board and I started panicking thinking I had gotten off at the wrong spot and passed That the shuttle this lady came up and kept trying to ask me if I needed help and I was trying not to be rude Because she wanted money for her help and I did not fully understand her and I just feel so out of place.

I bought a ticket (and had to go back and get it stamped before I could get to the platform Because I guess that's a thing you have to do) and I'm writing this while waiting for the train to depart. I'm supposed to meet my class at 18 o'clock in some place and I'm 100% certain I will not make it there on time and at this point, I'm just like, "magari." Whatever happens, happens. 

I'll get there when I get there. I have no internet service, there's no wifi, I can not remember the train stop I'm supposed to get off at and I'm just so tired. Everyone says the first week is the worst. It's Been only a day and I'm feeling pretty bummed. I don't know why I thought I'd be immune to culture shock. Whatever it is, I'm sure the more time I spend here the less crazy it will be. But for now I have to endure another hour and a half train ride and then meet my class and find my host mom and then fall asleep only to start school tomorrow at 8:30am. It's kind of a mess. 

How come no one ever talks about this stuff when people to go abroad?

P.S. Please excuse any typos or formatting issues. Blogger knows I'm in Italy and keeps trying to suggest better ways to say things in Italian (when I really am just trying to post in English) and is randomly capitalizing things. I hope I figure it out soon!

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