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Meghan: long hike & apartment issues

September 15, 2010
A few Sundays have come and gone, those lazy days where you catch up on life and get yourself back on track for the rest of the week, and last Sunday was no different… if only a bit more adventurous. The Basilica of San Luca looks over Bologna from high up in the Southern hills—easily seen in those moments when you are daring enough to leave the shelter of the cozy center city and its porticoes. After the previous week, I desperately needed a calm and relaxing atmosphere that only going into a green, picturesque area can give and San Luca seemed to be the best option. So naturally I grabbed a friend who had the same idea in mind, and we set off to conquer the 666 porticoes that would lead us there. (Yes, there are 666 porticoes.)

The residential and busy street of Via Saragozza lead us to the outer ring of the city and to the path once used for the pilgrimages to the basilica—yet a sign threw us off track…naturally. Who would imagine that a sign saying “San Luca this way!” wouldn’t lead us straight there? This is the classic example of why you should always read the small print. We found out too late that we had taken the tourist bus route, which literally zigzagged through the hills of Bologna.

I seem to always put myself in a situation where I feel as though I might have made the wrong choice, yet I stick through with it, always looking towards the reward at the end. I tell myself “Oh, you’re almost there,” or “we’ll just try a different way, it couldn’t be that bad…” yet sometimes, it really is that bad. The trip to San Luca, as my friend and I have decided to call it, was just a training session. The hour walk uphill didn’t lead us to the basilica, and I truly don’t know how much longer it would have taken… most likely one or two more; yet it did bring us to one of the most beautiful parks I’ve ever been too, with a view that could possibly beat that of San Luca.

Things looked bad for a while when we were making our way up the narrow road, and for a while we wanted to turn back. Of course I’m happy that we didn’t because if we would have, we never would have reached such an amazing place. So in hindsight we made a good decision because the outcome was great. I can’t say the same thing about the situation I’m in at the moment regarding my apartment. I keep telling myself that better times will be right around the corner, just as I would tell myself that San Luca will be just around the bend up ahead…but really, its much harder then it seems. You can’t just tell yourself things will be better in a few days, because there is no way for you to know.

Saturday had to have been one of the worst days so far. It was the 11th, the day we had to all check out of Hotel Holiday, our makeshift home for the last 2 weeks in Bologna. Normally, I would have been moving into my apartment that I found quite early in the program, but I had to wait until Sunday. To save you all from meaningless details, things went from a slight discomfort to a huge problem: that of me being homeless until the 20th of September. Not only did the problem with my apartment put me in a horrible situation, so did my inability to ask for help. Call it a major fault of mine, one that I’m slowly trying to overcome. I know that I can be so hardheaded sometimes as to not ask for help when I know I really need it. Thankfully I had some great friends that were there for me and helped me figure out what to do. To have waited two entire months to move into an only semi-permanent home in Bologna to only have it pushed back 10 more days threatened to push me over the edge and back on a plane home.

Those who know me should have guessed that there was no way that I would have gotten on a plane, no matter how unpleasant a situation, unless absolutely necessary. Thankfully, I knew it was a situation that I could handle—especially because it could have been much worse. I like to think that I’m a strong person and that something like not having a place to stay until the 20th wouldn’t and couldn’t effect me too much…And it really wouldn’t have if I had expected it. There’s the rub! I didn’t expect this, and I have to stay I’ve never had such an unpleasant curve ball thrown at me. I was scared that after this situation I wouldn’t have gotten along with my future roommate, and that I would have to start the search all over again.

I had to keep reminding myself that things will be better soon; I’ll just have to keep going; that there is a beautiful park waiting for me just around the corner.
Obviously since finding out that I had no home until the 20th, I have found a solution—which is staying at different friends apartments from BCSP. Things seem to be looking up, although I truly can’t wait to be able to unpack my bags for the first time since July. I only have a couple more days to go; a few more miles to San Luca; until things will be alright.

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