Tuesday, February 22, 2011

When it rains, it pours.

Last week I had a less than enjoyable experience on a rainy Wednesday here in Rome.

Before the day was even halfway over I had found myself hitting the low point in my semester.

To start, let me explain.

I woke up last Wednesday very cold. Our apartment only gets heat from 4pm to 9pm at night. When it began to rain the night before the temperature dropped a significant bit from what it had been in the previous two weeks (a delightful 60 degrees and sunny, typically). That morning, with the pouring rain and the drop in temperature, our apartment was very, very cold. And lucky for me, I got to wake up before the sun because I had an on-site morning class to get to by 9AM, and since the busses aren't always reliable, and the traffic is bad even without rain, I decided to get an early start so I wouldn't be late.

I found out later that staying in bed would have been the logical, although irresponsible, choice.

After meeting a friend at the tram stop and standing in the rain for a few minutes before the tram arrived, we exchanged a few words that consisted mostly of, "Well, this sucks. At least the Colosseum won't be crowded..." The tram arrived and was packed more than usual, because instead of walking most people were taking the public transportation. We stood for the tram ride down to is Capolinea (the end of its route) and then got off to catch a bus over to the Colosseum.

Once at the Colosseum, we waited for our professor and the rest of our class in the Metro stop in order to stay as dry as possible. While there, we were constantly surrounded by men trying to pawn umbrellas by holding them out to passers-by and nodding their heads up-and-down calling out, "Bella, bello, ombrella!" It was tempting to purchase one, but I had my rain coat and assumed I'd be fine.

That was bad choice number two. Number one being getting out of bed.

Once our professor and class arrived, we headed over to the Colosseum to stand in the rain and talk about gladiators and rulers for two hours before our professor realized he was getting nowhere and led us to a cafe so that we could all warm up and get some cappuccino. We were grateful, although soaked and cold. Half an hour later, class was over and I headed back to school.

Once at school, I grabbed a piece of pizza from Di Simone's (my favorite pizza in the city so far) and then headed over to get m Permit to Stay (part of my Visa process to legally allow me to live in the country for 4 months). I had been in such a rush earlier that morning that I had forgotten my passport, but I had my copies and my driver's license, which one of the men running the Permit to Stay session said would be fine. I waited in line for an hour, handed my copies to the man, only to find I was missing copies of pages 1, 2, and 28 of my passport. They denied me my Permit. And I had class in ten minutes. And they were leaving at 5pm when I had class until 6:40. Needless to say... I was upset.

Bad choice number three: forgetting my passport.
Bad choice number four: letting someone from AUR make my passport copies.
Bad choice number five: yelling in English at a guy who barely under it and talked back in Italian.

So I went to the Student Affairs office, cried to the study abroad intern, and then upon her recommendation, took a bus back to my apartment to get my passport and missed class. She told me the Permit to Stay sessions counted as excused absences. So after going home, getting my passport and returning, I proceeded to copy the 3 pages I was missing, get back in line, and wait for another hour. I missed my second class.

Once I got up to the front again, the same guy looked at my confused and asked why I had writing on my envelope. I responded, with my arms crossed, "Because you just saw me and denied me two hours ago."

Bad choice number six: allowing my bad mood to get the best of me.

After finally getting approved, I headed off to my final class of the day (Italian), was exhausted and could barely focus, and then got home and collapsed into bed for the rest of the night.

When it rains, it pours... both literally and figuratively.
That doesn't mean we should let the bad things and choices get the best of us, as I had.
Thankfully, the next day was better, and I was able to recuperate. The lesson learned, though, is that even while on vacation, study abroad, or whatever it is you're doing--there are bad days. The best thing we can do is to get through them and try to have a good attitude, because that will help make it not so bad (instead of acting as I had, like an overgrown child).

Have you ever had days like this? Where nothing seems to go right and everything is wrong? What about during a vacation? Was there that one day where everything you had planned just tanked and you got upset and didn't appreciate the things that you got to do otherwise?

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