Originally published on July 21, 2012

We finally figured out how to correctly use the miniature washing machine in our apartment. This was quite exciting being that I have been walking around in our apartment all day wearing a t-shirt and using a towel as pants due to the fact that I no longer have any clean clothes left. [side note: I did attempt to do laundry yesterday however, the washer did not spin.]

Enough about my wardrobe, or lack thereof. Last night, nearly our entire program (19 of the 22 people on the trip) hit the town. We ate at ‘Old Bear,’ a cozy, rustic restaurant tucked away on a small side street near Piazza Navona. The food was great, as was the company. Our group, at least thus far, has seemed to gel quite well. Everyone seems comfortable and outgoing. Following the delicious meal, we strolled through the Piazza, which is beautiful at night.

The pale sculptures, including one of Neptune fighting a giant octopus with a trident, sit glowingly above the sea foam green water flowing through the fountains below. We watched a mime quickly make a balloon-animal dog, and push it across the cobblestone, enticing a real, much larger dog to nearly knock its owner over as it ran to inspect its inanimate friend. We continued on to the TIber River.

The river is dotted with white, carnival-looking tents amid the sandstone walkway, which open up at night to not only light up the river, but transform it. On any given stretch of the river bank, one can find clubs, bars, restaurants, arcades, shops, vendors, and even foosball tables. I highly recommend checking it out, especially if you are studying abroad in Rome. I still am not nearly adjusted to the Italian time schedule (and frankly I don’t think I will ever consider 9:00 pm to be an “early” dinner), but I’m sure it will become easier as time progresses.

Tiber River | Photo by Wilson Carletti
Tiber River | Rome

I don’t know how many of you reading the blog enjoy rap/hip-hop, however, coincidently Nas (a rapper from Queens, NY) released his newest album four days ago, entitled Life is Good. I say the release is coincidental, because, well, life is exactly that: Good. Sure, I miss home and those whom I care about dearly, yet I realize that these opportunities only present themselves every so often, if at all. My experience has been incredible so far, and it should only continue to get better.

[side note: I had a conversation last night about why America loves Tiger Woods despite his breaking of a commitment of loyalty to a loved one, yet hates Lebron James for exercising free agency (a product of capitalism, which America loves oh so much) and breaking a “commitment of loyalty” to a city/sports franchise. We didn’t reach a firm conclusion, though I thought it could perhaps make an interesting future blog post when I have more time. We shall see.]