Erasmus, Yugos, EUR (English version)

veni_vidi_velcro RSS / 17.02.2009. u 20:33
Another phase of my nesting in Rome has ended, so it's time for another text. Now I'm in my apartment, unpacked, and slowly learning the routine. In the past few days I haven't had any real duties, so I was engrossed in getting to know the magical and laid-back world of Erasmus. For that I had several opportunities during a couple of parties and half-parties that were organized at Via Machiavelli 59. It seems that I, unaware and uninformed, stumbled into one of the party hotspots of the Erasmus population. The best parties, say those who were here before me, were organized in this place. Which is easy to conclude if you impute the apartment's geostrategic position (10 minutes from Termini Station and the city campus), as well as its multi-ethnic background (50% Catalan, 33% English and 27% Belgian). In these several parties I have met a double-digit number of people, from all over Europe. Most of them are from Spain of course, or more precisely from Catalonia. These guys are easily recognizable since they always speak Catalan among themselves, a language that nobody else understands. I see their point, because it's incomparably better to speak your own language when fooling around, but I will write more about that later.

The Sweet Sin
The Sweet Sin
Actually, why later? Now. After those couple of parties, I met a couple of Serbs as well. Through mutual friends I made contact with several people who study here (regularly, not through Erasmus), so last night we met here at my apartment, and of course went out to a café to spice up our new friendship. If you haven't been in the situation of being abroad completely surrounded by strangers, it's hard to describe the feeling of finding compatriots. I mean, my English is just fine, but the brain works best in the mother tongue. That is one of the things I missed the most during my year in the USA, and I am really glad that I now have it here. Where was I then? Oh yeah, we went out to Campo de' Fiori, found more Yugos there, beer, then shots of tequila, more shots of tequila, and finally the singing of the Red Star FC fan songs on our way home. Such a beautiful night.

This morning I was on a Basileus students briefing at the University's campus. Basileus is a part of the Erasmus program for ex-Yuga, and for other ex-countries, like ex-USSR. There in a classroom, one gentleman gave us a lecture on the aspirations for a united Europe, including all the countries in the continent, how it's a shame that it's not already like that, how they all actually love us etc. Yes, a lecture on united Europe, given to seven Yugos, and millions and millions of RUSSIANS that were sitting around us :)

After that we had the entry test for the free Italian language course, based on which they will put us in different groups (beginners, false beginners, intermediate, and advanced). That test was really easy for me, since I knew nothing :) so they put me among the false beginners, with most of the already mentioned millions of Russians - it's not that I knew absolutely nothing, but speak it poorly, although I understand a lot. That is the curse of good knowledge of English, you stick to it at all times, and you're not under pressure to learn a new language.

Second impression of Rome is, unfortunately, similar as the first one. Dirt, graffiti, bums on the streets. Predominantly the dirt. I really didn't expect that a city as important as Rome would be messier than Belgrade, but it seems that's the case. At least this neighborhood around Termini Station, for which they told me was messy in the first place. But also Trastevere, Campo de' Fiori, they are all full of empty wrappers, buds (lots of buds), some kind of confetti, holes in the road... I already put some photos up on Facebook, but I will have to take more, maybe even make a video, so that I can convince myself and others of what I'm writing about.

The Square Colloseum
The Square Colloseum
As far as the planned visits are concerned, I visited EUR ( the other day with my northern roommates. Pride and icon of fascist architecture, a grandiose-monumental memorial to a stupidity, which was built for everything else but humans. That strange atmosphere, monumentality and the omnipresence of marble reminded me of the Unirii Boulevard and the Parliament in Bucharest ( Also, Ceausescu is comparable with Mussolini. Although, even when they are making idiotic things, Italians have style. The Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana ( is really charismatic, and since it was built by Mussolini it's spiced up with controversy as well. Can something, built by such a regime, be considered beautiful, even if it is aesthetically? And as for the monument to the Unification of Italy, I stick with my judgment that it looks like a stage for a Serbian folk show, thank you very much.


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