With nearly 20 days behind me in Italy, I’ve noticed some minor changes in myself as a person and in my thinking. I think these are definitely one of those things that occurs when you see and experience a culture other than your own firsthand. I’m so fortunate to be studying abroad right now
Here are some things I’ve learned:
- We as Americans take too much for granted. One example: When going to a McDonalds or Burger King in Italy, one has to pay extra for their condiments. And you only get one packet of ketchup per fee. In America, we take for granted the convenience of taking a handful of ketchup packets with us when we eat.
- I prefer walking places rather than driving because I get to see more of the world in that way. As tired as I have been nearly every night in Italy, I’ve always enjoyed getting to see all of the things I’ve seen, but feel that it would not have been the same if I had walked everywhere.
- I’m addicted to gelato, light windy weather with low humidity, and peach tea. I’ll admit it. Oh and pasta, though I think I already knew that. =)
- The best way to improve on a foreign language is to just speak it with those who are fluent, in my opinion. My Italian has improved daily the longer I’ve been here. In fact, I’m even mixing some of my English up. Also, I’m thankful that I also speak Hindi because there are a lot more Indian people here than I expected and it has been helpful with more communication.
- In America, I should do a better job of finishing every bite of every meal as I have been in Italy. I think it is because of the thought of paying so much for a meal here that I am always mentally encouraged to eat every bit of it so that I don’t waste a cent of the money I’ve spent. I’m going to personally try harder to finish meals in America. Maybe it’s just the taste of the food here? No clue.
- Air conditioning and luxuries such as ice, drink refills and warm water are definitely taken for granted in America. In my host house (and those of almost everyone else in my study abroad group) there is no air conditioning. It is rare for me to find ice in a drink here (thankfully I’ve never been a fan of ice), and drink refills are nonexistant for free. I have yet to find a place that will refill a drink for me for free, unless it is water. Warm water is also sometimes a luxury here. In fact, in my host house, if I want to take a shower, I have to find my host mother and tell her that I want to do such because she has to turn on the hot water.