monotony of change.



It's the end of January.

I returned from Italy on the morning of the 8th, and the following day's afternoon I moved to my second host family.

Normally, I'd write and write about the changes in my life, but change has become so normal that when something new happens, I don't feel its excitement and the need to express it.

It also doesn't help that my other hobbies have over-ruled writing.

For example, I now have a guitar that I can keep until the end of the year; I borrowed it off a neighbor of my first host family. However, at my first house I couldn't really play much because my host sisters really enjoyed their silence. That meant I could only play in about 15 minute intervals and never after 9pm. Seeing it that 15 minutes is a minute in regards to playing guitar and at home I usually play before I go to sleep,

and then consequently this happens:
I really couldn't play at all. Though now, my host family doesn't mind in the least and my host sister understands the need as she plays piano as well. Consequently, I've been playing all the time, which of course has its negative effects as I choose it over school work and tend to seclude myself by playing. Nonetheless, I did the same thing in the US, so the downfalls provide a feeling of home.

Another hobby that's taken away from my writing is reading, and unfortunately, it's not reading in French. Currently my English class is reading East of Eden by John Steinback, but the abridged version of course. Though my teacher wanted me to actually participate in the class, especially since "John Steinback is an American writer of German decent, just like you Miss Funk," so he bought me the original version. I'd also mentioned I wanted to read 1984 by George Orwell, so he bought me that as well. As he handed me the two books on our last day of school before vacation with a smiling "Merry Christmas", I couldn't help but to return an even brighter "Pennsylvanian smile" (as he always refers to it). They were by far my favorite Christmas presents.

Well, at least my favorite tangible Christmas presents. Italy was unforgettable, so unforgettable that I have yet to really write about it because I feel my photos (slideshow above) and memory will suffice. I was welcomed in Rome on the night of the 29th by one of those wonderful airport hugs and a family dinner full of smiles and misunderstandings. My friend Sabina is an only child whose mother can speak English but not her father. Therefore, at dinner we'd talk in English but then feel guilty for leaving Sabina's dad out of the conversation, so we'd translate everything back to him. For once, I wasn't the one in need of the translation, but sooner than later, that need was constant as the next day Sabina and I jumped in a car with her friends and headed off to Tuscany. For four days, we, 15 Italian teenagers and 1 American teenager, stayed in a house in the countryside of Tuscany to celebrate New Year's Eve. We played cards and foozball alot, and I realized how far a person can communicate with simply body language.

I also realized how lucky I am to have chosen Belgium for my exchange. I'd always thought that the open-minds of Belgians regarding foreigners and the English language were simply the same as other Europeans. Though, my stay in Italy made me realize that Italians in general are nearly the opposite. The typical "Italian" stands firmly by the idea that the Italian language is all they'll ever need; they may realize the importance of English and other languages but don't bother to learn them. However, for parents who decide they want their child to learn English, the price is quite expensive. My friend's mother, who is more or less revered since she knows English, teaches the language in one-on-one sessions for fifty euro an hour, all without having a degree. As Sabina's family understands the growing importance of English, they had decided to send Sabina on an exchange to the US so she could learn the language. Nonetheless, none of Sabina's friends could understand why she was doing the exchange; they didn't see the point in it. On the contrary, in Belgium, more or less every student does some sort of exchange to learn English; it's just an average part of education. Therefore, after adapting to the Belgian mindset, I had been more than surprised by that of the Italians.

Also, Sabina's family had told me about the exchange student from Canada they had hosted while Sabina was in America. Her name was Marjorie: she was short, blonde, and blue-eyed like me. In other words, she was the typical "dream girl" of Italian boys since in Italy, everyone has dark hair and dark eyes, and it's always human nature to prefer what is different. (During my stay in Italy, I almost felt watched as I'd be the only person on the metro or on the bus with blonde hair, or at least natural blonde hair. I've never gotten so much attention from guys in my life.) Therefore, all of Marjorie's classmates had thought she was pretty and gave her attention the first few days, but then before long, they more or less rejected her since she didn't speak their language. They didn't even try to communicate with her; they simply gave up. This really just amazed me because my classmates in Belgium were the opposite: my first day of school they accepted me, and they tried their hardest to communicate with me. They never gave up.

All of this just made me realize that I've really made the right choice by spending my year in Belgium. It may not be significantly different from the US, but it's better than being different in a negative manner such as in Marjorie's case. Though sometimes I do wish that I had chosen a Latin American country where I could lounge on the beach all day and actually see sunshine; but I really don't think I would have succeeded with Spanish since I can't roll my R's

Sunshine would be really great though. People aren't kidding when they say it only rains in Belgium.
Rain, rain, go away. Please come back another day.Another day when Jordann has left your country.

Which reminds me: I have to choose a return date soon. I've never felt like more of a walking contradiction. I want to stay; I want to go. I have to choose a date to love and to hate. Who wants to be the lucky winner? I think it'll be a date I'll always remember.

Like my birthday, the day after tomorrow. The day after tomorrow it's January 25th. Didn't January just start?

I need to stop wasting time talking about the speed of time
and I need to stop rambling.
I'm rambling.
Goodbye.

1 comments:

funkc63 March 18, 2011 at 6:46 PM  

I am awestruck at your photos !!!
I am so thankful to have a child with such artistic powers......do be able to draw someone in, inspire their soul, and make them feel the way you must have felt. Truly amazing Jordann !
I cannot wait to go through all your film when you return.

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this is a blog

that you may find profound, deviant, or insipid.

It may teach you, inspire you and leave you lost in thought; or it may bore you and cause your eyes to drag slowly shut.

You may read it for an hour, or maybe not at all.

Maybe you'll get to know me, maybe in ways I don't even know me.

I left the United States in August 2010 as a Rotary exchange student. I'll leave Belgium in July 2011 as Jordann.

about me

My photo
Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium
I follow the sun.