Sunday, June 12, 2011

The 5 Real Phases of Homesickness

Milan has a nice airport. And they had good hot dogs… that is, until I realized that was not what I was eating at all--- rather, it was a very soggy croissant.

Really, there’s nothing more I can say nice about the city. It’s stinky and looks like Gary Larsen got pissed off and decided to draw a really bad caricature of New York City.

It didn’t help that on my own I was a totally helpless cause. I trailed backwards and forwards in my attempt to find my way to the luggage carrier and get directions. I walked in circles. I walked in more circles. I walked in more circles. I passed a crazy old lady with purple hair who was also walking in circles in the opposite direction. Something wasn’t working.

I asked for directions from an airport lady who seemed to speak English. It took me several seconds to comprehend where they had directed me to. At first I thought it was very peculiar for Italy to have a cult of crazy half-naked men waiting for their luggage. I actually wanted to take a picture just to show my parents how weird my host country was. Then I realized that instead of the luggage rack…. the lady had directed me INSIDE the men’s bathroom. I was potentially scarred for life.

The chain of events that led me out of Milan sent me into a two week period with a debilitating, spiraling illness inaptly named “Homesickness”.  I’d rather called it “un-home-sickness”.

I started scheming ways to escape from the country, evening going so far as to calculate their success probability.
My algebra teacher would be so proud. :-)

I determined the only way to keep my sanity by returning home was to take a boat with my belongings. I called my parents and told them not to worry any more—they could expect me home in a week. Only…

Thus, my escape plans were crushed. I was stuck in Italy with an over-zealous mouse, and a madre et padre who seemed dead set on shoving spaghetti down my esophagus every time I walked by.
According to exchange student programs my symptoms of distress (aka homesickness) should have included "nausea, sleep disturbances, mood swings (including crying and irritability), feelings of isolation, lethargy, lack of motivation, inability to concentrate on homework, and feelings of loss."

Guido and I think I would like to restate this in a diagram like this, in 5 phases:
Homesickness: Phase 1: Ecstatacy! One may thing they have developed wings and start attempting to fly.

Phase 2: Confusion. Who am I? Where am I? What am I doing?

Phase 3: Maniacal Depression. One may attempt dangerous escape attempts.

Phase 4: Hallucinations. These can vary from talking mice to invisioning a bunch of Michael Jackson zombies approaching.

Phase 5: Haven’t actually reached this stage yet… Does it exist?

Oh, and Guido doesn’t want to be forgotten while I spend all day talking about myself. I owe him Gelato big time. Here is Guido Antonio’s advice for the day:
 “Rendere le zampe la tua casa” [Make your paws your home]

P.P.S. The Italian guys really do exist.... even if they all wear weird hats and drive Gondolas. Papparazzi!


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