Today marked a milestone for me, as it was the first day in which I didn't utter a single word or think a single thought in English (until now.) It started with a caffe at the local pasticcerria while scanning today's La Republica, followed by a fascinating lesson with Lucia in which I learned il tempo passato remoto within the context of a short biography of Leonardo da Vinci and a study of his "L'Ultima Cena".
Then I met my conversation buddy Filippo and Ksenia, his girlfriend who is visiting him from Russia for the holidays... for pranzo over an animated conversation in a Tuscan trattoria in centro. Ksenia has been offered a one year internship to work for HSBC's London based Private Banking division and the discussion revolved around the the all-too-common female struggle between deciding whether to follow one's career dreams or to settle down with the man she loves....and is there a balance? Can you do both, without sacrificing these sometimes conflicting values? I could feel the struggle they are facing in their new relationship and felt like a counselor, telling my story and hoping that they could get some value from it. My realtionship with Filippo is evolving into a friendship to be treasured...I am truly finding some special people here. I feel blessed.
Then I walked to the government office of the Comune di Firenze, to pick up a very important document...my "Codice Fiscale"... that I've been waiting to receive for 10 weeks! This document is the Italian equivalent of a Social Security Number. I am finally "official" here!
Then I returned to my apartment to cope with a clogged drain in the bathroom which innundated the bathroom with a flood of water. I am definitely "adjusting" to the "system", and getting used to the nuanaces of living in a 600 year old building!
Finally, this evening, I went out with a new friend, for opening night at "Quantobasta", http://www.quantobasta.eu/ where I danced all night and enjoyed with tremendous gusto and passion, the people, the food, the ambience, and the feeling of being a part of this culture.
My experience living in Italy has been another step towards self-discovery and actualization. I arrived in Firenze 3 months ago. Besides Cynthia, I didn't know anyone or how anything works here. I was afraid of making this dream come true...some dreams are meant to be dreams....why take the risk of letting your bubble burst? From the moment I arrived, it all seemed so natural.. Tonight I realized how far I've come. And how well I'm just melting into the culture. And how I never expected to meet so many wonderful people who want me to stay.