Hi guys, I’m a bit rusty at this whole writing thing so bear with me as this is learning experience; hope you enjoy a summary of my first five days in Rome!
Drinking culture. Yes I’m going to talk about alcohol. Starting as soon as I boarded Lufthansa Airlines, I was given the opportunity to consume an alcoholic beverage. No, I did not purchase any, but I was amazed at the fact that I could have bought a glass of wine on the airplane. I’ll have to admit, I did feel pretty cool. However, I'm slowly starting to realize that drinking isn’t as big of a deal in Europe as America makes it out to be. I’ve learned that Europeans don’t abuse alcohol because it is built into their family lifestyle. European, specifically Italian families are very close knit so kids don’t feel the need to hide their first drink from their parents; in fact, they probably have their first drink with their parents.
Getting less awkward. Let me start off my giving my sincerest apologies to anyone whom I’ve made an awkward first impression to. To those who thought I was normal—well let’s just say you’re one of the few lucky ones. If standing with a group of people who I haven’t met I’ve usually abruptly jumped in midst of conversation and said the infamous “By the way, my name is Karishma” or “Ugh, hi. I’m Karishma” and then gone back to standing in an awkward stature. Although I’ve been at the John Felice Rome Center for only 5 days, I’m slowly starting to change that. I’ve realized it’s okay to finish a conversation and then go on with introducing myself. What’s the hurry anyway? Why interrupt brain flow or what could possibly be the most intriguing conversation of my life? Surrounded by a group of 179 intelligent individuals, I intend to learn their story and not basing it off of an awkward conversation.
Gratitude for my parents. Words do not come close to describing how thankful I am to my parents for letting me go on this trip. Within the short few days I have been here, I have been living the pictures you see in postcards and vacation pamphlets. This experience has been and will continue to be so surreal and I owe it all to my selfless mother, Kanchan, warm-hearted father, Rakesh, and of course my well-wishing sister Rachel to “make sure I take every opportunity I can in college and get the best education possible.” Granted I’m not always the easiest child to deal with, I am truly blessed to have been given the honor of being in this family. Thank you for this incredible once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity; I will not let you down.
Appreciating history. Upon graduating high school, I was ecstatic of the fact that I was exempt from history courses at Loyola. I just saw it as memorizing facts and It is unbelievable how well the “Colosseo” and the Roman Forum have been standing for thousands of years. It’s even more amazing to go back in time and imagine how the Romans fought dangerous animals in the arena and how Constantine watched over and led his country so nobly. It gives me goose-bumps just thinking about it in the Information Commons as I write this blog; you can only imagine how I felt standing in the center of the arena itself. History is incredibly important because it teaches us the lessons of the past to prepare for the future. It has molded us to where we are today and we should never forget that. More or less, “how can you know where you are going if you don’t know where you came from?”
Trying new things. Today JFRC took us to the Rambla Beach (I sure felt Rambler proud.) With the temperature being well over 80 degrees, I decided I wanted to purchase a cold drink. Of course the signs are in Italian, so being my exploratory self I decided I would give it a try by ordering a Frulatto Acai. Thinking it was a mere fruit smoothie, I was handed a bowl of brown goo with two straws and a spoon. Yikes! After drinking almost half and having several people taste-try, I concluded that it was just a refreshing fruity drink. After coming back to the dorm, I googled Frulatto Acai and it turns out that I drank an Acai Fruit Smoothie; the Acai berry is a deep purple fruit (similar in appearance to a grape) that comes from a species of Palm Tree. Whether I liked it or not, I still tried something new!
They say college is a time to find yourself, JFRC is taking that to a whole new level; I look forward to spending my semester with 179 adventurous individuals in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Hopefully my writing isn’t as bad as my Italian, (Yikes!) Nevertheless, feel free to message me as I am very open to feedback!