Thursday, January 15, 2015

Birthdays, School, and Football Among Thoughts

Alright, so since I have last posted, I have written a couple blog posts, they just never got posted or were taken off because my iPod died at a really inconvenient, and the other post should never have been posted. However, I am now working on my computer and so the whole lack of battery shouldn't be a problem. So I haven't updated you guys on a lot of stuff, so I do apologize for that. On a side note, I think it would be cool if you guys posted various things that you would like to hear about on the exchange, so please feel free to post in the comments section below.

Christmas vacation was relaxing on most ends and I was able to enjoy sleeping, however it seriously put me out of shape with all the food I ate (no regrets on that end). It doesn't appear that it will ever snow here in Treviso, as the only day it did so was for about five minutes when I left for Tellaro, a small town in Ligura on the West side of Italy.

I had fun but the biggest struggle was coming back to school. It is always a rush and the days right after the break are the hardest. Because they start school at a different time than the United States, their semester ends this Saturday, which after a break of school and then on to testing isn't easy

 These pictures are of Tellaro where I was able to go rock climbing (just on the beach) and relax after Christmas.

And of course all of you that know me, know that I am an avid Dallas Cowboys fan. It has been fun to listen to them on the radio while here but now the season is at an end. Thankfully I was able to come back from the disappointing loss (Dez caught that ball) that took place and it hasn't impacted me too much. So while I have had many experiences I am at something of a loss as for what I should write about, so please leave comments below as to what you would like to hear about my experience, because as much as this is to keep record of my exchange, it also is for you all to enjoy it somewhat with me. As always, I am thankful for your prayer and support, God bless!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Nothing Good Ever Happens After 2..... or 3:15

My sister gave me a piece of advice that has generally been true across the board. Nothing good ever happens after two am. Today, I found a new time (for me) that really works well. At 11 pm last night me and three friends went to a club called SuperSonic (I would advice against going if you happen to be in Treviso). They were all having a lot of fun, dancing, yelling, the shabam. I however have always been the guy who needs to get his blood pumping before I could actually have fun. Those of you who have gone to dances with me know that it generally takes me a half hour to be able to dance and then another 45 min until I genuinely smile. This was no different, except the DJ was terrible and my blood was running like syrup. I was deflated, saddened that I was unable to join others, so I grabbed my one free drink (I always get weird looks from the bar tender when I order coke with ice), and sat down on one of the various couches around the place. Some people even came and asked me if I was okay (I guess it's weird to not dance in a club), and I pretended to not understand, just because I wanted to be left alone. Of course speaking in English means they learned about my American heritage, so photos had to be exchanged and I was forced to be a little more active and social. Then my saving song came on "Cotton Eyed Joe" of course this is not asong that belongs in a club, but I was just able to laugh and naturally feel a little better. I got the best back, my feet moved with the beat; and my legs and hips soon followed (the time was currently roughly 1:30) and so I made my way down to where all of my friends had gone, the VIP section (it was one of the perks of being in a group with friend who is friends with a swim suit model who was also there), and started dancing. I had my dancing feet on, and by the forbidden time, I was happy and the music was finally good (the switcher DJ's), so about at 2:10 I'm able to just rock out, and because a lot of people who abide by that idea of being home by 2:30, I finally had space to dance. (In a club you need three things to have a good time 1: good music 2: space to dance 3: more women than men, and the list goes in that order. So about 2:30 I pull out all of the stops, I was doing so well that the swim suit model came over to ME and asked what my name was and who I was with. I had a nice little chat with the girl, and we danced a bit. By 3:15 all of the fun people r either gone or so drunk they just r dumb. And then the first DJ flirters back in. Music gets bad, I don't have space to dance because drunk people who can't stand are in my way, and most of the intelligent and attractive are gone. So my saying is, nothing good happens after 3:15. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Perks of being American Abroad

About half an hour ago, I was at a restaurant being offered free food. It was an "American" style restaurant, which basically meant that they didn't sell pasta. The theme of the restaurant (aside from American) was a chicken style restaurant where you didn't eat with forks and knives (personally, when eating a full sized grilled chicken, I like it that way) where they gave you unlimited peanuts and played that country/pop style American music. The chicken was great and once we had finished our meal, the owner came up to our table and made sure we were dong well. Introductions were made and one thing led to another, meaning he somehow caught on that I wasn't Italian. Once we told him I was American, apparently a little voice told him that I was also a certified food critic (ironically enough I was thinking that he should give me free food so I could tell him it was up to par). So he asked if I would like to try the new bacon cheese burger (I said yes). It wasn't bad, the meat was strange, but that's because this restaurant used fillets for their burgers (but a fatty one) instead of ground beef. After I was offered some of the best tirimasu I will ever eat. Hands down, the best so far. I didn't have the heart to tell the man that I wasn't a certified food critic, and I certainly wasn't going to spit the food out like a taste tester, but honestly, I had two great meals for dinner tonight. All thanks to my nationality of all things. 
Of course, this isn't the first instance where being an American has helped me in Italy. People seem to be more interested in you, you get the privilege of answering crazy questions like "does the movie 'Project X' ever happen in real life?" And then the harder ones like "what do you think of Obama?" One of the better stories I have is how my passport got me into an 18+ club even though it says on the passport that I'm 16 (technically completely allowed within Rotary rules considering I didn't drink). But being an American (at least in northern Italy), especially being one that speaks italian, really has made this exchange a lot more interesting. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Learning during exchange

On a cultural exchange, it's expected that every student would learn a lot about the culture and the country where they are living, however that's not the only thing that I have learned. I know that some people go for a year away prior to college so they can find out who they are, and I am feeling like I am doing just that. It's not an every day thing, but I often feel like I'm learning about who I am  . 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Coming of Age

There is a quote, I don't remember who said it, but it's stayed with me for a while now. "The true measure of a man is not what he does when it's easy, but what he is able to accomplish in times of trial." I saw it on a wall, in Washington DC. I was at the MLK monument. It has been echoing in my mind now for the past few hours and honestly, those words frighten me. Another quote that I love is by Bruce Willis "Pray not for an easy life, but for the strength to endure a difficult one. I can tell you straight up that Italy isn't easy. I am separated from all that I know to be familiar. For crying out loud, the thing that has been my mainstay, the object that has reminded me of who I am, is a small coin. And all around me, the winds and rains of life whip around me. This is something I have set out to do, and so help me God, I'm going to do it, but I'm honestly afraid that I won't do it well. I need to understand and see the balance that should rule my life, but I feel like I'm walking blind down a curvy and gravelly street. Please pray for me everyone, that I will have the strength to endure this year, and that I will find that balance so I can enjoy life a little more. I love you all! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

One day left before school

I would just like to say that grandmothers are awesome whether or not you live in the USA or Italy. And I have been especially lucky in both countries. My host grandma in this country just stopped by to see if we were all doing okay and she dropped off some homemade cookies. I don't know, she is just a really nice person and it's great having nice people in your life on exchange. That's all I'm going to say for now, I just wanted to share that. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Discoveries About Myself

Last night, I decided to go to bed early so I could watch the Seahawks play Green Bay in what was ultimately a disappointing matchup. The game was on at 2:30 am, so I woke up around 3:15 and was able to talk to my Dad a bit as he watched his 1st round fantasy draft pick (Eddie Lacy) play miserably and ultimately get a potential concussion. During this time, it hit me that I was turning into a morning person. For those of you who know me quite well, you undoubtedly have heard the story of me falling asleep while playing bass in church because frankly, waking up at 5 on a Sunday morning did not sit well with my very poor and undeveloped sleeping schedule. Yet, because of the time change, I have felt wide awake in the morning, waking up almost every morning around midnight to one am for all of you Coloradans, or for me, around eight every morning. I also have been able to stay up late, really, they only time I feel tired, (and have fallen asleep repeatedly) is the late afternoon, which for Colorado happens to be the morning, my worst time of day. I actually like this system, and it translates reasonably well with what would become my school schedule, the only problem being that I would have to find another time to do homework.. Anyway, I thought I would share that with you all, seeing as how my morning blues have become somewhat infamous for my family and some close friends.