Ciao from Italia!
Alright y’all the blog is back! I took a hiatus from blogging after returning from Japan, and while there were many adventures I could have written about, my Italian adventures are just too good to pass up.
To catch you all up to speed, I am currently in Caronno Pertusella, Italy playing for Team Rhea. We are located just north of Milan next to Saronno and about an hour and a half south of Lake Como.
The journey to Italy was not exactly easy or smooth. From packing up my house in Tucson and saying goodbye to my family, friends and work there to driving to California, to going back and forth between my childhood home to the Italian Consulate, the days before I left were incredibly busy.
My flight out wasn’t much better as the weather in Germany, where I was flying to first, and the connecting flight to Milan was delayed a few hours. This changed the whole travel schedule,
resulting in me getting to Milan much later than expected. The positive side of the situation is that I was able to stop at a traditional German bakery in the Frankfurt airport and have one of their laugenbrezel pretzels (it is the traditional German pretzel).
Speaking of German, on the airplane as well as in the Frankfurt airport, people would come up to me and speak to me in German assuming I knew the language. Unfortunately for them (or me?) I would just stand there smiling and staring with the occasional nod until they would say “sprechen sie Deutsch” which is German for “do you speak German”. In which case I would say, “nein”, or no (thanks for teaching me that word Dad) and they would walk away awkwardly.
Any who, a solid four or so hours after my originally schedule landing time, I finally get into Milan. I was picked up by one of the team presidents and his wife and we went and took care of some Visa work and went to watch the team play at our beautiful ballpark.
The A.B. Caronno softball field is very lush green, with a huge hedge along the fence of the center and left field wall, with thick grass going from the infield way beyond the outfield fence. There is a big single room score box behind home plate and little wooden sheds on top of the first base dugout and behind the center field fence. I was told those were for our season games that would be televised both in Italy and online (when I have those links I will be sure to send them out so everyone back home can tune in and watch).
After the game, I was able to meet the team and coaches, who I had started to communicate with a bit over social media and WhatsApp. Everyone is so nice and incredibly welcoming, making me all the more excited for the experience. The team also has a great group of supporters who I was able to start meeting as well.
That evening the players, some of the supporters and myself went out for pizza and let me tell you this: Italian pizza is bomb. The menu at this place had like twenty different pizza options, including some that we would find incredibly weird in the states. I promise you there is going to be a whole blog post about the pizza here as it is so unique and tasty. One tid bit I will share with you now is what the Italians call “American pizza”, it is a regular cheese pizza with french fries on top. I kid you not, that is what it is and that is what they call it. I intend to work my way through the Italian pizza menu so be on the look out for a post dedicated to my pizza adventures.
My teammates have also started my Italian lessons! I have absolutely zero prior experience with the language, but they have said I am catching on pretty quickly so we shall see how I improve over the next six months. During our games, whenever our coach starts talking one of the girls whose nickname is Frenchie will come stand next to me and translate. However, all of the girls speak some degree of English and practice on me as well. So just you wait! I will get this language down!
Overall I am very happy, I have an awesome roommate in a cute apartment and a fun team. Our games went well this weekend and in one of them I got to DP and yes, I did hit the ball. I get to meet up with my sister Charmayne tomorrow and go explore Milan and other places with my two days off. Then we get back to practicing and I will have more time to hang out with sister.
Be sure to follow along with my adventure!