Sunday morning was a learning experience. Channing and I woke up at the crack of dawn also known as before 8 AM, and walked to the train station. We had hoped to get on a bus for 3 euro, to venture to “The Mall.” The mall is a designer fashion outlet 30 minutes outside of Florence. We had our cappuccino and pastries and thought that it would be the same experience as taking the train.
When we had taken the train to Venice, it was easy. All we had to show to the attendant’s were our confirmation numbers. No ticket. The bus station was not like this at all. It was swarmed with tour buses and tour groups. The line to buy a ticket was in a congested narrow room that was similar to a sauna. No one was helpful. It is very difficult when you do not speak the language of the place you are living in.
I visited Paris and Barcelona over spring break to see my friends when they were studying abroad. I remember thinking, “wow, it would be hard to live somewhere if you do not speak the language.”
Remembering this, I enrolled in the Rosetta Stone program in an attempt to learn Italian a few weeks before I left. I got as far as ‘la donne mange’, and ‘I bambini’, when I got pneumonia 10 days before I was to study abroad. I try and communicate, but it can often be discouraging when no one is smiling as I try to order a croissant. I instead receive a look of frustration and doubt.