Friday, February 24, 2012

Arrividerci Italia!

I'm back in Malaysia! Sorry for the late update. I've been too busy... and a little depressed to write during my last week in Italy. I miss all my Italian folks so much already. But at the same time, I'm so happy to see my family and friends in Malaysia again.

I've learnt so much during my 2 months in Italy and I've met so many wonderful people there. I dunno why was I so stupid to choose such a short programme knowing very well that I could've taken a year instead. In the beginning, I wanted to go to the USA for a semester, but the interviewer saw my parent's salary and thought we can afford to pay for another programme because they wanted to give the scholarship to the poor kids. 

I agreed to choose another programme and at first I wanted a year programme, but I guess I just panicked at the interview and chose 2 months because thoughts of being away for so long, missing my loved ones and going to a strange place suddenly scared me. That's not like me.

Oh well, I guess God has other plans for me.

Anyway, my last week in Italy was rather emotional. There's just too many goodbyes and I hate goodbyes!

I've experienced so much here and there's so many things I'm gonna miss like 
going to school.

This is the last time I'll ever go to a high school again. I'm gonna miss it terribly.

Looking at the snow

I felt like the luckiest girl in the world to see snow on such a rare occasion in Southern Italy.

Eating a whole pizza to myself

I've never eaten so much pizza within 2 months my entire life. I've never felt so ALIVE being able to finish a pizza to myself! I guess its back to lousy ol' Malaysian pizza for me :(

Playing Tombola or Sinco

I've lost A LOT of money just playing that game because I was struggling with the rules and the language, but I eventually managed to win back some cash. It was all good fun anyways.

My Italian friends

*sigh* I wished I'd been able to go to school more often. Gonna miss them so much.

Lia's friends are so awesome! We had the time of our lives hanging out after school.

Eating Italian food

I'm so hungry right now...

My little Valentine

His name his Chesere (not sure how to spell his name). But he's so ADORABLE!! I was the only one besides his mom who carried him all night, playing superman and hide and seek.

On Valentines day, he took off his little pacifier and gave me a kiss on the cheeks! I fell in love with him instantly (and I don't care if I sound like a pedophile)!

Playing in the Snow

Looking at the snow for the first time was a dream come true. I never imagined I would ever see snow when I found out that my host family lives in the South (which by the way, never snows there). But it did! It was the first time in nearly 30 years, and I was THAT lucky to see it!

Watching movies in Italian

OK, maybe I won't miss it that much, but it was a pretty good experience nonetheless.

Speaking Italian

I've picked up quite a bit of Italian during my stay in Italy for 2 months. Its a shame I won't be using it that often in Malaysia anymore...

But most of all, I'm going to miss...

My host family

I'm going to miss my host family SO MUCH!! They've been so kind to me the whole time. There was never a time when they were ever being unkind to me even once. I'm so touched and I will never forget them.

I'm gonna miss my host brother and sister too. They were the only ones in the family who could communicate with me because they knew a little bit of English. We keep in contact now through Facebook. I do wish Lia hadn't deleted her Facebook account though. I try to talk to her on Skype, but the connection is so bad, we could hardly hear each other. What a nuisance...

And then there's my host parents. Although we couldn't communicate with each other that well because of the language barrier, I really felt we had a connection. 

My host mom has been so nice to me by taking me out to places, showing me her knitted works (she actually does a wonderful job at it), and occasionally giving me things like a four leaved clover or chocolates. My host mom tries to speak to me using what little English she knows, but I appreciate that at least she tried to talk unlike some host families who never talks to the students at all!

As for my host dad, I think he's wonderful. He couldn't speak a word of English, yet he always tries to talk to me at the dinner table. In the beginning, talking to him felt like playing a game of charades with him using hand gestures or pointing out things while I try to guess what he's been trying to tell me. But eventually, I began to understand him better after a few weeks without him acting it out or Lia translating his words. In fact, I actually replied in Italian once in a while so we've had those occasional short conversations together. 

He's also been very generous when it comes to food. Always giving me an extra helping even though I'm already stuffed to the brim. I'm positive he gives me more food than his own kids! One time, he gave me a packet of biscuits to bring to school and when I was about to eat it in class, I found out that he didn't give one to Lia (but he loves his kids anyway)!

So yeah, after saying goodbye to my host family at the train station, I was silently sobbing on the train. I didn't care if I looked like a crazy girl in the cabin, I just didn't want my family to see me cry in front of them. I held my tears until then.

My 2 months experience in Italy was the most wonderful thing that had ever happened to me. I've learnt so much and I think it has also changed my views about the world. I feel so lucky to be able to participate in this Student Exchange Programme and I have no regrets.

Thanks AFS! You have changed my life. Forever...

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