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Was I Formerly Italian?

I'm a 20-year-old Finnish girl. About six years ago, I had the most vivid dream ever. In the dream I was an Italian boy, perhaps seventeen or eighteen, living somewhere close to the sea. I had on black clothing and was much taller than I am now. This was the only time that I have ever been "somebody else" in my dreams. It must have been a while ago because the cars and clothing were kind of old fashioned. In the dream, I was very afraid and I knew I was going to be killed. Some men took me to a hill overlooking a village. There was an open place covered with gravel that was stained with blood. Somehow I knew this was a place where a lot of people had been killed. Three or four men were staring at me, and finally someone shot me. I remember getting out of my body, seeing it all very clearly. Then the dream ended.

When I was fourteen, I wanted to become an exchange student. One day in school, I was in a music class listening to an Italian opera when I suddenly realized I was meant to go to Italy. I was sixteen when I finally got there and it all felt very comfortable. I didn't know any Italian beforehand, so I had to learn it quickly because no one in my host-family spoke anything but Italian. It took me about two months to learn the basics, Then, after three months something strange happened.

I was on a train going back to northern Italy with my host-mother after our trip to Rome. I was listening to Italians speaking, when all of a sudden I had this click in my head and I understood almost everything they were saying -- the forms of sentences, and vocabulary that I didn't realize I knew. My host-mother was amazed when I started speaking rather fluent Italian to her.

Something rather unusual had happened the day before, also. My host-mother had taken me to Rome for a couple of days. I had never been to Rome before. She and her friend parked the car in the centre of Rome and after about four hours of dining and walking around we were supposed to find the car. However, my host-mother became confused, and didn't know where we were.

I told them I knew where the car was, but of course they didn't believe me. It took us about twenty minutes to walk to the car, with me in the lead. Rome is a difficult city to find your way around, but I just knew where to go! By contrast, during my stay in Italy I was living in a smaller city close to Venice, with about 80,000 inhabitants. Even so, it took me about four months to learn how to find my way around there with all the ancient, twisting streets.


Posted June 22, 2005