It's very difficult to be a good blogger when my internet is so sporadic, and so slow when I am actually able to get it. However, fear not: I will assuredly catch you up on everything in the past week. Which shouldn't take too terribly long.
For the most part, last week was primarily spent at the language courses. I really do love these classes. My teachers are great, I love the girls in the classes (the Global Experiences girls and a group of girls from Korea that are just so hilarious), and I feel like I learn really useful language skills everyday. I was a lot more diligent the first week about independent study, which definitely affected me in class last week. I need to crack down on the books again. I am making sets of flashcards for nouns, verbs, and adjectives, so I can keep up studying even after the courses are done. If I get into a routine with it, like maybe go through them every night before bed, then it will keep all the words fresh in my memory and it will take less and less time each night. That's the goal, at least. We'll see how that one pans out.
On Saturday, we went to Lake Como for the day with Global Experiences. It is beautiful there. I want to live there. You may think that's a joke, or like a "Well I'd like to live there too! And Paris, and Greece, and Germany, and..." kind of deal, but I am serious. It is exactly the kind of town I want to live in. It's small, beautiful, super Italian, and only an hour train ride from Milan. If I got to live in Lake Como, I wouldn't mind an hour daily commute. Maybe George Clooney could give me one of his two mansions in Lake Como. Yeah, two. Really? Is that entirely necessary, George? What, you need another one just in case you get bored of the first Lake Como mansion? You didn't know which one to pick so to avoid buyer's remorse you picked both? Some people have it all (and someday I will too).
But, I digress. In our typical fashion, immediately upon arrival to Lake Como we decided it was time for lunch. I got delicious tortellini with prosciutto in a cream sauce. I have yet to have a bad meal here, and I don't see it happening ever. We then went for our boat tour around the lake, but they told us we had to wait so we went and got gelato instead. When in doubt, eat more food. This was literally the best gelato that has ever happened to me in my life though, and I have had some pretty good gelato here. They make it fresh everyday, and I got a super dark chocolate gelato that literally made me drool. If I died in that very moment, I really think I would have been okay with it (provided I would be allowed to lick the bowl of every last drop before dying).
Finally we got to do our boat tour, and as soon as we left the dock it started to downpour. It was a little dreary to sail across the lake in the pouring rain, but I still enjoyed it. It actually made me a bit sleepy though and I started to do that embarrassing head-bob thing you do in class when you're falling asleep and your head starts to slowly dip down and you catch yourself and jolt back up over and over. I'm the queen of that. Unfortunately, my head dips lower and lower each time until finally it's about an inch away from the desk and then I spring so suddenly backwards that I make a huge scene and cause a commotion and then it is no longer subtle.
But, again, I digress. After the boat, we did some shopping in the markets... because, let's be real: we're all studying fashion, and we're in open markets in Italy. Shopping will happen, regardless of bank restrictions. Lake Como is known for their silk products, and I got an absolutely gorgeous 100% silk scarf that was made in Lake Como. I also bought a really neat gigantic safety pin with handcrafted beads on it. I'm not entirely sure how I want to use it yet, but I will figure it out. For now, it is on the buckle on my purse, and it looks nice there. I tried on a pair of Italian suede shoes that I'm pretty sure were made for me, but they were 80 euro and with the exchange rate that day, they would have cost about $150. I had to pass it up. See, Dad? I can be responsible sometimes with money.
So, despite the continuous torrential downpours and the looming possibility of a tropical storm and monsoon that may wash the city of Milan away if these horrid rains continue, Lake Como was a complete success and was completely conquered.
You may recall when I went for my interview that the Global Experiences representative from Florence told me about a program called Tandem, where you meet up with people in your city and do a language exchange. Well, I tried it out last night! I met up with a young woman and man, named Ornella and Ciro, and it was a really great experience. Admittedly, we did speak in English more than Italian, but they promised that next time we will focus on Italian. Still, even if I only get to speak it for a short time, it's still just good practice to keep your mind working in the language. I'll admit, my thoughts are starting to be in Italian. I love it.
In other news, through Global Experiences we have been invited to attend a launch party at Dolce and Gabbana on Via della Spiga, their major boutique location in the fashion district. BOYS IN THE BAND will be performing there, and musicians will be presenting the new designer collections. Sounds like a pretty awesome time to me!
And, in closing, a creepy man sat down next to me on the metro today and purred at me. I don't think I need a translator to figure out what that means.