Final Month Stretch

In Florence, The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Open topic by Akemi Aiello2 Comments

Today is November 11th and that is one month exactly away from the when I come, December 11th. Every single semester it’s this day that I take a deep breath and tell myself that I’m gonna make it. Usually I’m planning out my schedule for essays, studying, and any last adventures I can squeeze in; I’m more stressed and just really want to go home and take my long needed break. It’s kind of the same now, except it is a lot more of squeezing in adventures and exhaustion is mostly irritation with Europe. I’m telling you Mark Twain was spot on about my feelings towards Europe and love for America, I love America, it’s great.

I just want things to be easy and mindless again. Daily life isn’t excruciatingly more difficult but just the tiniest things really make the difference. The biggest thing for me is to not dread walking on the streets because I have to endure being showered with racists comments and antics. I keep saying that I’m okay with it because I understand that Europe is primarily old fashioned and who can blame them for being annoyed with the heavy flow of tourist groups and their yellow flags. But even though I understand it, I’m not okay with it. The small activist in me constantly fights to for equality among races, but usually it isn’t as frequent and just on a representation in media basis. That’s because I’m fortunate enough to live somewhere where I don’t have to deal with in your face, blatant racism anymore. Say what you want about America, but I will defend it till I die because at least 98% of the time it accepts me and lets me be another one of the million meaningless faces wandering around.

For once, this might be the only time that I’m not suffering from extreme homesickness. Homesick is craving In-N-Out, burritos, and getting BOBA not whatever that “bubble tea” stuff that New York has. Homesick is counting down the seconds until I can drive my car along the coast and watch a sunset on the beach by my house and then going home to smother my sister until she tells me what I’ve missed out on the past couple months. This what I’m feeling is what people in movies feel when they’ve switched bodies with someone or they’ve transported to another decade, I just want to have normal again. Every time it rains I want to run outside and collapse in the street and yell to the sky “I’ve learned my lesson, I’ll be good I swear! Just please give me my life back!”

But like every semester I won’t be a drama queen that just stares out the window as the days go by, I can get over myself and be invested where I am at the moment. I’m excited to visit the last few countries on my list the next couple weekends and I’m willing to go to some more of the sights around Florence so that I can leave saying that I truly saw all it has to offer. Also totally focus on my studies too, because I’m STUDYING abroad (lol).

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  1. Hey Akemi, I am very sorry to hear you are being harassed on your trip abroad. I’m a mixed race girl myself and racism is something we definitely should not have to deal with, especially at a time in our lives where we’re in a new country to immerse ourselves in the local culture. I hope you can continue to enjoy Florence despite the negativity. But remember to never give in — there is no excuse for blatant racism. Stay strong!

    And, I loved your recollections of the quintessential West Coast experience. I miss America a lot too — but I myself am a New Yorker, and hey, I like our bubble tea!

    Side note: Is In-N-Out better than Shake Shack? Assuming you have had both. Everyone is dying to know.

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