Apologies for not writing for a little while. I fully intended to write something about Thanksgiving, and then I felt like it was what everyone on the Inter-Nets was doing, and I decided against it. I also got busy/uninspired, but I’m better now.
My Thanksgiving celebrations were indeed nice- I had one dinner with all of the American teachers and a few graduates of our school, plus our administrators, on the Saturday before, and I had another dinner on actual Thanksgiving with students. It gave me a chance to talk to some of my often shy second years, as well as make a cranberry sauce I was quite proud of indeed.
I find it hard here, in general, to react to holidays. Even more than my freshman year if college, when I at least knew I’d be going home for them, I don’t feel like I’m anticipating holidays the way that I did when, say, I was in high school. When you live with your family in a house, you have all sorts of indications- even in my house, where neither of my parents (thankfully) are the obsessive, “let’s decorate everything AND PUT AN INFLATED SANTA ON THE ROOF WHOOO” types. My dad decides when to put up the lights; my mom starts opening the Christmas cards that have probably already started arriving; we eventually get a tree; my dad makes some wreaths, or rather sprigs, or pine from cuttings of the tree; my mom starts thinking about what we ought to have for dinner. Even though our holidays have always been generally laid-back, we have our traditions, like everyone else.
Well, this Christmas is going to be totally new for me. Part of my lack of weird feelings about spending Thanksgiving here was that it’s my third away from home- Halfway through college I figured out that every time I traveled as far as home for Thanksgiving, I got sick, and so I started spending it at school, being wonderfully adopted by my roommate’s family on two different occasions. Christmas, though, has always been with my parents.
But this year I’m spending it with different family. I’m actually going to England, which is fantastic. I haven’t seen my family there, most of them, since I was 5 1/2. To say I look a little different would be the understatement of the season. I don’t know entirely what to expect, although I know it will be nice. I’m then going to Florence for a few days with a couple of the other teachers who aren’t going to their US homes for the holiday. It will be legen…wait for it…
Dary. Also not as expensive as i would have thought. The flight to the UK is 25 euro, and the flight back is about 16 pounds. The train I am taking from Bologna to Florence was 20 euro, and then I still have to get a ticket from Florence to Rome, then the ticket from Rome back here was 70 euro. The one night we’re spending in a hostel in Rome is 45 euro. so, over all, my travel should be less than 200 euro, and then I don’t have to pay any other room fees besides the one night. Yes, call me cheap, but I didn’t want to spend a crazy amount on a trip that will only be about a week long.
I leave here for the UK on Dec 22 in the morning, and will be there until the morning of the 27th. I then take a flight to Bologna (that was the only available one at the time), a train to Florence, and stay there until New Year’s eve, when we somehow travel to Rome and stay over New Year’s Eve, then come back here. Christmas in England? Boxing Day with people who actually celebrate it? New Year’s Eve in Rome? What kind of crazy jetsetter have I become?
Anyway, I will take many pictures and put them up, and hopefully buy lots of yarn in England and some other small souvenirs of Italy, a place I never expected to get to visit. Bam.
Also, yesterday- and still today in the US- was St. Nicholas Day. I hope you all got chocolate and oranges in your shoes from the real-life Santa Claus.