I have had a busy month! I am thankful for that since I have began to feel kind of idle here recently.
After weighing all of the options Lorenzo's parents decided that it was safest and best if I go home and get a student visa so that I can stay here legally for the next six months and travel around Europe without having to look over my shoulder every time I crossed a border or came within 10 feet of a police officer. They did a lot of research and took a lot of time to help me out and I am always thankful for that because they didn't have to ever get involved but they wanted to!
So I spend two weeks in the States! Through most of the time I was shuffling from city to city trying to see all of my family and friends, but I did it and it was worth it! I spend one week in Seattle, getting things squared away for my visa application. I have to thank my wonderful family for everything they did to help me; letting me stay in their homes on such short notice, driving me around, going to numerous places to get all the documents I needed, among other things (so, again, thank you all)!! I am the luckiest person alive to have such loving family!
The Vice Consulate in Bothell is a sight to be seen!! Expecting an official looking government office building my mom and I were shocked and amused to find that the office is housed in an old railway car, in the middle of a farming market off of the Bothell-Everett Highway. We didn't waste the moment and took plenty of photos. After the officer (who to me just seemed like a nice Italian man, nothing official) signed off on my documents we were off to the post office to send them! That done, I was able to let one worry go and another one take it's place. I always seem to think that if I could just get this one thing to work out then everything will be okay and I will not be bogged down by feelings of worry ever again; needless to say there is always something in my mind and you think that by now I would have learned that something will always come up! Anyway, my worry was that I would not get the visa in time and would have to go reschedule my April 9th flight and miss my first week at work (and after waiting 3 months to start work, one more week seems like a long time!!). As for now there was nothing I could do, so I went and visited my friends!
I spent the next week and Easter with my mom and Chris in Oregon. It was fun, I got to spend time with my "brother" Max (aka their dog, who has become their late-in-life child) and we went to the Oregon Coast in a town called Florence! I took the opportunity to buy souvenirs for Lorenzo and his family. My mom and I also went to Portland to visit her friend Barb but the weather was so gloomy and rainy that we didn't get to spend any time in the city.
After Portland I was off to Spokane! In the Portland airport I sat tired and waiting for my flight that was threatened to be cancelled due to wind and snow in Spokane. Great, since my mom had left for home already an hour and a half away! In the end the flight was only delayed and I arrived in Spokane to my dad, brother and wife waiting. I told them about the flight and they were confused since it was neither windy or snowy in Spokane. Funny world isn't it? Three days in Spokane and we were back to Seattle. I'll mention that it hadn't stopped raining since i arrived in the US.
I got to spend the next three days in my sorority, moving from bed to bed sleeping and living out of a suitcase; but it was fun! We spent one night out at a favorite bar, The Little Red Hen, which is a country bar in Greenlake. Then we spent the next night in with some of our guy friends at their house. I am really glad I got one last chance to live in the sorority before everyone I know moves out and moves on.
Lucky for me there was a very nice man working at the Italian Consulate in San Francisco this week and I was able to talk to him and somehow persuade him with my charm to process my visa on time! Ok, ok Mom; it wasn't my charm that persuaded him but a higher persuasion I would say and thanks to hope and belief I was rewarded! All of this was much to the relieve of my distressed boyfriend back in Italy. I am not completely sure he wasn't looking at flights to Seattle in order to make sure we didn't go longer than two weeks apart.
In the end, there I was again in the Pisa airport at 7pm on a Saturday evening. A beautiful Saturday evening I'll add, which was welcomed after all of the rain in the States. Instead of going home and to bed, which would seem normal after a 15 hour plane ride and 9 hour time change which involved next to no sleep, we went off to a concert. I knew that coming back here I didn't want to use anything as an excuse not to get out and see something or to do something fun (except maybe money; which again I am blessed to AGAIN not have to worry about at this time). I was glad to go to the concert. It was at a club called FLOG which we have been told is one of the many clubs to go to if we want to see the local scene and not the foreign scene. I saw people like me! No one was wearing dresses or high-heels and I felt comfortable there (minus that I didn't know any of the words that the band were saying). Then Tuesday night we went to our first soccer match! Woo-hoo!! Fiorentina v. Inter; again, they lost, Lorenzo said that I am bad luck with the soccer team, I think he doesn't have enough faith in them. Anyway, it was fun and I am looking forward to going to more as the weather gets even nicer!
Since then I have had one day to get myself adjusted and to go for a nice 3 hour walk around the city. Now, I have THANKFULLY started my position with Berlitz! Although, to my discouragement my schedule has continually been switched around, I am just thankful to have a job at this point. I am working 3 days a week and so far am really enjoying my students and the prospect of having a teaching job! Week one is not over yet but I have a good feeling about this (minus some transportation details which will hopefully be worked out soon). Currently, I am waiting to hear from some summer camp positions I have applied for and waiting to hear from some friends about making more travel plans!
I would say life is good, but then again; I never said it wasn't... :)