Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cena Italiana (con un po di spangnolo)

Last night was one of the most interesting, challenging and fun nights I've had in Bologna. As you know, I go to a school where all of my classes are in English and live with 5 other Americans. I really appreciate both of these facts, but it doesn't really help with whatever Italian immersion I thought I might be experiencing.

Luckily for me, I joined the University of Bologna Orchestra (more on that later), where I've had the opportunity to speak a lot more Italian, mostly because I don't have any other choice. I've gone for drinks with some of the other members a few times and was recently invited to a dinner at the house of one of the violin players, Laura.

I was kind of worried that I wouldn't be much fun at the dinner, considering my limited Italian, but everything ended up being awesome. I understood the vast majority of the conversations and was able to contribute and be a part of everything instead of being the quiet English-speaker in the corner.

After delicious food, some great local wine and long talks in Italian as well as Spanish (there are a few South Americans in the orchestra), I bid my new Italian friends goodbye to catch the Big Game and a birthday party for one of my fellow SAIS students. Being able to operate in an environment with no English for 3-4 hours is really exciting - I hope to do it again!