I was planning to start this post using the analogy of March coming in like a lion.
It was around the beginning of March that our plan to leave for Bologna kicked into high gear. Within a couple weeks — filled with last minute dentist appointments, DMV visits, car repairs, and car selling (yes… Luke’s Jetta broke down two days before his flight and now belongs to one of the Service Managers at a VW shop) — we were moved out of our LA apartment and headed to Italy! There was also abnormally ferocious weather (torrential rain and body stopping winds) in the days leading up to our departure. I felt like Mary Poppins — the winds were turning and my time in LA was up.
BUT– Luke objected. Surely March comes in like a LAMB, and out like a lion, since April-June is tornado season in Oklahoma…
Analogy aside, I do love that our initial move is lining up with the changing of seasons. Our move is also coinciding with big changes for some of our closest friends — a couple friends with new jobs, a friend with a new apartment in a new hood, and friends and family with new babies or babies on the way (congrats to all!). I guess I find it poetic. Or maybe because change can be bittersweet, I find it a comforting reminder that change is a natural part of life.
Alright! Enough reflection. Here’s our….
Week in Review
Our first week in Bologna has been a good one! There were some ups. And some downs. But overall, we think we came out on top! I’ll provide more detail on some of this in upcoming posts, but for now, here’s a quick look at some of the happenings this past settimana.
- I had my first chance to explore Bologna! (This was Luke’s third trip to Bologna, but my first). Pictures will be posted soon!
- On Thursday, we headed to Milan, where Luke had some meetings for work. We got to check off three items from WhyGo Italy’s top 10 ten things to do in Milan. I did #1 while Luke was at work, and then we hit up #3 and #9 together.
- We’ve gotten a taste of living “the Italian way” by experiencing some of the Italian staples and the traditions that surround them. This week, we got a taste of tagliatelle al ragù alla bolognese, tiramisù, Italian caffè, and gelato.
- Well, we aren’t exactly fluent in Italian yet! We relied heavily on our pointing skills to place our order our first night dining out. Then at lunch in Milan, I confidently ordered the #16 panini in Italian (a vegetarian panini). When I received the #10 (a meat loaded panini), I realized my pronunciation still needs some work.
- Our weak Italian skills also add an extra challenge to activities such as driving, street parking, and grocery shopping. We are proud to say that we have NOT received any parking tickets yet! However… we’ve learned that there are restricted driving areas in the main parts of both Bologna and Milan, and we are fully expecting to receive a ticket for violating those restrictions in mail in the near future.
- Since the apartment that we’re staying in during our first couple of weeks does not have Internet access, Luke and I spent the better part of Friday hunting down the city’s free WiFi so that he could get some work done (and so that I could blog and tweet). While this exercise gave us an off-the-beaten-path tour of the city (we got to check out the University district and some cool cafes), it also gave us a major headache. We were also overcaffeniated as we felt obliged to get an Italian caffe in each cafe that we stopped in. We ended up purchasing an Internet key for Luke’s laptop from Tim (one of Italy’s cellular providers). Fortunately, the Italian cell providers offer very flexible service plans.
That’s week #1! We’re prepared to have a mix of ups and downs for the foreseeable future… even weeks where the downs outnumber the ups. As we are learning to be true, while the expat life can be full of rewards, it’s not all tagliatelli and gelato. Let’s see what’s in store for us next week…
We’ll leave you with a picture of some of the many moto seen in the streets of Bologna. More pictures to follow soon! Ciao ciao, for now!