A weekend away

19 Jul

I meant to post this a few days ago, but the internet in Italy wasn’t that great. That’s right. I said Italy. I’m so awful at making plans, that the details to go to Marseille weren’t smoothed out for me in the first place, then one of the other girls in the program said to me at the last minute, “Let’s go to Italy!” So, to Italy we went!

Before I took this trip, almost everyone warned me of culture shock. “It’s inevitable,” they said. “Everyone gets it.” Since I’ve arrived in France, I’ve never felt that way. Sure, I’ve had the extremely excited moments, along with the more “meh” ones, but nothing that I really felt was actual culture shock. Until I went to Italy. San Remo, to be specific. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great place. I had a good time, and everything was awesome! It’s just I had moments where I’d mentally grumble to myself about one thing or another. Though, I feel it all boils down to one thing: the Italian language. I can’t speak it, and neither could Molly, my travel buddy. Although I’m not one of those Americans who goes to a foreign country and shouts English at people, thinking the louder I say it, the more they’ll understand, it was still a bit nerve-wracking for me to be in this foreign country, hoping the people I had to interact with could speak English or French. Thankfully, everyone was really friendly in Italy. I love learning languages, so should the opportunity arise, I’d love to learn Italian, among many others. It would also be completely awesome if I’m ever able to return to Europe to see the bigger cities like Venice or Rome.

During the train ride, I got to see a little bit of the Azure Coast. Oh mon Dieu. It’s soooooo beautiful! The sea was such a crystal blue, proving that “Azure Coast” is a very appropriate name for the region. I really wish I had the time to spend at least a day in a few of the cities we passed. Also, I’ve decided that once I am rich, I will live in a huge mountainside home on the Azure Coast, possibly Beaulieu-sur-Mer, or maybe Monaco. I can’t decide. It’s okay. I have plenty of time to think on it. Once I’m rich, I’ll pick out a nice place, have a huge yacht… Yeah. That’s how it’s gonna be. Now, to figure out that getting rich part…

Anyway, I was only in San Remo for the weekend, and once our train pulled into the Arles train station, I was about to say, “Ahh, home sweet home,” but I stopped myself, realizing that Arles isn’t home. But still, the sentiment is the same. Finally, I was back in a place that was comfortable and familiar to me, where I could talk to people without worrying if they would be able to understand me. Well, I know my French isn’t that great, but I’d still hope they understand the gist of what I’m saying, and for the most part, they do. I really could see the difference, going from one country where I can’t speak the language to another country where I am at a moderate conversation level. It made me realize the progress I’m making in French. It’s a good feeling!


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