Well, it’s been one hell of a year.
There are a lot of highs and lows that come with moving abroad during a global pandemic, as you can probably imagine. But I’ve decided, in this post, I am going to focus solely on the good and the hilarious as I wrap up this year’s blogposts and take a well deserved break. In this post, I wrap up my top five moments in Rome 2021 (of which I can speak about publicly lol). I also lay out some of my New Year Resolutions in the hopes that if I say them aloud, I will feel more accountable.
Without further ado, N. 1
- Meeting the Swedish Ambassador:
You would think this would be a cool moment for me. It was not.
In classic Ciara fashion, I did not realise who the person was who had just joined our language group. Thinking I’d demonstrate my Irish storyteller side, I launched into a story about my dear Italian friend teaching me important Italian phrases, such as ‘Sculacciami papí e chiamami principessa’ (Spank me Daddy & call me princess). To say I had to repeat this phrase three times to this man is no exaggeration. He was in no way amused by this story. I remained entirely unaware of my horrendous mistake until a solid two hours later, when in class, he announced what his position was.
Mortifying, but hilarious.
- Starring in a video on the Instagram of my local Italian hairdressers:
So, when I first moved to Rome, I got a new haircut. With what little Italian I had to explain what I wanted, I was pretty pleased with how it had turned out. But something niggled at me for weeks after I had it done…
Throughout the whole haircut, my hairdressers were videoing my hair, doing trendy TikTok and Instagram transitions by placing the phone flat on my head before pressing record and pulling it back out. You know the kind. But I could never find the video. That is, until I found it about 2 weeks before I left Italy.
There is no way for me to say this without stereotyping but it is hilariously Italian. It has this intensive heavy rock music playing in the background, as my ugly and unprepared masked face is zoomed around and about for better angles and lighting. I got from ugly frog to less ugly glam rock princess with one slap to the back of my head. It has made me laugh each and every time I see it and I am ever grateful for it.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CVuzacyKdlf/ – Enjoy
- Found my Tribe
Probably the event that is most heartwarming and fulfilling for me was meeting my Italian language friends. I’ve never been that socially savvy and upon entering into this year abroad, I had imagined I’d be spending much of my time by myself. I quite like my own company and enjoy solo adventures, but it has been delightfully different to what I had expected.
The people I have met in these short few months have warmed and cured a sad and sullen part of me that I had not quite noticed before. I have met people from all different countries, different walks of life, different religious and political views, and it has been incredible. Would you believe me if I told you that I am even close friends with a Tory?! Shocking, I know.
As lovely as it is to make new friends, it is bittersweet. As I’m staying for the whole year, I am saying goodbye to people I care deeply about a lot more than I had anticipated. The sweetness comes in knowing we will always have a couch in each other’s countries, should the other ever need a place to stay.
- The MAAM Visit
This visit has been on my mind ever since I walked through those metal gates into the explosion of colour and vibrant life that is MAAM. I cannot wait to return and take an even deeper look at the beautiful art on display, as well as finally actually get to speak to the community that live here about their experiences, now that my Italian is ever so slightly more conversational. It is the place I tell everyone I meet about when they first come to Rome and it is where I will be dragging every single one of my friends who come to visit in the new year.
- Describing to non-Irish people various Irish traditions and phrases
Asking for bizarre sayings in native languages has became my favourite way to break the ice with new language friends. I had never noticed how strangely Irish people speak until I was being called out on it on a daily basis, but we are not alone.
So far, I have struggled to explain to non-Irish people the meanings of:
– ‘Would you be well?’
– What is ‘The Late Late Toy Show’ and why would I fly home just for a television show?
– What is ‘Tayto Park’? Why is there a theme park about Irish mythology but also a specific brand of crisp? (See also: What is a ‘crisp’? What is a crisp sandwich? Why?)
– ‘Story horse?’ (If ANYONE can tell me why we say horse, please inform me, I have left so many confused)
– ‘That’s pure gas’ (See also: gas craic)
– ‘My stomach thinks my throat’s been cut’
– ‘Ah, g’way with ya’ but also, ‘Now, c’mere to me.’
– ‘Madder than a box of spiders’ (Honestly, I’m not sure if this one is even a common phrase, but an ex of mine said it all the time and I cannot shake it off either. It’s got fantastic imagery)
My 2022 resolutions
Because Coronavirus has literally made life a billion times harder, I am not going to be difficult with myself about what I want to achieve this year. I wish to keep it very simple.
- I will do more of what makes me happy
I will say yes to more writing, meeting new people, travelling and supporting other people in their creative ventures, more dancing, more learning, more reading & more kindness.
- I will be kinder to myself
Nobody ever got where they wanted to go by being a raging arsehole to themselves. In 2022, I will support myself more. I will not be so annoyed that I cannot do absolutely EVERYTHING all at the one time because it is somewhat wild to think anybody can. I will take more breaks, where I am in no way productive, and work to become more comfortable doing so.
- I will prioritise creativity & cultivate creative spaces
If I am going to take a year out to figure what I want to do with my life, I see no better time than now to focus on what it is I am best at. Create, create, create. And surround myself with other people who love to make and craft and mind-birth things.
And that’s a wrap for real
Thank you for keeping up with me throughout the last few months! When I first started this site, I really only considered that my closest friends and family would be reading it, more to support me than out of interest. However, as of today, Tesoro Irlandese has had over 400 views from over 16 countries! It is so crazy to me. So, thank you to everyone who has liked, shared and followed along. I promise to bring you even more engaging, more personal, and hopefully more scheduled content in 2022.
I wish you all a bright, happy and hopefully Covid-free future!
Ciara Aoife O’Siorain (che desidera diventare la bella donna figa come gli italiani)