venerdì 15 ottobre 2010

home again, home again, where is home again?

I'm back. In Milan, I mean. It might seem like I just left (I did, four scant months ago) and that I just wrote that I was home in the U.S. Though, really, I'm not so sure where home is anymore.

Coming back to Milan was a hard decision, and then easy. I agonized over whether I would be able to make it through another winter of fog and bone-soaking rain, whether I was coming back for the wrong reasons, whether I shouldn't settle down with a Real Grown-Up Person Job already. My brother helped me break it down nicely, though: live in the U.S. with no guarantee of a job, especially not an intellectually stimulating one, probably in Northampton where the winters suck just as much if not more as the Milanese ones...or return to Italy for maybe my last opportunity to live in Europe, where I have a job I like and find interesting that (just barely) supports me, friends, and someone I love. Oh, I thought. Well, when you put it that way...

Quindi, eccomi qua.
The summer felt like a brief american pause in a continuum, my life italiana. Arriving in Milan I was suprised by how comfortable I felt. My amoroso met me with a bunch of wilted flowers picked from the Parco delle Cave and helped me carry me egregiously large bags. My speaking wasn't so rusty after a summer of skype dates. I knew the train and the station where it arrived and the bar nearby where we stopped to recharge my phone. I knew the tram to take to get to the apartment where I would be staying with a lovely professoressa. Everything was much easier.

(My ensuing apartment hunt was easier too, though made longer and more frustrating by my knowledge of neighborhoods and average rents and bedbugs and old world attitudes towards guests. The specter of bedbugs haunts my dreams.)

Now I've found a place to live after three weeks and a run-in with old Sicilian sexism and I've begun working. Same characters, different year. The kids know me and greet me in the hallways (a quick and urget "Hi RAYchel!") as I round the corner of the stairs. A couple of my classes erupted in delight when they saw me walk in the door, but they're more happy for not having a test than for speaking English with me. Still, it feels good.

So I'm starting up the blog again. I have to keep stock of the wonderful things my kids do, and I have to keep stock of myself.

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