I’ve had an eventful past couple of weeks so here goes. Probably going to be a long post again, but those of you who know me should already expect that because I talk a lot.
So, les vacances: Mikaela, Elyssa, and I went to Greece and Italy for 10 days for our fall break. I originally had thought of going to Ireland and Scotland, but this opportunity popped up, and I couldn’t pass it up. I didn’t think I would miss the sun as much as I do now, so I’m glad that I got to take advantage of the Southern European weather for 10 days. We went to Athens, Santorini, Rome, Cinque Terre, Venice, and Milan. If I learned one thing on this trip, it’s the importance of being on time. Our lack of time management separated us for time periods from between a couple of hours to a full day, not to mention the fact that we only barely made it to our trains a couple of times. Oh, and there was also the fact that we got to the Athens airport as our gate was supposed to close (luckily the flight was delayed an hour and a half). Also, did you know that EasyJet closes check-in at the 30 minutes before the flight is scheduled to depart, and that it stays closed even if the flight is delayed? Yeah, well my friends and I had to learn the hard way, because Mikaela spent the night in Athens. The next day, when we were all reunited, we went around and did the typical sightseeing of Rome: the Colosseum and the rest of the Roman forum, the Piazza di Spagna, the Trevi Fountain (aka the construction), etc. I met up with two of my brothers, who are studying abroad in Rome, so that was lovely. After I met back up with Mikaela and Elyssa, we went to the Ice Club, which is where you hang out in a bar made completely out of ice. It’s a cool -4°C in there, so you get thermal coats. The next day, we went to the Vatican and saw the Pope talk. So, basically my Catholic karma is good for life, right? We didn’t go inside the Basilica because Pope Francis was talking, and we wanted to make it to the Vatican Museum to see the Sistine Chapel. After that, we sprinted to our bnb and went to the station, and barely made it on our train to Cinque Terre. We went for a 6,4km hike in Cinque Terre. It was so nice to get out of the city, and we also ran into some Wildcat fans. 😻 Thursday night, as we took a train back to our bnb, I saw that there was going to be a national train strike. We were supposed to arrive in Vicenza around 16h, and we didn’t get there until almost 21h. We stayed with Elyssa’s family friend, Kim, in Vicenza, and it was so lovely. She took very good care of us, so if you’re reading this, Kim, grazie mille! ☺️ So, Venice. We didn’t get too much time in the city, but it was still so great to see everything. We ended up missing our train from Venice to Milan (oops) and got to Milan at different times. I had learned a bit of Italian from Duolingo before I left Paris, and when the controlleur checked my ticket on the train and asked for my passport, a woman starts speaking to me in Italian. She asked me if I spoke Italian, and after I said “un poco,” she decided to have a conversation with me, and actually taught me quite a few phrases during our trip. She was so nice, and it really came in handy, because as soon as I got to Milan, I had to take Mikaela to the hospital (don’t worry, she’s okay now, just a little appendicitis scare that was actually just a kidney stone). The day I was supposed to leave, I went to see Mikaela in the hospital, and the nurses, who didn’t speak English, tried to tell us that they were moving Mikaela to a different room. Well, this is where my Italian came in handy, and Mikaela and Elyssa were really confused. So yeah, I’m back from les vacances, but I wouldn’t really say that I’m well-rested from school.
Oh, yeah, school. That’s what I’m in Paris for. So these next three weeks will be rough. In the course of these next three weeks, I have two midterms, four exposés, and a fifteen page paper due. Whoever said study abroads were easy obviously didn’t go to Sciences Po. But good news! My 40 page paper has been edited to only be between 10-15 pages. Phew.