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Last bit of Teramo and Italian soccer match

So the last bit of night in Teramo was mostly uneventful. It was fun to be about the city in the evening, but I couldn’t find any bars/evening spots that I felt truly comfortable socializing with the locals (especially after the day I had). I did go to a bar that was on one of the main squares alone, and looked like a confused tourist trying to read the menu. I thought it was more a food establishment, but it was more of just drinks and appetizers. So I asked the waiter and he spoke English, and said they do the classic Italian happy out if you order a drink. I was indecisive (as I pretty much always am) so I told him to bring the best drink they made. He brought me the house drink that was just named after the bar “grande Italia” and it was a blended drink of fresh fruit/alcohol, don’t ask me what (I did try to ask, but they did not understand what I was asking, I could only tell that there was definitely peach in it big surprise). They also gave me bites of pizza, and a bunch of little delicious sandwiches and things, most of which I had no idea what they were. A highlight of this trip into town was also meeting “Antonio” a giant polar bear dog who laid in the middle of the square all night, and apparently all of the locals knew his name and would pet him and feed him. He was super old and adorable, I couldn’t help wondering if he just lived in the square getting fed.

The following morning I tried eating the horrible B&B breakfast, but decided to go and try and find a bar, I knew there were some close. Sadly I discovered that Sunday morning in a small town like this meant everything was closed. I ventured out further and finally came to the same bar that I went to happy hour the night before and they were open. I think this was lucky though, they had the most AMAZING pastries. I wish I’d taken a picture, but the waiter from the night before was there so I didn’t want to look like even more of a tourist fool. Slightly late for my bus I hurried back to my apartment, to be assaulted en route. An old guy on a bike stopped and started talking to me in Italian, he was pretty old so I considered him harmless, tried to tell him I don’t speak Italian, but he didn’t care and decided to grab my ass and take me by the arm and pull me somewhere. I freaked out yelling “scuzi” and pushed him away, finally making it to my apartment. I headed to bus stop, but missed my bus, meaning I got to sit at the bus stop for an hour during the heat of the day. Luckily a really cute 15 year old girl came to sat by me and was really chatty, wanting to practice her English. She told me she really liked Lady Gaga and wanted to study in the US someday. Apparently most of teenagers and students in Teramo take this bus to the beach on the hot weekends, so it was quite croweded.

I finally made it back to Pescara though! Later that day was the Italia vs. England soccer game which was the quarter final in the European cup (bear with me I’m just going by what I think the guys told me, it may be wrong). Enzo (host dad) had some family friends over and prepared some food. Basically a bunch of break and garlic tomatoes to put on it. I wish I had a picture before it was sliced up, it was the biggest loaf of break I’ve ever seen.

I didn’t follow much of the soccer game, but found it way more entertaining that I thought I would. When good teams are playing and actually keeping possession of the ball instead of it randomly being kicked about it can be thrilling, even though nobody ever scored. I learned that England’s goalie is really attractive, even though he got beat in the shoot out. I also learned that number 16 of Italia is the sexy version of Charlie Day from It’s Always Sunny. That about sums it up. I also ended up eating about a whole watermelon. Which was amazing.

Italy ended up winning which means we play Germany tomorrow in the semi finals. After the game everyone drove around honking and waving flags and lighting off fireworks. It reminded me of when I was in Vancouver for the gold medal hockey match and Canada won. So fun!

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Finding a Yarn Store

I found an adorable yarn store, although I can’t promise I’ll be able to find it again. I found it while out on a bike ride through town. I was looking for either liquor or some good looking pastries, so I was just wandering around. I’m still not sure what kind of store sells liquor here. But anyways, I had stopped for some other reason, turned my head and was looking into a yarn store with an elderly couple in it. They looked confused about why I was staring, they couldn’t imagine how excited I was to stumble upon it!

So I locked my bike and went in. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. They didn’t speak ANY English as so many elderly people here cannot. I tried to tell them I knit by making the knitting motion, but they thought that mean I need needles. She kept trying to ask me what number needle I wanted by repeating “one, two, three…” which is apparently the only English she knew so she was really excited to use it. I couldn’t explain that I just wanted some yarn so I kind of just stepped behind the counter and started looking at the different kinds. I found some 50% merino 50% acrylic yarn in a beautiful mint color that I decided to buy. I just grabbed two as I didn’t know how expensive yarn is around here. It ended up being 5 euros, much cheaper than the same yarn would be in America, so I will definitely be going back!

I tried to explain that I wanted to take a picture for my knitting website, but they had no idea what I was doing so I think she felt really uncomfortable I was taking their picture. Oh well! Hopefully I know more Italian by the time I go back.

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Praying to Espresso

Yes, I actually did this today. Without really realizing it. I was getting set to go to the beach with the kids alone, and was drinking espresso. Quickly sipping that bitter brew I closed my eyes and thought “Please, coffee, get me through this morning.” It seems I do have a religion after all.

It has been really difficult with the kids. They’re not even trying to learn English. I understand that’s it’s because they’re shy, but I’m getting pretty sick of them just speaking Italian and expecting me to understand. Non capisce. That is the main Italian I have learned.

I think it’s time for a solo trip out into the city, or going out with young people or something. I need a break!

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Well this is my new blog!

I had been debating on whether to create a completely new blog for this summer or not. I have one blog that is focused on what I do instead of homework, namely crafts, costumes, and knitting, and can be found here. I thought I could just post about the crafts I do abroad and sneak in my travel posts, because having two blogs largely increases the chances of them being abandoned for bouts of times. But I came to the conclusion that I will have way to may things to post about on this new adventure and they should have a record of their own. So here it is, Summer in Pescara!

The Beginning of My Story:

I am a student and the University of Washington majoring in bioengineering. I have been having a hard time in school lately for a number of personal reasons, and in the end of all that I’ve found myself having a mid-college crisis. It’s not that I don’t know what I want to do- I love bioengineering and will do whatever it takes to complete my degree in it, it’s on a more philosophical level in that I feel like I have not done enough in my 20 years. Sounds strange to say because that is still so young, but I have never taken a break from school. I was top of my class in high school, direct admit into the bioengineering program here, and have stayed in Seattle to work over summers ever since going to college. So I think it’s my natural claustrophobia and life ambition finally coming through that wants to take a break from being a student in a school and finally have a chance to be a real person. Hence the title: Is this real life? Because strangely on one hand I find myself saying that I’m finally going to get a sense of real life this summer, but also saying I get to take a break from real life. So basically my goal is to figure out which, if either, is true, and come up with a plan to tackle the rest of college while I’m at it. Sounds like a simple task huh? Well at least it’s coming through amazing means.

My summer will be spent as an au pair in the city of Pescara, Italy. It’s in the Abruzzo region in Italy, east of Rome on the Adriatic. This area is often overlooked by tourists so I am looking forward to getting to know real Italian life style without immediately being associated with the ever looming crowds of tourists. My posts will be a mix of pure travel, life as an au pair, and personal reflections. I leave in a week and it’s about to start packing! Looking forward to an amazing summer spent with amazing people, including you blog readers!

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