31 luglio 2007

Mi mancano Italia e tutti voi

It's strange to be back in the States. Since I flew in on Saturday, I feel out of place and imbalanced. It didn't quite hit me until today, as I started to edit video footage, that the reason for my uneasiness is the fact that I am homesick for Viareggio and the incredible people I had the privilege of meeting over the past month.

As of now, everything feels so strange and uncomfortable. Everyone speaking in English is so strange - while shopping I caught myself three times asking for something in Italian, Spanish, or a combination of the two. Even driving a car feels so foreign. So foreign, in fact, that I started using my bike. I even stuck on my old basket on the front just to make myself feel more at home. Riding my bike even felt a little strange, it took all afternoon riding around town to finally feel comfortable in the seat.

Fortunately, and unfortunately, I live in a town were the bike population is larger than the actual population. It's not difficult to ride around to the supermarket or local bookstore. However, because my town is so 'bike-friendly' it's difficult to find that comfortable and familiar flow of traffic that I've become accustomed to in Viareggio. It's like a complex and elaborate dance that one either understands or doesn't. Once you get it, it's as if you're part of this amazing flow of energy that can weave in and out and around bikes, cars, and people. As corny as that sounds, I miss that feeling. And unfortunately, riding with more than one person on a bike will not fly in Davis. The bike police (yes, we have police who ride around on bikes) will issue a ticket without hesitation - after all, there's not much for them to really do around here, especially with all the university students out of town during the summer holiday. Regardless, I'm sure I will find a time where one of my friends will be willing to ride two to a bike (most of us haven't done that since we were in grade-school).

Above all, I miss the people I've met and the never-ending nightlife. Here in Davis, stores and restaurants close at 22:00. It's strange to not be able to ride down to the passegiatta and check out the bars, cafes, and shops until late into the night or even grab some french fries at one of the Piadina places after heading home from Seven or wherever the night had taken us.

Lately, I've been amusing myself with watching some of the video I took during the trip as well as perusing through the photos that other people have posted thus far (thank you to all of you who have). Other than that, I've gone to the movies, shopped for books, gone out one night, and attended one barbecue, which I probably would have enjoyed more had I not been so jet lagged. Otherwise my life has been less hectic and exciting than I would like. I have, however, attempted to keep with an Italian routine by watching RAI in the morning, brushing up on my verb tenses while lounging out in the yard (yes, I am a nerd - but there's a chance I may make my Italian minor into a major - pending certain credits), swimming in my pool daily (it's not the sea, but it will have to do), and riding my bike when running errands or meeting friends in town. Wow, I sound like the biggest dork on the face of the earth, don't I?

I'm hoping that by the end of the week I'll start feeling at home again, which I'm sure I will. I've rejoined my indoor soccer squad and our next game is on Saturday, which will apparently be followed by a good "unofficial" gathering with my fraternity brothers. The rest of the weekend will be monopolized by coaching at a tournament in the bay area. I'm hoping that my social agenda will pick up during the remainder of the month with people coming home from holiday, the state-fair starting, and hopefully my lack of a busy schedule, which will allow me to be social.

For all of you who I met this past month: thank you, it was an honor and a pleasure to meet such a diverse and fun-loving group of people. You all left an impression and opened my eyes to various outlooks on life and helped me see things in a fresh new light. I really hope that we all stay in touch and perhaps someday meet again. And I hope everyone had a safe trip home - and for those of you who are still traveling (oh, how I envy you) I hope you find your way home safely.

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