Another month goes by and my report is late.  I do not know where the time all goes.  I apologize!

I can tell you that my days are shorter after school.  My host mom dropped a bomb on me.  She told me she wasn’t going to drive me home from school anymore.  I have to take a public bus home every day.  I actually have to take two busses with a 15-30 min wait in between stops and walk the rest of the way home. The first bus is but 8 or 9, whichever comes first and the second bus is a short bus which is bus 10. Bus 10 only comes once an hour so I can’t just go home whenever, the time I take bus 8/9 depends on the time bus 10 comes. Bus 10 is short because the regular sized busses are too long to make the tight turns to go up the hill where my host mom lives and it only comes once an hour because not many people have to take it. It takes one hour to get home now instead of 15 min.  The busses have been an experience. One time I got lucky and my host sister saw me at the bus stop when she was driving home from university and picked me up.

I have noticed the speed bumps in Italy are not like the speed bumps in Texas.  The speed bumps in Italy look like the road has a small hill under it.  Everyone just speeds over them.  I had to take a video as I watched the cars drive by without slowing down.  It looks like a lot of fun to drive over. One time my host mom was driving me and my host sister to school and we were driving down a back road and here in Italy, some streets are made up of a bunch of rocks all put together in a design and she was driving so fast and she hit her side mirror on the wall of Citta Alta and it broke off haha. I laughed so hard…Italians drive so crazy. :p They drive so fast always!

I have been in Italy for 2-1/2 months now.  When I hear Italian it is hard for me to think about English.  I know Italian much better without thinking hard about it and know how to speak some now.  The language barrier is getting easier.  I am no longer taking Italian lessons after school anymore but I am still taking th 2 hour lessons every Tuesday at school.

The more time I spend with Kitty from Taiwan, the more I learn about her language.  We sometimes text each other in her language.  I will be trading host families with her in two months or less.  I am excited.  Her family lives in the Center.  I love hanging out there.  It is where all the shops are and where my friends and I like to hang out and drink Cappuccinos. Me, Kitty from Taiwan and Luci from France always go out and get a Cappuccino and then walk to Citta Alta and explore. All the employs at the café we go to know us and we don’t even have to order..we just sit at a table outside and when they see us they bring us 3 Cappuccinos with a heart drawn in it with cream J  We tried roasted chestnuts the other day and they were so delicious.  Everyone needs to try them. I crave these things ALLLL the time. Every time I smell them, I turn into a whole new person and stop what I am doing and search until I find them!

For Halloween we really didn’t do anything.  Here they celebrate “Holiday for the Saints” or “All Saints Day”.  We had three days off from school to celebrate.  I really am enjoying my sculpting class.  I can’t draw an ear to save my life but but I can sculpt one really well. J

I was in OVS (my favorite store here that we don’t have in Texas) the other day I saw a shirt that said “Austin, TX” on it and I thought that was funny.  I’ve been to Austin a few times J  The grocery carts do not have that bar on the bottom like in Texas.  I kept trying to rest my foot on it and there is no bar… haha. The first time I tried it I laughed and was thinking, “Oh my gosh this is so strange..people can’t run with the buggy and then jump on the bar and ride..they are missing out on so much!” then the second time I tried to rest my foot on the bar I just laughed at myself and though I wouldn’t do it again but I did it another 2 times haha. It’s a habit that will be hard to get rid of.

I baked my host dad some Nutella Cookies the other day.  I had to find a recipe without vanilla because I could not find vanilla here.  I haven’t seen it yet.  When I was at a gelato place they asked me what flavor I wanted.  I said “vanilla” and they started cracking up laughing so I ended up with a flavor called Stracciatella and now I am hooked on it.  Yum! My host dad freaked out when I told him I wash my hair every day and told me to wash it every 3 days and I couldn’t imagine doing that. I know that’s what you’re supposed to do and it is healthy to do that but I am so used to washing it every day! So one day we were on our way to get gelato to bring to my councilors house for dinner and he made me ask the ladies serving gelato how many times they wash their hair in a week and it was so funny and embarrassing at the same time hah. They said 3 and I let my host dad have a moment of, “BOOM IN YOUR FACE! I TOLD YOU!” and then we went for dinner.

My host dad’s mom can cook!  She is the best cook here.  The other night she made us lasagna, bread and oil, thin pieces of chicken, fries, tomatoes and some chocolate desserts.  She makes a lot of food but everyone just eats a little of each.  I love eating at their host dad’s father reminds me of my grandfather so much! He is so funny and he doesn’t try to be. One time he picked a had full of grapes out of the bowl and threw them on his plate and they went everywhere and his wife looked at him like, “How many times do I have to tell you not to throw your food..” and he started to flinch as if she was going to smack him as a joke.  Speaking of eating, you have to eat french fries and everything else that Texans call “finger foods” with a fork and a knife.  Alberto, my host dad, says, “Use your fork; we do not live in the jungle!”  Even bread and oil, use a fork, only use your hands to break the bread.  Use your fork to dip the bread in the oil and eat. 

I was told we are going to Switzerland for Christmas.  I will be learning how to snowboard. But I will be taking lessons in German so wish me luck!  I am from Houston, Texas and haven’t seen much snow!  This should be fun.  I am glad I bought a new coat when I was in Milan the other day.  I am really going to need it there.  The money here is also strange but genius..It gets shorter as the value gets smaller.  I will definitely bring some Euros home to show everyone. I have also collected money from Taiwan and Australia from other exchange students J The money from Australia won’t rip! I have tried so hard haha.

My parents back home in Texas were sweet enough to send me two Texas flags.  The cost of shipping is outrageous.  So I have advice for future exchange students,

 “Do not put off buying your state’s flag before going to your future country.  You will want a flag before you go so you will have them for the Rotary Meetings.  Please take your state flag or an American flag with you so mom and dad can send YOU money to spend instead of spending it on shipping for your flag.  J And I recommend bringing your state flag and country flag just in case there are a lot of American exchange students because odds are there will be. Almost all exchange students in my district are from America but only one other is from Texas but she is in another district! ”

            I really did enjoy my box from home.  My mom packed two Texas flags, a Buccee’s t-shirt, a Duck Dynasty cup, small package of Cheetos, a small package of Twizzlers along with my favorite writing/drawing pens.  I am loved!