Wandering and Wondering

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Highs and Lows (Alto e Basso)

My first week in Florence was a bit surreal. One minute I would be chatting online to friends and listening to music as though I hadn’t left home, and the next minute I would walk out my front door onto the streets of Florence and wonder how I got here.

In the last week or so some of the initial excitement has started to wear off. Although most days I’m still on a high there have been a few days where a little frustration and loneliness have gotten the better of me. When I first met my neighbor Nita and asked her how she found living in Florence, she mentioned that when she is feeling a bit down it can feel worse than it really is, because friends and family are far away (although now that she has been living here 3 years, she has obviously made a lot of new friends).

Last weekend, for instance, I had a bit of a cold and was struggling with my Italian, wondering if I should drop back to an easier level. Being all alone in my apartment, I was also feeling a bit lonely. The “odd one out” feeling didn’t help either (only Australian at the university, only person in my age group, only guy in the dance class).

My gloomy outlook quickly turned around, however, as soon as Monday came around and I was back at university with a bit of human contact. It was good to talk to other students and find out that they are also struggling with their Italian, so I realized that I wasn’t alone.The other great cure for loneliness while travelling is the Internet. Nita is letting me share her wireless internet connection, meaning that I can be online almost permanently at both home and university (where they also have wireless). The only problem with Nita’s internet connection is that it has frequent drop-outs. At one stage last week it was down for a couple of days. Like most people these days, I’ve become so dependent on the internet that when the connection is down it is almost like losing a body part.


Rachel said...

Aw! Tutti noi abbiamo problemi con nostro Italiano. E' piu facile practicare a Firenze! Buona fortuna, in boca a lupo!

Darren said...

Yeah, I know, everyone else is having problems with their Italian as well! I just need study and practice more (instead of spending all this time on my blog...).