Today we did not go to the university because of the shuttle bus problem. As the study in Italy, we have a more clear vision about Italian culture, and the relationship that between the driver and us is definitely a culture shock. We knew not only about the beauty of southern Italy, but also the we learned the dirty side of Italy, such as the so-called networking. Also we talked about this in the culture class that not many people came to the southern Italy because of promotion, transportation and economy. But when I dug deeper, it was all about corruption and networking. What makes the southern part so mysterious was the isolate situation. The north and south were not totally unified actually. But I felt very happy that I could witness the really southern Italy. According to the data, only 13% of tourists came to Italy, I am very lucky to be here an experience everything. We also booked the train tickets and hotel room for the free weekend which would be this coming weekend. Every one would go to Napoli, and then we would separate to two groups, one to Capri and the other one to Pumpei. I could not believe this program had been this fast, and we only had two more weeks to go. I hope when the day this program ends I could be happy that all the thing I am doing right now, studying and enjoying the time at the same time.
Today, we went to Tropea, a popular town for many tourists because it has one of the best beaches. I have to say that Tropea is one of my favorite place I have been to so far, the other one is Taormina. It was an around two-hour trip, we had a very comfy shuttle bus today that made the trip much easier. When we walked down, there were full of stores and bars. The view from top was tremendously beautiful and gorgeous, which impressed me a lot for seeing such a clear ocean an golden sands. The water had a gradient color, from dark blue to turquoise. Few people were floating on the water and I could see the shadow on the bottom of the ocean, because it was so clear. Far away, there was a beautiful church on a hill, and many reeks were under and above the ocean that added the ocean more colors. We first Walked together to explore the city a little bit, then we were dismissed. I found many interesting stores, so I did not have lunch. I saw a shirt with very special color and pattern on it, however the quality was not ideal, but the owner claimed it was handmade and I liked very much, so I got it after bargaining. Then we walked down to the coast together, and I was really excited to jump into water. It was my first time to go the ocean this year, the water was much warmer than the water in lungomare. It felt so nice just floating and playing in the water. We also walked and swam to the other side of coast, but we gave up, because it was too far to be reached. We found a really nice small cave and laid inside for a little while, and saw teenagers jumped from a high reek and dived into water. That moment I really thought it was a paradise, and I wanted to take a photo to remember that moment, but I couldn't, so I tried to see and experience it hardly so I could remember it in my deep heart. After that, we dried out on the beach and went back to the town for Tartufo and just relaxed. Then we went back to hotel with the beautiful sunset view, and the perfect day ended.
Oggi è venerdì, quindi abbiamo avuto la conversazione con la signora Eleonora. La conversazione ha cominciato in ritardo perché la signora Eleonora stava aiutando a telefonare a qualcuno che ci possa portare in autobus. Il nostro autista non può guidare per la gita a Tropea. Fortunatamente, noi andiamo a Tropea doman comunquei. Per conversazione, abbiamo parlato di bergamotto che è molto importante per Reggio Calabria. Ma io ho avuto difficoltà a capirla. Per pranzo, io ho mangiato la pizza della sera scorsa. E poi, tutti sono andati a Reggio centrale per fare shopping. Abbiamo preso il treno da soli. Io non facevo shopping da tanto tempo, quindi io ho voluto comprare molto. Alla fine, io ho comprato due vestiti, due camicie, due paia di scarpe e degli orecchini. Anche io volevo gli occhiali da sole, ma non c'erano quelli che mi piacevano. Molti acquisti che io ho fatto erano di ottima qualità e a prezzi convenienti. Quindi io ero molto soddisfatta. E probabilmente faccio shopping di nuovo a Roma e a Vienna. Io non ho mangiato il gelato, perché io ho speso molti soldi per vestiti. E io ho preso il treno a Catona e ho cenato con Riccardo, Kaylee e Abby. Era la prima volta che ho mangiato gli gnocchi alla
sugo semplice. Era bellissimo!
Today is a national holiday in Italy, and school is closed, so we had class at hotel. We had midterm today, so I studied a lot for the exam. I felt pretty confident after the exam, therefore I was in relief for a while. Then we had culture class in gelateria, talking about mafia. I got very confused about the mafia, especially the text was very difficult for me to catch and the the content was very heavy. I had one brioche con gelato. From the same gelateria, Mike picked some pastries for Piretro. Then Piretro picked us from gelateria to his house directly. We got there much earlier than others, so we had time walking around. Prof. Gatto showed us the berry tree, so we picked berries from the tree and ate them right away, and we were also very kindly picked some extra for the kids from Prof. Gatto's class. The berries were white and super sweet that was not a common species on the market so it was quite expensive according to Connie. The lunch was amazing and a lot, the appetizers, pasta, sausages, chicken, potatoes, fruits, and many desserts. There were also different kinds of alcohol, and I tried frizzantino, homemade vino, also a pure lime liquor. Piretro seemed very generous sharing us with vino, but Prof. Gatto got mad finally for Piretro giving us alcohol. After lunch, we sat on the yard and chatted with them. Vincezo did not feel good, so he was taking a nap. Time went very fast, we did not go back until 6:30. Then, I rested a little and went to numero uno at 9. The dinner was later than usual, because the lunch was so good, and everyone was full!
Oggi era nuvoloso. Io mi sono svegliata alle 7 per finire i miei compiti di italiano 3 e del corso di cultura, 299. C'era lettura lunga sulla mafia. E poi, ho fatto colazione all'albergo. Il bus era in ritardo, quindi la classe è cominciato mezz'ora in ritardo. Oggi in classe, abbiamo parlato del congiuntivo trapassato e abbiamo fatto degli esercizi di congiuntivo trapassato. Per la lezione di cultura, noi abbiamo parlato della mafia. È interessante che molti cinesi non sappiano della mafia. Io sono contenta perché io studio molto in Italia. Poi, abbiamo pranzato alla mensa. Noi siamo ritornati all'albergo dopo il pranzo. In camera, io ho finito la prenotazione per il mio viaggio in Cina. E ho telefonato a mio ragazzo. Dopo, ero un po' stanca, quindi ho fatto un pisolino per due ore. Stasera, io ho trascorso 2 ore a studiare per l'esame. Per la cena, io ho ordinato la pasta semplice e l'insalata piccola! Erano buone!
Today is the last day of May. We had regular class this morning, and I had a headache. These days have been really tough, because I went to bed late and woke up earlier to do the homework, also the midterm is coming up. I am fine with the heavy course load, because I always feel so good for having known so much more knowledge. We went back to the hotel and I took a nap. At four o’clock, we met again to go a garden in the center. Prof. Gatto invited his friends as guides to explain as much as possible in order for as to learn more. I really appreciated the patient introduction about the variable plants, and the machine in the museum. I saw many rare species, for example, the tree with many branches was indicated its age by branches instead of showing by stem cycles. They talked about the machine helped farmers to split oil in order to make either perfume, tea or whatever. Unfortunately, the museum was temporarily closed, so we only saw one machine. After the tour, Prof. Gatto, Signora Eleonora, and Luigi took me the tailor shop kindly, which I asked prof. Gatto whether it was possible to go to a tailor shop. Luigi drived me to the shop, therefore I did not have to wait another hour. The shop looked really nice outside, there were so many fancy evening dresses and wedding gowns. I knew nothing at all. I observed and tried to pick the pattern I wanted first, which was really difficult to pick from thousands of pictures, especially they all look so similar. Everything worked well that point. However, when it came to the color and fabric that I wanted to used, things got so complicated. They did not speak English, and Prof. Gatto was not around. I pretty much could only told them “Yes” or “No”, but it was so difficult to describe the specific one I wanted. The first one I chose would cost about 250 euro, which was too expensive for a dress which I might not even like it. I got very frustrated, because Luigi and Prof. Gatto were waiting for me outside. At eight, Prof. Gatto came in and saved me, he asked me either to make a decision right away or come later. Since, it was kind of late today, even though I decided to make a dress there, there were still so many more process I needed to go over which was much more complicated and expensive that I expected. So, we decided to come next time maybe. Then I talked to Prof. Gatto that I still really appreciated this experience, although I felt sorry for getting nothing. Today, I had some unpleasant conversation with my boyfriend, but after I had dinner and I calmed down, I realized I needed to be more considered and easy person. There were so many more I could improve not only on language but also as a girlfriend.
For today nothing was special. But we had few very interesting discussion in culture class today about people staring at each other on the street. Italian, at least in this town, love to stare at you. At first, I understand they stared at us because we were new here and they did not see foreigners often, but this never stopped. I got very upset few times because some guys stare at me at school when I stared back to express my anger, he was still staring in a very rude way. When I was young in China, my parents told me never stared at a stranger on the street that was not nice at all. I learned that in my deep heart, even though I heard it was very common here, I still couldn't do it. We also talked about Italian never staying alone. They would come to ask a single person why he or she was alone. I think that was annoying as well, even though they don't ask on any bad purposes. I would still think "it's not your business". However, I went out to a bar this afternoon, surprisingly, nobody asked me and I did not feel bad for being alone. Also there were other people staying by themselves, so I would say never assume. When we talk about Italian's stereotypes that is annoying, too. The fact is we have to explore by ourselves. Also for dinner, we had something special, it is called spezzatino di Vitello that was really good, kind of like Chinese stew. I had Bàrba at bar that was dessert dipped in rum, I can't tell whether l like it or not, but it was fun to try. I kept trying new stuff in Italy, and I think I like this slow-pace life more and more everyday.
Today was another free day. I got tired so easily recently, therefore I decided not to go anywhere. I had a very full breakfast. In breakfast, we were discussing the trip in free weekend. There was a disagreement about where to go. Finally we ended up that we all would go to Napoli, and one group would take a day trip to Pumpei the other one to Capri. I am really glad we finally settled this down, at least we had a plan then. I spent a lot of time just hanging loose, and I did the research on another China traveling, and I figured out the hotel I wanted to stay. At five o'clock, reed and I went to the beach, and we explored the northern side of the beach. I brought my camera with me. Reed took some really nice pictures of me. We laid on the beach and chatted. We talk about the Internet, and the friendship. I realized reed was really a special person who was definitely abnormal person. But talking with him, I gained my interesting feedbacks to think back to myself. And one point he tried to emphasize was happiness. I was to told to be happier, and I should enjoy life like he did. Then I realized how important to do the deep conversation like I did with Reed. It was the time to exchange thoughts and hear stories. I realized I had not been making many true American friends because I did not do deep conversations with them. Anyway it has been a very chilled day. I am enjoying being lazy and relaxed.
Today we went to Gerace. We left for 8:30. The trip was supposed to be one hour and half, but we lost and waste a lot of time, therefore we did not get to Gerace until 11:30. We spent very little time on the top of the town. Prof Gatto showed us the center of Mafia. That village was then governed by mafia, and government could not interfere at all. We saw the Castle that was built during Byzantine time, and was taken by Normans for a while. Then we went to see the Cathedral, which was consecrated in 1045. We were very lucky that there was a wedding taking place. We went inside, there was a small museum inside to display the clothing and wares used in ancient ceremony. Upstairs was the church, the styles were mixed, and the church shared by different religions. The color of the columns changed according to different humidity. The cathedral closed at 1:30, and we were very lucky made it. Then we had lunch next to the cathedral and relaxed a little bit. The local specialty was called "Paninoteca" which was like a panini. The program treated us a granite after lunch, but I did not eat much, and I just waited it to melt. Then we down, and just hanged out there taking many good pictures. Around 3:30 we headed back to the hotel, and I talked to my parents and my boyfriend to finish my day.
This Friday is another conversation day with Signora Eleanora. She was an very elegant and nice lady, teaching liberal arts in university. She kindly brought her daughter wedding pictures to us, and we talked about Italian wedding according to the pictures. It was always difficult to talk and understand from a Italian who did not speak English at all. I tried to pick up the word I knew from her, but it was still very difficult to understand everything. I learned that she had two daughters, and the wedding was her elder daughter's. It was set in Rome, a very grande and gorgeous church. Through the picture and the description from Signora. The wedding was well-prepared and Luxurious. She said the wedding gown was from Gucci, So I guessed 2000 euro, but she said even more. I thought it was very strange that how could they afford such an expensive wedding, then later on the dinner, professor Gotto explained she could inherited lots of money from her family. Everyone in the wedding dressed really nice, and again, the wedding proved the "Italian performance" we had talked about in class. They loved ceremonies, and whether they were necessary they would do it. She also talked about how she met Luigi. Luigi was 12 years older than her, and she always loved a mature man. Signora would take me to the sarta on Tuesday, which I got very excited about it. I hope I could bring back something to China that was specially made for me. On the rest of day, I just chilled and relaxed. I knew tomorrow would be another long day, so I wanted to be ready.
Penn state 2019, majoring in Supply Chain Management, minoring in Italian and international business. Promoting Chinese culture to America; loving art, music and adventures.
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