I hope this isn't too weird, but I'm going to set the scene from where I'm writing this. I'm sitting here in my apartment, looking out of my big living room window to the apartment across from ours. My neighbor is currently spritzing a tree of some sort, wearing what I believe would be a "house dress", which, in true Italian fashion, is something she wears only at home. I can hear her yelling at a pigeon that dared step foot on the side wall. This is her territory. She's put in a 10-hr day of work on her balcony; my guess is she had her son and grandchild over to her apartment and put her son to work pruning and cleaning everything up and that's who I've seen out working all day. She has so much love for her plants and has a seriously rocking terrace to show for it. Early mornings and late nights are spent watering and caring for her plant babies, something that I just cannot manage to succeed in. This woman is a serious inspiration for having greenery in our lives. I'm not sure if this tiny piece of my life in Rome is at all interesting, but I'm sharing it because even the most mundane things in Italy are fascinating to me.
With my trip to the States coming up exactly one week from now, it's put me into a mindset of thinking about American and Italian cultures and their differences. Whenever I go back home, it's such a culture shock from living here and it's quite unnerving at first. From the food to the people, the smallest things in Italy are so "other" than those in the U.S. but as time goes by, I'm starting to lose that outsider perspective here. Life moves at a different pace, so while it's exciting to go home, visit bigger cities and talk to people who grew up like myself, it's always a tiny bit of a relief to come back here, and look out my window at my dedicated gardener of a neighbor.