I did it! I finally found the electronics store and managed to buy an adapter for all of my American plugs. After wandering around the Tempio di Apollo (a great plaza with the ruins of a temple and lots of upscale clothing stores) for more or less 20 minutes, I passed a window full of phones on display. I said, “Oh, look at that window of phones.” I walked a bit further and the next window had a plethora of digital cameras and I said, “Oh, look at that plethora of digital cameras.” And then I frowned a little, looked up at the awning and said, “Hmm, I think I found the electronics store.” I was able to tell the man at the counter than I don’t speak Italian and asked if he understood English; he didn’t but another salesman did and I explained to him what I needed. Now I have an adapter that I could use in Hong Kong, Africa, Australia and virtually anywhere else! Splendid!
Yesterday was the first day of class. I have two classes: Ancient Sicilian History and Greek Archaeology & Art. In one of the classes, I don’t remember which, the professor was saying that Sicily’s history goes all the way back to prehistoric times. They have records dating back five millennia and I got to thinking about something that I never would have expected myself to think. Since the time when I began caring about history and culture, I’ve always felt a little disappointed that America, the United States anyway, does not have that rich of a culture and we aren’t old at all. Europe, Africa, Asia, all these places have deeply-seeded cultures that span hundreds of centuries and the US really does not. But when I was in class yesterday, thinking about how old Sicily was, I suddenly felt glad that America didn’t have a long list of civilizations. I felt relieved that I didn’t have to remember so much information about the place I am living. It was a funny feeling, one I’d never expect to feel. Perhaps I like that America has a simpler past. Sure, I realize Native Americans have inhabited the land for thousands of years – which is completely interesting to learn about. Now, I think I’ve lost the point I wanted to make. But I’m hoping you get the gist.
So I’m beginning to become homesick. For one, I miss everyone. But for two, I think it’s because even the most minute, everyday tasks are difficult here. The language barrier is hard to overcome and I’m beginning to get tired of not being able to order food or ask for directions in a normal way. I’m learning nouns fairly easily; but verbs are harder to pick up. People speak so fast!
And of course, there’s my roommate. At times, she’s really nice and we get along great. And at other times, she is controlling, pretentious and a know-it-all. She insults me verbally, which is her way of ‘joking around.’ But last night I told her that it bothers me when she says things like “Nobody cares what you think” or “No one could smell as bad as you” (that last reference was in regards to the smell of the sewer, having nothing to do with me, by the way). I told her that although I know she’s kidding, I’d like her to stop, to which she apologized.
She tries to bully me but I don’t need someone telling me what and what not to do. She thinks that because she’s traveled more than I have, she’s more worldly. And because she lives in Texas, she knows better about dealing with heat and humidity. I doubt she’s ever been to Kentucky during August. She looked at me as though I spat on her mother when I said that I don’t like art of the Renaissance. She hates cheerleaders (which I was for three years), she hates sorority girls (which my sister and cousin were), she thinks all blondes are stupid, snobby and mean. She called me a nerd one night for wearing glasses and reading a book on my bed; which is completely idiotic because she wears glasses and reads too. I blow off the silly remarks she makes but the small things have begun to add up…and quickly. I have about 4½ weeks left and it scares me that she already agitates me. I hope that our little talk last night will make things go more smoothly.