Motivation lies everywhere
Motivation can be found in hooks and crannies of life if you are open to the opportunity. It is 3:24pm on Friday afternoon, shops are closed and the sun isn't shining. Because we are saving our adventurous sight-seeing days for warm sunny weather, there is nothing much to do but sit around and wait until everything starts to open up again. Although shops are closed, cafes, geletarias, and ristorantes are open for meal time. Because nothing much is happening around the apartment, I decide to go for a walk down the road and look for a place to get my first gelato. I think I was just unlucky with the roads I decided to take, because I couldn't find one! I ended up in a small cafe up the hill from my apartment and asked for un cappaccino and asked qual es mas bene (with a finger pointing to the desserts). I ordered un dolce which was a tart with layers of dark, milk, and white chocolate truffle filling, which the barista recommended. I was in heaven. While I'm standing at the bar (because if you sit at the table you get charged for service) enjoying my mid-day snack, a woman turns to me and asks where I am from in Italian, which I am not familiar with yet. I replied "mi dispiace, but do you speak English?" She asked me again in English where I was from, and I replied "America... Michigan". The woman then goes on to tell me in English that I am doing a very good job at trying to speak and learn the culture that they cherish so deeply. This gesture came at just the right timing, as I know VERY minimal amounts of Italian which is very intimidating. Although I am deeply disconnected with the culture I am surrounded by, it is important to take chances and keep your chin up with a SMILE (so important), and the knowledge WILL come given some time. I'm calling it now... three weeks till I'm fluent!