I arrived back in Rome on Monday night to stifling heat. I mean, it is August in Rome--what else would you expect? Anywho, back to my story. I got in and headed to bed. It was late, it was hot, and I was tired. The next day I got up and greeted my new colleagues and showed them around their new house. I also said hello to Roberto---the ridiculously attractive young man who repairs odds and ends around here. Again, I digress...we all settled in and then, I got a call from our labor consultant asking us to please come to his office on Wed. for a meeting regarding our stay permits. Ok, here we go. The man speaks no English. I know I can do this! I've been studying all semester for Pete's sake. Italiano: SI!
So, we made our way to his office today (it hit 100 and the humidity was somewhere in the 50% range....uhhhhh) and I played tour guide for Sean and Joy, pointing out the sights along the way. We arrived at his office and for the next hour we talked about what he needed and what I had for him with respect to our stay permits. Guess what?!? I understood 85-90% of what he said!! And the other 15-10%? I understood the context and could glean from that what he meant. You have no idea what a victory this was for me. I mean, for the most part I have felt fairly comfortable with my Italian since last year, but this...this was huge. This was a whole 'nother experience. I belong! I fit in! I can do this! And it only took me 2 years!!!
I am excited by this revelation because that means that as I go through this year, my Italian will only get better and better. This means that I won't stare at people with a blank look and then reply: Si, even though I have no clue what they've just said/asked for...which is scary because who knows what they want!?