The week of flip flopping decision making

Trip Start Aug 28, 2009
Trip End Nov 24, 2009

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Flag of Italy  , Lombardy,
Friday, October 23, 2009

Oo I like that title.  I think it's the "flip flopping" part I like best.  I just think that sounds fun.  Flip flopping.  Anyway.  Even though it sounds fun, flip flopping is not, when it comes to decisions that is.  I came back to Dello, desperately trying to hold onto the great mood I had gained with my time with my friends, but it slipped through my fingers, replaced again by the weariness and bitterness that constitutes my time here.  I argue with myself constantly, one side saying "what are you complaining for?  You're in ITALY, you are spoiled with treats and sweet people, yet you want to return home?  What is WRONG with you??"  Then the other side pipes up in self-defense "these kids are exhausting!  It's hard being here, not knowing the language, not having friends.  Even when I'm done working I am still around them, I never have the mental break I need.  Give me a break!"  And then it continues on and on, usually going in circles.  In between all the internal struggling, I would have moments of pure delight, like when we took the boys to the swimming pool and my Italian teacher/English student bought me a cup of hot chocolate.  But hot chocolate over here is not thin, weak chocolate water that Americans drink.  No, no, no.  This hot chocolate is more like hot pudding, I couldn't fathom the idea of drinking it, it looked too thick.  It's made with milk, so of course it's rich, but the ladies I was sitting with added 2 packets of sugar to each of theirs.  Then they said when they make it at home they usually add cream as well!  How the hell are they not all grossly overweight??  I swear, if I don't come home with cavities it'll be a miracle.  As the week went on I just sank lower and lower into my debbie downer attitude until I had mentally retreated from the family and was just a shell of Allison, playing with the kids, there, but not there.  In a moment of craziness, I told Ben to move out here, knowing in the back of my mind it wouldn't work, but I was desperate.  The next day, once I got my sanity back, I instead sent eails to some people at home, asking if they had positions available for me when I got back.  I do have one hopeful employer, I haven't heard back from him in a couple days, but I'm hoping he's trying to work the budget out so I can work with them.  Anyway.  Wednesday of that week Alessia and I were supposed to go to Garda Lake, but she got a job and wasn't able to.  So, Friday came, and I decided "I'm not going to sit around here another minute.  I'll go by myself."  And am I glad I did that. 

I briefly looked at the train schedules before I rushed out the door to catch the bus into Brescia.  I got to the station, bought my ticket, and waited around for it to arrive.  The platform had been changed and I honestly don't know how I figured that out since, you know, I still don't speak the language, but luckily I made it to the right place.  I think I accidently sat on first class, which was pretty sweet, and I didn't get caught because it was only about a ten minute ride.  I got off and silently laughed to myself, because I hadn't looked at a map or anything, and had no clue where to go, or what I was going to do once I got there.  I glanced at the train departure board, then headed off in the general direction I believed the lake to be.  My instincts turned out to be right, and the ceter was so beautiful.  There were some ferries that I thought might be fun to take on a tour, but I guess they were just for going to other towns around the lake, so instead I just wandered around Desenzano.  I thought it might be weird to be by myself but it was actually quite nice, I stopped where I wanted, took pictures and took my time with it, and when I got hungry I ate.  After lunch I walked out on the pier, intending to go to the end and had to pass a couple so involved in making out I'm not sure they knew I was there.  I climbed up on a wall and listened to the waves softly crashing against the rocks and the bells attached to the sailboats ringing, and closed my eyes and let the sun and wind take turns warming and cooling me.  It was pretty nice.  I felt calm again.  Afterwards, I passed the couple again, still entwined and oblivious to me, and hoofed it up a hill to get to the castle.  I had forgotten that Italians take 3 hour lunches, so it was closed, but it still had beautiful views.  I walked to a little park with a fountain, taking notice for the first time that a guy who had passed me on his bike a couple times was sitting there as well.  I got up and left, heading back towards the station.  After a while I noticed it wasn't the right road but I figured I could just make a left at the top and still get there.  The weather was so nice I didn't mind.  But then, the guy appeared again.  I would cross the road and he would pass me, then I would cross again, and minutes later, there he'd be.  I started to get a little creeped out and picked up my pace.  As I made my way in the direction of the station I saw a Blockbuster tucked against the beautiful Italian hill and wanted a picture of it, because it was so out of place, and there was a sex shop attached to it.  But as I slowed to take out my camera I saw the guy again and noticed for the first time that I was in a pretty sketchy part of town.  I immediately turned around to go back to the castle and had to pass the guy who had been following me. I kept my head down and my walk quick as I did so, and he said something to me as I passed, but my heart was pounding so loud in my ears I didn't hear what it was.  I practically ran back to the castle, but luckily, he didn't follow this time.  Once I was on the right road my heartbeat went back to normal and I was able to enjoy the day again.  I bought my ticket home and sat on a bench with Coldplay in my ears and the sun on my back and a thought hit me-who is this girl who is so confident and travels by herself?  It surely can't be the same girl who used to eat lunch in a bathroom stall if she was alone can it?  (I can admit that now, even though it is embarrassing and sad)  I felt so proud of myself.  No matter how difficult life is, I can see that what I set out to accomplish-self confidence, finding myself, putting myself in uncomfortable situations to see how I handle them-I have come a long way, and I am proud!
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