Wednesday morning - 21st. A day and a half of Rome and it feels like I’ve been here forever. I’m still very much adapting to this life and I feel so much of a change in myself and already a growth within, through this step that I’m taking. This fact is making everything around me seem to be somebody else’s life. I’m still a little jetlagged which doesn‘t help, even though the time difference is really so insignificant - India is only 4 hours ahead! So maybe the 50-something hours of travel I did over the weekend is also contributing to my struggle in keeping up with everything that is going on around me. How can else can a small time-difference effect me so much, to the extent where I can’t remember every ounce of inspiration and excitement I’ve felt and every sight I’ve seen, since coming to this amazingly beautiful city? As it stands, I’m amazed with everything. A city has never felt to be so beautiful to me, in all my life. And this isn’t an exaggeration.
First impressions back in this world? When I arrived on Monday evening at the airport, I was first overwhelmed by the “whiteness” around me - which sounds so silly, I know. But I had to get over this pretty quickly. That was minor. The next thing (still at the airport) was that I started to feel sick to my stomach, when I was faced with exchanging my rupees. Why? Well, I had worked my ass off to earn what I had earned in India. I brought that amount of cash back with me and within 30 minutes of being back Europe, I was selling my rupees and getting hardly nothing in return. It felt like I had flushed, what was a considerate amount of money back in India, down the toilet. Also, with the exchange of the rupees I was confirming that India and I wouldn’t be meeting each other anytime soon. I was distancing myself and didn’t really want to. I didn’t want these euro’s! Any other currency would have been much more welcome, at that moment in time. But I had to “cop-on” and get over this stupidity. It was all apart of the change.
Still in the airport, another sickly feeling started to arise; but now due to nerves, for seeing David again. He was waiting for me at arrivals and it was like we had only seen each other yesterday. I had so much to say and wanted to say it all at once, which left me speechless in my grogginess, due to having had 2 hours of sleep only, in nearly 48 hours. We had so much time though and there was no dead-line. I had, after all, come to this amazing place without any further plans. This gave me a sense of freedom, ease and timelessness to fully embrace what was happening.
It’s Wednesday morning still. I’m staying at David’s Mom’s house. He’s living here temporarily, until he finds work elsewhere in Europe, so he can get enough funds to travel again. His Mom is the nicest person and goes by the name of Rosella. I‘m actually having to call her by this name! So strange, because in India people call the ladies of the house “auntie”, to show them respect. But now I’m calling a 62-year-old woman by her first name! Small adjustment in the mindset..
Anyhow, she lives in a beautiful apartment, right in the heart of the city. And this is not just any apartment! I walked into the building and I actually asked if this was a museum! This building is more than 130 years old and it’s absolutely gorgeous. There’s a courtyard in the centre and all the apartments are built around it. The windows are overlooking this courtyard, and are framed with flowers pots and plants. They offer me a sneaky glance into these Italian households.. and the lift is something that you would only see in a movie that is set back in the 1920’s, but still so beautiful! I walked into her place, and I really felt to have landed with a “thud” is a city so rich in culture. It’s a modern Italian home, with paintings from wall to wall and the living room has shelves and shelves of books - I had landed in heaven - even though there were all Italian books! The kitchen is where many hours are spent, making coffees and preparing the meals that are high in quality, rather than quantity - which is the case in India (the more the better, is their motto when it comes to food!). Also the bottles of olive oil and wine are in every corner. I was in a world of luxury, with clean sheets, a soft bed, a warm shower, a delicious fish meal and a glass of wine, with this loving family. I couldn’t quite believe it.