So what did I do during my week back in the Old Country?
I hadn't been back twice in such a short amount of time since I first arrived in Italy nearly five years ago, but in some ways it felt as if I had been away for longer. I kept noticing things that we don't have in Italy, or things that had changed in the last five years - silly things such as the ridiculous amount of short-term loan ads on tv, and the free wifi that was everywhere in my hometown (LOTS of love for the free wifi). Between the week in July and the week I've just had it was impossible to ignore the much bigger changes. In the year and a half-ish up until July that I'd been in Italy without going back home so much had changed, so many people had changed. Everyone was getting married, having kids, and settling down. By this time round even my baby brother was engaged, and we had a lovely meal out with his fiancée's family. It did also make for some not-so-great situations such as during the wedding reception when the big old soppy ballads came on, and my now two married friends were dancing with their husbands and I was left on my own like a loser, crying into my vodka orange. Yeah.
It's strange seeing everyone moving on without you, but I guess that's one of the downsides of living abroad in such a beautiful country like Italy.