I want to write, finally after a long time though I promised to do it more often.
15 August-15 April. Sometimes it was hard, felt like the time never passed, today it is not part of those periods!
I do not know who is going to read all this post, it is heavy even for me! But there is some “pearls of wisdom” and I have to say that I really like it, so I just need to wish you good luck!
Today is a big day, one of those days during an exchange student grows more then other days, in which he/she feel more safe of herself, finding out that the learning of the language is following a great line. I finally made a deal between the swedish food and the need to eat like the italian way.
The spring is running away. I have been sick some days after the sport break, but it was not for this, because until now we had other four weeks of school. It was just because it is actually flying away.
It was not so much time ago that I looked forward to meet the other exchange students in Stockholm, but now that it is only one week and some days left to be part of the STS meeting I feel very confused. Because on Friday the Easter holidays will start, because we will go to celebrate it near Stockholm by Katarina’s grandparents, because after that I will be there with the other exchange students, already!
I feel sad because it will be the last time in Stockholm, the time everyone will shop some souvenirs and send postcards, the last time I will see a lot of people between the exchange students, and because there will be a lot of exchange students arrived in Sweden just some months ago and still have five or six months left.
I feel confused because after that, going home on the 27th of April there will be three days of school, and then again some other kinds of celebration, like Valborg on the last day of April, and two days free from school again (the first two days of May)
In little words, this is the day in which the exchange student actually does not want to go home.
We got a place where to live, where to start to make friends, to be able to cohabit with, despite a lot of things we did not like (and now we are not be able to recognize which they actually are, because we got used to them)
This is even the period during the other side of the exchange students’ family, those that will leave in less then four months, experiences a lot of different emotions, the same that we personally experienced some months ago. Those feelings that helped me to study hard during the third year of high school looking forward to leave that chaotic city that was Rome. That period in which I started to do not stand a lot of people just because I wanted to leave as soon as possible, because when I would have been back I would have had time to live my routine a lot of times again and again, I know that I was not loosing so much there.
So I want to say good luck to the future exchange students. I want to recommend those that will go to a Scandinavian country to collect as many hugs and kisses as possible because you will miss them (I mean both friends, family and hugs, but especially the hugs! do not want to seem a cold heart now!). I do not say to do not have expectations because I know it is completely impossible, but a thing that I ask you to do, and that have been difficult for me, is to minimize as possible as you can your prejudices. It is difficult because prejudices does not always mean racism, or at least not the strong form of racism. We exchange students describe us like not racist people, and for this we do not realize before we face a big change of culture, that we collected prejudices about other cultures since we were born, and that they go out just when we have to know people from different countries. So, be strong and really leave prejudices!
I had a period during which I had a strong homesickness, especially during the winter. Now I write often on chat to my family but we have video chat more or less one time for month. And I do not want to see like a stupid person and without a heart but I really do not need to have video chat. I understand how difficult can it be for my family because they always have the same routine, that was actually the one I was tired of! so why should that look strange?!, but I have another life, and two months and a week to fill as much as I can with feelings, experiences and as much as I can. The thing I feel very much inside me, I mean the reason because I do not need to talk that much with my family longer now, it is because I am afraid I will not have many things to be happy of when it will be the time to leave and go back to Italy. Because changes are never easy, especially between countries (and cultures!)
I started to think about this a long time ago, but I was able to write it down in an acceptable way just today. Do you want to know why?
I had the so called “writer’s inspiration”. This because after a long time, no it was just some weeks, I did the national test in Swedish. It is a test every student has to do for English, Maths (or at least we that study the nature class) and Swedish. The result will give a big importance for the final grade, if you take B for example, your final grade will be B. Grades are very important for the students of the Swedish schools, because starting from the high school, I am not sure of it but maybe even from the elementary school, the database with the grades of every student is linked to the databases of every University that can see if a student that wants to apply for any faculty, has actually the required grades.
I do not need to do these tests, but it is a great way to test my Swedish and be even stronger and safer of myself. So, this part of the test was the oral one (muntligt provet) and we had to prepare a presentation with Powerpoint. The argument for this year was “Olika världer” that means “different worlds” and that was great for me. Among the ideas that were on the guidebook for the test there was a clue, namely “Livet på staden eller liver på landet” that means “the life in the city or the life in the countryside”.
So my work was titled, in Swedish “The life in the countryside or in the city, Rome and Uddeholm”. I talked about the school, the religion meaning, the homofobi and the racism, the food, the weather and the social culture, with this the relations between persons.
We had to talk at least 3 minutes and most 7 minutes. I talked for four minutes and fifty seconds, and I was very happy of my job. I was very nervous, I forgot something I wanted to say and my voice trembled always more, my face was completely red and I got warmer and warmer (could heat a sauna if I talked some minutes more!). My hands trembled too, I got some sheets and they moved so much I could hardly read them. But I could handle with it, and I look forward to the next presentation we have to do, hope there will be one more!
I do not know why I was so stressed to talk in front of my class, we are in total nineteen, because it is normal that they do not make joke of someone that tried to learn the language in eight months.
I really had to think a little about it to make myself a little more relaxed, but! When I talk with someone that does not speak my language, this is the importance I give to the different sides of the speech, from the most important to the less one (or at least the things I would like everyone to think when they talk with me)
- Understand what they say
- Answer in the easiest way I have to be understood, and do not put him/her in a difficult situation, to do not put him/her in a situation of stress
- Do not show what I think of its knowledge of the language
- Think if he did make use of the time he had to learn the language
- (Maybe) laugh about some mistakes, but not to be unkind
Yesterday I started to sleep at 11 p.m. but this morning I woke up at 6 a.m. a little after the sunshine. I was full of energy (what 14,27 hours of lights do!)
Yesterday during my free time I found this website, very useful 😀 (some day I will make the Chinese proficiency!)
I do not want to leave, because I know how difficult it will be. How difficult it will be to face the different culture, yes, one time again! Because I feel strange when someone wants to hug me here in Sweden, when it was normal some months ago (maybe it will come back easily if it will happen with Italian friends). I wrote something about it that I wanted to share during my presentation today, but I forgot to say it because I was very restless. I wrote that in Italy we use to hug and kiss on the cheeks almost every time we meet. Writing it I realized how this could be maybe embarrassing for me the first times I will do it again, once in Italy. Can it be this the reason why we get flue so often?
I got special friends that do not worry if it takes one minute for me to say easy things, and many more for them to understand what I try to say.
I got friends that listen each of my mistakes trying to speak Swedish. Like when I wanted to say “schedule” (schema) and I said “sailor” (sjöman). It does not look but they have very similar sounds.
A memorable mistake happened some days ago when we had the theatre in school, I will talk about it some rows after. I asked to my friends, or at least I WANTED TO ASK “were should we sit?, do you want to sit behind?” but what I actually said was something like “Var ska vi sitta? Vill ni sitta bakfram?” that means “Where should we sit? Do you want to sit backward?”.
Another one, less funny, was when I said “finger of the foot” instead of “toe”, in Swedish the rule is the same of the English one, but not in Italian!
Going home with the bus, listening to “I love it” by Icona Pop, a Swedish group, and finding out that you can understand what do they say in the start of the song, oh not completely, but almost everything. That is wonderful!
Today during Swedish class we started to watch the film “Top gun”
During the week end the wind recommended me to stay at home, studying for my Swedish test and watching “some” films. I started to watch “Desperate Housewives”, “Glee”, watched the entire film “The Vow”, all of them in English/American with Swedish subtitles, and for what concerns the Swedish ones, I started to watch “Pippi Långstrump” (Pippi Longstocking) and continued the second season of “Solsidan”. No subtitles, but I understand almost everything, What a joy!
The last period is really the worst of all the days spent here, but in the same time the best. Because you have been able to see which are the things you fill feel the absence of once in the other home, and you experience them as possible as you can. You moved for more or less a year and you started to give importance to the smallest things. There is not so many italian friends writing to you longer, just those you found out are the most important. You used to open Facebook and find a lot of notifications and messages, it is not so longer. Maybe it is because you went off from the facebook groups of your old routine, in your home country, maybe because it is actually you that does not write to them as often as you used to do when you had homesickness.
My family is afraid I had to much homesickness and that sometimes I did not like so much my life here. I can understand their feelings, being one of the contacts I have with Italy, the most of the times it happens that I need someone to talk with about the things I really miss, and the things that maybe sometimes I cannot stand of Swedish culture (because you cannot conceal that it happens when you face every “switches” between cultures, and there are not a person in the world that does not find something “wrong” in at least one culture).
The wind blows from North, 7 m/s that feels even more because we are near to the lake and those white and blue waves does not help to decide to take the bike, or at least, I know hot it could feel if I took the bike. I did it on Saturday. I am now used to cycle to Råda, 15 km from here, with the seventh gear. On Saturday I was on the fifth but felt like on the tenth!
To be host of another country changes you. I got a questionnaire on the bus going home some days ago, I would not ever done something like this in Italy!
2048 is the new mobile phone game everyone started to play with in Sweden. When I came here the first time I realized that teenagers have a “mobile phone wave” almost one time for week I was very upset by that. I used to think, do not they have nothing better to do then stay hour playing with that telephone? But now it is different. Today I started to think that it is something very funny to share the same game for some days, even if that can looks very ASOCIAL sometimes, but who cares? it is goes fast!
I need to go now, hope you liked the post. Färjestad match is waiting to be watched.
Ha en bra kväll! (Good afternoon!)