But then again, this is Europe…

It’s close to a week since I’ve been here, and I thought that by now I’d get over this feeling that’s been hiding behind my eyes. There’s a sadness that comes to me when I think about everything America has that I can’t find here in Rome. I walk around this beautiful city, and while it is beautiful, I haven’t yet figured out how to comfortably fit my feet in this shoe without the cushioning of the people and the things that matter most to me.
if Rome were footwear...
It seems like my homesickness hits me the hardest at night when I go on a hunt for nightclubs —because there’s no time for crying on the dance floor, and really I just want to shake my rump (dance)— only to realize that this place is shrouded with bars. Then, when I do find a club, seemingly decades away from where I live, it’s like the DJ hasn’t heard of reggae. But then again, this is Europe…this is Italy. To make matters worse, people here smoke cigarettes left and right as if  it makes the air smell like roses and as if cancer is not a possibility . I’ve seen some of the most beautiful people and then they wrap their lips around a cancerette and my attention dissolves. Ah, but, I digress…
ugly cigarette
I suppose one of the weirdest feelings I’ve had so far while being here came to me while en route to a supposedly “up-to-par” bar (it definitely wasn’t). After turning several corners and seeing yet another monument or some sort of classicism, I said to myself, “okay, so where is the corner with the skyscrapers?” It was almost as if my mind thought I was only in a certain part of New York, or Boston, that has a classical aesthetic to it’s architecture, and that eventually I would return to star-blocking- skyscrapers and ocean-wide billboards. Nope, no 42nd between these Roman streets; I had to tell myself that this was the city and that I would have to adjust to seeing and living in rom(anticism).
Another part of this homesickness comes from hunger. Sometimes after class, okay honestly, during class I start thinking about how I’m going to buy a beef patty with cocoa bread and cheese and just tear it up until my stomach can’t get enough. Then, I step outside and not a single sight of a West-Indian food place.
my mouth can never go Sahara-style when I look at this picture
Don’t get me wrong, I love love love pasta and pizza, but I can’t eat it everyday. Some days, I want to eat food from other cultures. If there’s one thing I can say, I miss my summertime walks to the G train and seeing (and smelling) the Chinese, Spanish, West Indian, Indian, and Thai food places, without even having to leave Bedstuy.
While America has it’s downsides (just as every country does), one thing I love about it is the way that
you can stick your head in the pot and choose an ingredient that represents another country, and when you get tired of that flavor you can simply move on to the next.
On the flip side, this is Europe and I have to find a way to break away from my conventional ways of living. I’m sure that if I keep my mind open to the Roman way of life, I will find plenty of things to love, and even some things that I will long for once I return to America.
This is (Rome) the challenge that I climbed over challenges to come to…

2 thoughts on “But then again, this is Europe…”

  1. you’re only there for a few. dont let your homesickness stop you from enjoying the good things about italy. i know you can do it girl. it is easier said than done but suck it up girl and enjoy it!! order something off the menu that sounds totally disgusting and just try it..lol..experience!!! love you lots, have fun, bye!!

  2. Thank goodness that you don’t get heart burn from the pasta. Lol. But I know its hard. Culture shock is never easy. But knowing you nia, you’ll get past it and learn to love those things. Especially when you get back home. P.S. I promise not to eat a patty w coco bread n cheese until you come back! =] love you!

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