Friday, September 2, 2011

Italia, I've arrived!

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with all of the things I want to write about! Like most of my fellow ex-pats advised, all of the anxiety and nervousness went away as soon as I settled in. I'm sure I owe much of that to my amazing ragazzo, Emanuele who has gone above and beyond to make everything as easy as possible.

Some of the things I want to share about my first week here in Terni:

Finally met mamma Masci. I am relieved to say she quite adores me! I don't really know why, I can barely put together a full sentence in Italian. I guess it doesn't matter, because I feel happy when she pinches my cheeks or smiles at me. It's amazing that even with the language barrier, we can laugh and enjoy sitting together. She has been nothing but hospitable, kind and considerate. A huge wave of relief! Oh, and I can't forget...she cooks us lunch every day and dinner every evening that we stay in. It can't get better than that!






I've successfully applied for my permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay) and I pick it up in 25 days!! The best part is that I will have it for 2 years. This is a BIG deal as I've read in many blogs that it is an extremely tedious process. I really owe this one to my Emanuele since he did all of the talking at the questura (police station). I didn't know that I would need to get a codice fiscale (like our SIN or SSN, you need it to work) at a different office first, or that I would need passport photos, and photocopies of my passport and visa. I also didn't know that I would need to go to the post office to pay for the permesso (side note: I'm still not sure why you need to go to the post office to do things like this. If you live in Italy, you know that it is NOT a fun place to go with the long lineups and horrible service, if you can even call it that). The best part of the whole process was probably when the administrator at the questura assumed I was from China, then realized my passport was Canadian. She didn't seem to understand how I could be Canadian, until my boyfriend explained that Canada is multicultural and that my parents are from S. Korea. We all shared a laugh about it, then carried on. After three visits to the questura, I finally got fingerprinted and now all I have to do is wait 25 days! If anyone reading this is planning on living in Italy, please don't be afraid to ask about this process. You will save a lot of time being way more prepared than I was!


View from our apartment in Terni
Checked out my new home in Terni. It was pretty interesting going to the realtor's office. At first I was hesitant since I didn't think I'd understand anything and wasn't really needed to sign anything. But I'm glad I went. Watching the process of going over the contracts and signing the agreement was a significant moment for me because it meant that this wasn't a vacation. This was real. We will be creating a home for ourselves, and I am going to begin a new life here in Italia. It's overwhelming, but gratifying at the same time. All that stress I was feeling the last few weeks literally vanished. I know my life won't be a fairy tale, but at least we're off to a good start!
Spending time with "my" Italian friends! This is one of the things that I love the most about being here. As my boyfriend puts it, his friends are now my friends. They have really embraced me without any hesitation. They are so easy to get along with and so much fun! I love that everyone makes time to hang out, even if they worked all day....and so what if it's a Monday night? They took me to a sagra my second night here--this is a place where everyone sits outside to eat, drink and listen to music. It kind of reminded me of a school yard, except there were rows of wooden tables and benches and it was dark out.
After a delicious dinner of tasty antipasti, supplì (stuffed rice balls), pappardelle with cinghiale (wild boar), people headed over to the stage where the band was playing to dance! I found it so entertaining to see that everyone was doing the same dance moves in a line. Maybe they're regulars?? When I thought the evening was over around midnight, we all headed to a local bar to meet some other friends on the patio. Even though some friends looked a little tired, no one complained, no one rushed the others. We just relaxed and chatted until every one of us was ready to get up and head home.



Another night, one of the girls hosted a dinner at her house where the table was full with grilled meats, pizza, fruit, desserts, wine...oh mio dio! It was great being outside on a summer night eating & laughing for hours. Surprisingly, I had more conversations in English that night than I ever expected. They love to learn more English and I am dying to speak more Italian...so it works out! I really do appreciate how friendly every one has been here in Terni. Mille grazie tutti!




I have to admit, one of my main concerns was being stared at in a negative way as I obviously look different. Especially since I'm from a city as diverse as Toronto where everyone looks "different". But so far, I feel pretty comfortable, accepted and welcomed. I only hope I can learn more Italian and that my confidence gets stronger. I really want to establish a life here where I can be the independent woman that I was back home. Until then, I will continue to enjoy every new adventure and embrace any challenges. I know that I can only grow stronger and learn from all the experiences to come. 

Emanuele and I with "our" crazy friends!


Well, I'm off to the Amalfi Coast for our long awaited vacation! As soon as I get back, I'll be heading to Florence to start the next chapter of my life here in Italy. I hope I can write again soon! Miss everyone back home and please keep in touch! Until next time....

xoT

ps. Okay, if there was one complaint I had to make, it would be....DAMN these mosquitoes! They have been feasting on me the last week. 16 bites and counting....=(


7 comments:

  1. wish you good luck with your new life in Italy. Sometimes I wish i could go live in Italy, work in a pasticceria or trattoria and enjoy Italy.

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  2. Looks like an amazing time so far! Glad to hear it.
    Visiting Italy for the first time is in itself overwhelming at times so I am happy you have adjusted!

    The Wanderfull Traveler

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  3. Theresa! I am soooo happy for you! Looks like you are adjusting so well to "la vita Italiana" and fit in already! So glad Manu's mom and friends have been beyond welcoming. Enjoy it all bella!

    xoxoxo, Anna

    p.s. the one thing i love about Italian summers are the Sagras - they are so much fun and yummy of course

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  4. This post makes me very happy! I am thrilled you are settling in just fine! You are in good company which is the most important thing! Enjoy every minute! Ti aspetto in Firenze!! ciao ciao! - Christine

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  5. Welcome, it is fabulous to read that you are feeling so at home already. As for the mosquitoes, they have been particularly bad this summer!

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  6. tree! I teared reading this post, cuz even tho I moved far away, you moved really far away...i miss you.

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  7. Tree - thanks for resending the blog link. I did lose it! It sounds fabulous and glad that you're having a blast in a glass ;) Can't wait to hear more! xoxoxoxoxoxo

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