I have lived in Bari, Italy for about three and a half months in total. When I first arrived I was in a bit of a shock for a couple of weeks and couldn’t believe where I was. Everything is like the movies and pictures I’ve seen! The streets are small, everything is close together and tiny, and the people are so amazing. I was in a dream type of daze for those weeks and was just happy in whatever I was doing. As time went by though, like with most things in life, I started to adapt more and came out of the whole daze.
I was living in a hostel while working there too. There were two rooms that each held space for about 15 guests and there was one private room for guests as well. The last room was the room I was staying in with 3 other girls. There was Mariya: 27 years old from Russia, Livia: 33 years old from Brazil, and Behice: 34 from Turkey. I never expected to get so close to these girls as I did. They became my best friends after a very short amount of time.
6 days of the week I was working a shift at the hostel. Depending on what shift I had depended on what I did. When I worked in the mornings I woke up at 7 am and went out to buy fresh bread from Mario, the man at the bakery. I prepared breakfast for all the guests then went to make all the beds I had to make. The rest of the shifts were mainly checking guests in and out and keeping the hostel in order. I really enjoyed working my shifts, though not always, because I got to meet so many people from all over the world and it was such a wonderful experience to talk with them.
When I wasn’t working I went on a lot of tours with the tour guide who worked with the hostel. I went with Franco, the tour guide, in his little red fiat with some of the other guests and sometimes with one of my roommates. We went to cities and towns near Bari and he would tell us the whole history of everything we saw. I also went on many trips by myself or with new friends I’d make that were guests staying in the hostel. I would go to other cities by train and spend the day exploring all the streets and tasting new foods and wine.
The days when I didn’t visit new cities I would go to my Italian classes that were 3 blocks away from the hostel. I took classes with some other students who were there studying from Spain who were very friendly and I saw at many gatherings outside of the classes. I went on walks through the city daily and would see so many faces that I had been able to recognize by the end of the month.
The new life I had begun living in Bari really showed me how life keeps going on no matter where you are. You can go anywhere and just pick up a new life so quickly and it can be so drastically different. It really amazes me and makes me want to keep exploring these different lives.
Below are pictures of my roommates and me, some women making pasta which I saw daily in the streets of Bari, an apperitivo, and Franco the tour guide:).