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So I'm back. Back from the wonderful land of Sicily, from Ortigia where I could look out my window and see the sea. Mare. My beautiful blue mare and the expanse of Syracusa spread out on the mainland. Now I look out my window and see a straggly pine tree, another cookie-cutter house, and snow drifting softly to the ground. Green and brown mottled grass covered in red pine needles. Gray sky. Clear, cold air.


I got back yesterday, barely had the time to see everyone before I was gone and running off with my ride. Very happy that I had people there, but it's weird. I haven't really thought about the fact that I left Sicily. If I close my eyes I can pretend I'm still there.

The oddest thing right now is how big and wide everything is. And... dreary. Sicily is filled with color, even if it's just brown and green. When the lights go on at night it's like everything is lit with honey gold, and the green plants that survive their rainy winter make the city more lively during the day... anyway.

I think one of the strangest things about being back here is the fact that everything is so... distanced. Things in Sicily are so close and everything is squashed right up against everything else. You have virtually no privacy (I heard the downstairs neighbors having sex at LEAST four times), and your neighbors watch you as if you were something strange until they're used to you. Even sometimes after that they'll still look at you strange. It was interesting to get the other side of the card though... you know how people in America tend to have the mentality 'You're in AMERICA. Speak ENGLISH."? Well, I spoke English in Italy, and sometimes we got the look that said, 'Speak ITALIAN'. But I don't know enough Italian to get by, so I can't. I tried, but I spoke too hesitantly, too uncertainly, and they got confused. Then I get confused. Then we're both confused until I resort to just pointing, face flushed and embarrassed. Guess I won't be doing that again.

--two weeks later---

Another thing about America... there is a total and complete lack of community in the same aspect as it is in Sicily. Like, Ortigia, there are people who know EVERYONE. Not only that, but there are people who care about everyone. You shop at their store more than twice? You're like family. Here? People hardly look at you twice. I feel like in the three weeks I've been back I've regressed. The only way to get anywhere is by driving. There is no more close quarters. No more stores on every block. The houses are crammed together, and the stores are crammed together. Everything is so separated. America is supposed to be the 'melting pot' but really, I feel like it's so much worse than that. The way things are set up, you don't want to go outside and explore. In Sicily I bet I could wander in and out of other people's yards and territories and whatnot and they'd just shrug and say 'there go those exploring kids, don't they ever get tired of it?' but here, you step on the wrong lawn and you're just as likely to get yelled at as you are shot. :P

Houses are so squat. And flat. And wide. I mean, really, why do we need all this space? We DON'T. I worked fine in a kitchen half the size of the one I've got right now. I was comfortable in my tiny room with a beautiful ocean view. I saw the sun more. There were more windows. More community things going on, more festivals, people walked up and down the streets yelling and shouting and playing the squeeze box or sax (badly) or guitar and they'll talk to you if you talk to them. The vendors shout at you and the people push past and... I don't know.

It's so quiet here.

So quiet and controlled and neat. I miss the falling apart haphazardness of Sicily. I miss my buildings 6 stories high with churches on one side and stores on the other. I miss my balconies filled with green plants and cacti and palm trees, I miss the roofs that we could stand on. I miss the sun.

I got back and realized what a walking ball of stress everyone is. In America if there is no pain there's no gain, right? So the more you stress the better it is. But... no that's not right. It's not right at all.

I'm tired.

I should go to bed...


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 9th, 2011 06:59 am (UTC)
It'll be ok! <3

America really is a funny place. I love how we always talk about community and all that junk, but in reality we really are such a closed-off, private society. =\

But you've only been back for a little bit, so it'll take a while before you get readjusted. Or you might not readjust at all. I never really did. 8D

Love you! <3
Jan. 9th, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC)
Reverse culture shock, eh? I thought I was separated from others because of the language barrier, turns out I'm more separated from people when I know the same language! And it's really disheartening to be in this household where no one wants to do anything... if anything gets done, I've gotta be the one to do something, and if I don't ask, no one does anything else. In Italy we were all in it together. It's just... it's frustrating.

You and I! We gotta talk! What, you're 9 hours from me now? What would be a good day and time for a Skype date? :3
Jan. 10th, 2011 06:04 am (UTC)
I always thought that reverse culture shock was worse than any kind of culture shock experienced abroad. It's like you go back to America and suddenly all of the amazing things you experienced daily are taken away. And then no one wants to talk to you about all the cool stuff you did and...yeah, it's frustrating. =\

I'll be home for most of today and tomorrow! Are you able to be online in the mornings or nights for you? It's hard for me to Skype in the morning here when I have work, but I can figure something out!
Jan. 10th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC)
;_; I know. It's true. I feel like I never really went, looking at the pictures is surreal... and the friends I made (not very well, I admit) don't keep in touch as well as I'd hoped... so it's REALLY like I lost an entire semester in a dream. And yeah, no one wants to know. Jason is either in his room or on the computer, mom is always off with her boyfriend, Bear is at school...

And let's do Skype then! Uhm... XD I can do mornings or evenings! :] Either way is fine with meee. Lemme know what time to get up in the morning though. XD So I know.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )