Allora, I have much to say
1st of all, I hate writing. ALRIGHT, now into the good stuff.

Yesterday me and my friend Tonje went tanning for the first time here in Italy. Tonje tans a lot (she's from Norway) and I went a little back home too. We were both lookin' very similar to dead fish so we decided it was time to hit up a solarium. When we got there, the lady said "Viso?" and we assumed this was a tanning bed so we said yes, 2. Apparently Viso is when you sit in a chair and just have your face tanned. Nice. These were some odd looking contraptions that we had never seen before. After that failure, the lady asked us again what we wanted, and we said tipo letto? Like a bed? Well apparently here they don't have beds. They have these things literally translated into "showers" which is were you stand up in this like little box and have to raise your arms above your head for however long you go. It's TIRING. That was new. I also think I got sunburnt. Wonderful.
This was the END of yesterday. This blog post is going to be in rewinnnddd!!!!!

So earlier that day (Friday), my school had a manifestazione again. This time, I WENT for the FIRST TIME! And now I can officially say that manifestazione are the best things ever. First they set off all these smoke bombs outside my school, but other kids still went in (like my class, because they had a history test. Good thing I don't understand history). Then, what seemed like a small amount of people followed this big banner that these guys were holding and we walked to the metro stop and then more and more people joined, and we were crowding the streets and stopping traffic and all, pretty awesome. Every once in a while they'd set off these big sparklers. When we reached the metro, about like 200 or so of us now idk probably more like 400 or something, we all jumped over the metro things. It was so coool because there was like hundreds of kids jumping over the metro. Then we all got on a train and went to this place called Cairoli... where I met my friend MOLLY from America :) For about two hours we walked around in the streets following this big truck that had all this badass music, like a moving truck or something, and alll these people like TONS of people were walking and protesting. They also have some lovely, positive cheers, like - There is a disease in my city that can't be cleaned out, its called the police BASTARDI. Then they yell at everyone who is looking out their windows at the manifestazione and yell come down with us stop being lazy come down with us. It was a magical very fun day, which ended in Duomo. Mollie and I went to get some deeliciouss italian hot chocolate pudding like buisness :)
Before friday was thursday, the only day i was in school this week besides saturday. Nothing happened on thursday. Obviously it was terrible because I actually had to LEARN. (Just kidding it was allright).
Allora, the 4th of december (Friday) to the 9th (wednesday)
There was a holiday in Italy from the 4th - the 8th of December, called Sant Ambrogio. This meant nooo school for 4 whole days! Enrico, a friend of my old family (explained a little down) invited me to go to Bormio (a town near the border of Switzerland) with him and his aunt/uncle and their wonderfully YOUNG four children. Did you know that young children frequently love to scream and express their joy as loudly as they can at 7 am? I sure didn't... However Bormio was beautiful, snowboarding (which I haven't done in forever) was a looot of fun but I'm also ridiculously sore from falling on my ass. It snowed on the second day I was there but they don't groom the slopes? This was cool because I really like fresh snow that's not groomed but it is also more difficult.. alloraaaa
In Bormio I discovered a new found passion for WINE. Legit.
One day, instead of skiing we went to a place REALLY near Switzerland called Livigno. Livigno is basically my dream town, because of one reason. The whole town is like a HUGE DUTY FREE STORE! Meaning it has no tax (the whole town). Meaning perfume, make up, clothes, designer sunglasses, vodka, cigarettes, and chocolate are VERY CHEAPPP. I bought the family I was staying with a bottle of wine as a thank you and procceded to throw away the rest of my money on a ridiculous amount of perfume. Successful. Tolberone bars were 1 euro too. Stocked up on chocolate. Just to give you an idea. The rest of Bormio was really fun, I met up with a couple of classmates who I found out were staying there and we walked around the (tiny) town for a little, got lunch, and then I had to leave... it was reallly realllly small. Like one of those cute cobblestone towns that you see in the 1800's or whatever. I liked it very much :)
On Tuesday night we drove to Lecco, where we stayed at Enrico's grandfathers house, which is HUGE and has the nicest view of Lake Como ever... it was sooo beautiful. I liked it there because you could see the stars, and I was always wondering why I can't see the stars in Milan. Then someone told me there was too much pollution. That's fantastic. Anyway it was nice to see the stars for once because I really missed them. From stars... to the beginning of the vacation, Sant' Ambrogio... to switching families.
Yep, I thought I might be one of the few NOT switching families, but it actually happened.
Hard to believe, huh?
Even harder to believe is the fact that I did not choose to switch families, the family chose that they couldn't host anymore.
I appreciate the old family I was with, because I know it is hard to have an exchange student (hello, we've had two). However, I also think that when you sign up for something as big as having someone from a different country live in your house for a year, there are a few important things you need to do
1) Make sure your whole family actually WANTS an exchange student. Or at least doesn't mind having one. If you have a son or daughter that actually didn't/doesn't want an exchange student... LISTEN TO THEM. YOU ARE DOING THE EXCHANGE STUDENT A BIG. BIG. FAVOR.
2) Flexibility is VERY important
4) Don't give up. Either have one for a year, or don't have one at all.

This being said, there were some unsolvable difficulties in the other family that resulted in me staying with the AFS housing advisor now, Claudia and her family. However I loveeee my new family which is good as well :) They have hosted two times before, and that makes me feel a lot more comfortable because they aren't suprised by a lot of stuff and know what the very different life of an exchange student is like. In a way I feel luckier than some exchange students. Im sure that if I had gotten put with a successful family the first time then I would feel different, but still, switching families is not something that everyone gets to do and its a completely new, more rare exchange experience. OH WELLLLL because the main thing now is that this family is completely freaking awesome and I basically love them. I still go to the same school, but now live in a bigger house and have my own room :D This is really, realllllly nice. My mom works for intercultura, my dad has a job that he wears a suit to, and I have two brothers. One actually just came back from studying in australia today (its tuesday the 15th... these posts take a long time to write) and he's 21, the other is 18 and studies in a school called Bottoni or something. The schools that all start with B are so easy to get mixed up because there is literally like a hundred of them... Everyone loves to talk and they all really love each other too which is kind of ridiculously adorable.
Alloraaaaa..... new other things. I went to Brescia this sunday for Santa Lucia festival.... it was fun.. I was an angel, we also had reindeers/bears, elves, santa clauses, and like... farmers. I don't know what they were exactly but it was legit. The only not legit part was that we walked around singing christmas carols... for 6 hours straight in the FREEZING COLD. Brescia is very pretty. We got hot chocolate. The end.

- I'm going skiing in France. Excellent family switching timing if I do say so myself.
- Everyone here thinks Amanda Knox is really, really, really guilty.
- Berluscconi got punched in the face.. with a statue... they really don't like him here
- Finals suck. All over the world, finals suck.
- I actually don't know anyone with a real tree.. they are all made out of plastic.. hahah I was so excited like "We're getting a tree? Really?!" - Yea, help me come unpack it from this box! haha
- Christmas = Natale
- I forgot my first english word today and I still can't remember it. It's irritating me.
- I hate italian mail. One of the very few things I hate. Because even when you expedite something, it will still take a month to arrive.
- It snowed for ten minutes. Best ten minutes EVER.
baci baci baci :) Kisses for all!
A dopo, Katie
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