Saturday, December 10, 2011

World Fair + New Hair

It is December, the time of Christmas and the last few days of autumn. Before we know it, all the leaves will have fallen from their trees and we will be opening gifts on the most anticipated day of the year. Even though Milano is decorated with lights, garlands, and an absurdly large tree in Piazza Duomo, it doesn't feel like Christmastime to me. Maybe this is because I am away from my family and the familiar cozy feeling of wintry cookies and holiday carols. I don't know, but I'm starting to realized that this Christmas will be unlike any other I have ever experienced.
l'albero di Natale in Duomo 
the Galleria by night
The Thanksgiving dinner planned by the Rotary kids ended up being the best night of my exchange so far. I can't really attribute my enjoyment of that evening to any one thing--the food, the English, the friends. Therefore it must have been a combination of all. It was a night where I could just forget about the stresses of exchange and celebrate a central American holiday.
the Rotary kids of Milano after Thanksgiving dinner 
yummy food :)
I have officially ended my piano lessons after much debate. Although I now have more time for other things, I still seem to be busy at all hours of the day. Finding time for the gym is my new goal, as my schedule now allows me to go there only about 2 or 3 times a week at best, which is better than nothing.

In school I have been assigned an Italian book to read (complete with analyses and essays) by the end of Christmas break. Now I am halfway finished and I can easily follow the plot; I only need to translate words every now and then that I do not recognize. In other news, I went to a disco for the second time, but just like on Halloween night, we could not enter because of the crowd. I asked my friends if the discos are always like this, but they simply said "No, you are just unlucky." Great.

This week has been the Feast of San Ambrogio, the patron saint of Milano. Therefore, I have been off school from Wednesday through Friday. On Wednesday I went with some exchange friends to the World Fair (L'artigiano in fiera) at the state-of-the-art exhibition center outside the city. It was unbelievable. The size of it was one thing, the buildings themselves another, but the number of countries represented blew me away. Each building was divided into countries (or in the case of Italy, provinces) and because of this you could visit each part of the world and view/buy their goods. There were crafts, jewelry, food, clothes, furniture, anything you can imagine! After a whole day of attempting to see everything (which was impossible) I bought only one thing: a scarf, from the district of Como (like the lake).
the gang

Asia!

America representtttt
Update on the France trip! We have received permission from everyone!!!! Two days ago my friend Kate and I bought train tickets, and we have already set up an itinerary for our week on the Riviera. :D We will be there from January 2-7 and are scheduled to visit Grasse, Cannes, Nice, Monaco, Saint-Raphael, and the town of Draguignan where we will be hosted by my friend Madalyn. CAN'T WAIT!!!!

In the next week I have a ton of engagements. Today I will be meeting my possible next host family, and that's a little intimidating seeing as I know literally nothing about them. Later this week I have the Christmas Concert in the Duomo, at which all the Rotary clubs will be. The night after, I have my own Rotary club's Christmas party, and I will be introduced to all the members for the first time. Life is so crazyyyy!!!! Lastly, I got a haircut yesterday, my first in Italy. Here we go:
Arrivederci! :)

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