I kept waiting for it to hit me during my last couple weeks in the states. I packed, but I didn’t feel it. I boarded the plane, but I didn’t feel it. I’m here, and I’m still not sure I feel it.
I was dosing off on the A train from 175th street down to the west village about a week before my departure. I looked over at a young couple in hipster attire, drowning out the sound of metal grazing the train tracks with their bright red beats, not even glancing at each other. Only the toe of her foot hiding behind his gave away any sort of relationship status. It reflected the culture I’ve grown accustom too, a society that keeps to themselves. New York is a sea of individuals who like to think of themselves as such. Individual.
In Florence there is no such act, when a couple desires to embrace, they embrace. In the middle of a pizzeria or pressed up against the ledge of the Arno River, the Italians have no shell to come out of.
When I write, it begins to hit me… slightly but steadily. I am in the cradle of the Renaissance, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The art, the culture, it is all so overwhelming. I almost fainted at the sight of the Duomo last night. Well, I could also be highly delusional from the jet lag. Which, I am. But I am also overjoyed to think that I’m finally landed in Europe and will be an Italian resident for the next four months.
The variation in mannerisms is astounding. The men and women have more spunk in their step, they exude a more humanly vibe. The fashion is sleek and black, always black and not as urban as I am use to. The coffee is drunk sitting, not in a rush through Times Square. The flow of life is relaxed. Slow. Savory.
Don’t get me wrong; New York is and will always be my favorite city. It is home, and I have had a pinch of homesickness. But that’s expected, I suppose. To miss all those emotionless, fast paced, workaholic zombies? Hell, I am one. And the culture shock of this new world is precisely what I signed up for. I needed a change of scenery, a dip into the world outside of my Manhattan-based bubble.
I think, and don’t hold me to this… it may have just hit me.