A Strange Coping Mechanism

People here really care about clothes. A lot. It’s the primary reason that I feel like I don’t fit in here. All of the Italians think that it’s cold. For me 50 degrees is warm, especially when you’re walking around, so I’m constantly juggling the amount that I want to take off my coat versus how much I don’t want to get ogled in the streets.

I wore a summer shirt and jeans outside yesterday and an Italian man did a triple-take on me. Actually, it was pretty hilarious. While maintaining a conversation with his friend, he turned around looked at me, looked toward the front, looked back at me and then did a full 360 degree turn to look at me from the other direction.

Today Owen and I went out for aperitivo (a very Italian way of eating where you pay $1o or $12 euros for a drink and get three hour access to a buffet). My feet are covered in blisters from my new shoes so I went out in flip-flops and people were actually stopping to stare at me in the street like I was a celebrity.

The atmosphere of aperitivo was awesome. The food was worse. My first mouthful I thought everything was amazing, but with scoop of food I brought to my mouth, my opinion of the food decreased. Also I was dumb enough to mistake the world “pomodoro” for pomegranates when I was looking at the ingredients of a Bloody Mary. The result is that I ordered my drink, took one sip, and gave it to Owen.

Relating to the title: I have a problem. It’s a pretty simple problem. I don’t have enough clothes. I have two pairs of pants, one of which is torn and currently covered in dog poop. The other one is ripped down the crotch. For most people there would be two solutions. 1) Buy new clothes 2) Tough it out. I’ve opted for a third option – I’ve started dumpster diving.

It’s not diving in the sense that I’m actually physically getting into any of the dumpsters, but people leave their clothes and shoes in bags outside the dumpsters that I’ve been picking through. I tried to go shopping like a normal person. Really, I did. But I ended up picking a discarded shirt out from beneath a dumpster and going for a walk instead.

Today on the way home from school Owen stopped outside the front gate, waiting for me to come inside and I said, “Yeah, I think I’m going to walk around and look at trash cans instead.” Which is exactly what I did.  On the bright side, I saw a beautiful sunset. The picture doesn’t do it justice. In fact it does it so little justice that I only have an error message while trying to upload, so I’ll hopefully add a picture of this later.

There’s also a really wonderful phenomenon that happens every night as the sun is setting with the birds. I imagine they’re hunting for bugs (they are birds and not bats, I’ve looked closely, though I know this is common bat behavior). Regardless, they fly in massive numbers around the sky like schools of fish, creating different shapes in the sky.

The theme of this post seems to be all of the ways Becca is a grungy P.O.S. so I’ll keep going. I cut my hair with the kitchen shears this morning. I couldn’t find any normal scissors and my hair was getting gnarly (as a side note, I found a gray hair this afternoon, which I think means it’s all downhill from here). So after my run, I parted my hair and cut off three inches on either side with two snips. If I brushed it you might be able to tell that it was uneven, but I don’t have any plans for that, so I should be somewhat safe for the time being.

I had to walk home alone at night for the first time a couple days ago. I stopped at the store and bought a liter of chocolate milk, which I drank as I was walking. I bought it because I was thirsty, but in retrospect I think it might also have been a pretty good self-defense move as well. All I can say is that wouldn’t mess with the girl drinking chocolate milk from the carton as she walked down the streets at night.

In case anybody is wondering what kind of shoes you can pick up from behind a dumpster. They’re both my size and, although my nose is pretty stuffed up right now, I’m pretty sure neither one of them has any particularly strong odor.

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