It was one of the things that I slowly developed ever since the first day that I arrived Milan, Italy last September 17. This was also one of the famous motto formed by our group based in Italy. Till now, we are still in awe how some of our professors have the patience to deal with what they do in their work every single day including publishing international journals for their respective fields.
Who’d thought that crystallography wasn’t as easy as just knowing what a Bravais lattice is, or what diffraction’s for. It exceeded our expectations when we eventually came to recognize the symmetries in the crystal patterns. We would jokingly imagine our professor back in Italy as the Master in Kung Fu Panda, because after each lecture slide, she’d just take a deep breath and smile. This was her signature move every single time we meet her in the corridors as well. She carried the enigma of “inner peace”.
Italy was one tough experience I had to swallow. Most of it was due to the bureaucratic system there, whether it be in a shop, in the police station, or even in the university. Many would point this out to be one of the top problems Italy is and will be facing, added to their debt crisis. Seemingly weird though was that I may be only one of the few people who find the patience to deal with such things and hold on to inner peace.
What was this phrase really? It took me a semester to slowly understand it bit by bit. It was not just being able to stand the struggles in life and its what not. It was more than being able to focus and drive oneself to reach a certain target. It also meant being able to relax, sit down, and breathe. Italy has taught me, despite its faults, to have a clear mind. Day by day, I began to take my breaks seriously, usually by walking alone in a quiet place or to the city center. It was like saying, “another day, another adventure”.
Genova may not be as famous as the other Italian cities such as Milan, Rome, Florence, and such. It had its mysteries, its magic. Surrounded by the many beaches and boats of Liguria, it never failed to mesmerize me. It being not a touristic place, I was able to explore the many faces of the city, and walk round about with an attempt of being able to find my way back home. It may not have had me at hello, but whenever I needed a break from studying, I just needed to go to Porto Antico, Piazza de Ferrari, Sampiederna, and so on. The city was like a colorful kettle that had a rich history and diverse cultures, wrapped into one.
Some may say that I just find Italy better than the Philippines. At some aspects, maybe, just as what I mentioned in my previous entry. But one’s culture in Genova is very different as compared to a province in the Philippines. Cultures are hard to compare most especially when the people’s roots are far from one another. It’s like comparing Genovese’s love for focaccia and Genovese pesto to a Bicolano’s love for Bicol express and Laing. They’re two completely different things. One can’t wish a country’s culture to be similar to another.
My memories of the Philippines will forever have a special spot in my heart but to be honest, Genova also had its reasons to make me miss it every single day despite the problems I had to face. Thank you Genova, for letting me learn to hold on to inner peace every single day till now.