So, I'm here....finally. The flight went as most long flights do and mainly consisted of sitting, being cramped in a small space, and pushing away the head of the person next to you as they dozed off. Perhaps the only 'highlight' (and I use that term loosely) was the in-flight film about a hip hop dance crew from "the streets" of London who take on the evil rival street crew from across town. Over the course of the film, the main protagonists are forced to overcome a plethora of problems, including infighting, break-ups, a run-in with cops and I'm pretty sure one guy died. In the end however, their "totally dope" dance moves--which to me look like nothing more than jumping and flailing--prevails and everyone goes home happy. To sum of the movie briefly, it sucked. If not for the fact that it was SO BAD I probably would have stopped watching, but I felt like it was just to good of a bad movie to look away. Still, as much as I would love to go on being a film critic, there are way more important things to discuss (i.e. life in Perugia).
Perugia is a stereotypical hilltop Italian town. The buildings here in the old part of the city--which pre-date Columbus coming to America--are built entirely out of local stone and are capped by red tiled roofs. Given the number of universities here the population consists mainly of college age kids like myself.
With so many young people here this place has a tendency to remain quiet until after 10-11pm when everyone heads out to restaurants, bars and such. From there, it is pretty much a constant party in the main square until midnight when everyone either goes home or heads out to a club. Prior to this though, the whole of the main square is standing room only (no joke) as people mingle and talk together over a drink or two.
Before coming to here I had not taken a single course on speaking Italian, something I find myself regretting every now and then. Pretty much the only exposure I've had to the Italian language are the few choice words my grandmother tends to say whenever she's annoyed. However, last time I checked verbally berating citizens of your host country is not the way to get assimilated or accepted by their culture so for all arguments sake, I'm starting this adventure with an empty slate. Fortunately, all of my roommates have taken multiple semester of language courses back home so worst comes to worst I just ask them to give me a hand.
Oddly enough, the most trying obstacle I've faced since coming here hasn't been the language but instead been the terrain.As I mention before, Perugia is a hilltop town and just like the name implies, there are a lot of...well, hills. Seemingly every road you walk on goes up and with no other form of transportation other than by foot, I'm forced to walk A LOT! At first, I wast really bothered by the treks around town as it only added to the experience. However, now that I feel like I've been on the StairMaster for the last six hours I've started to coordinate my trips so that they include the least amount of vertical gain.
While I could go on and on about the town, the food, and the people I feel as though I should save those for a future post. Plus, my fingers are getting tired. Instead, I'll leave you with some shots from my bike ride to Gubbio and a few others.
Until next time...ciao!