Travel

Back to School: Italy #6

11:19
Man.. I’ve been here for like… 6 days now. It doesn’t feel that long. I have four days left and the only thing I can remember doing is eating. Like… this morning all I’ve done so far is chow down some baby pancakes smothered in honey then wash it down with yoghurt and tea. I watched iBoy on Netflix, maybe accidentally spending my monthly allowance was a good thing, because it was based on a book I read as a kid. It was pretty cool, the idea of being able to hack with your mind is epic… hackers are cool. Well… Until someone hacks me and steals all my money… please don’t do that, just add me on Skype or something instead, maybe change my screenlock to  a blue camel or something… I don’t know.

I have to go out in… about 40 minutes and take a tram down to Lizzys school. No idea what the plan for today is… then again the only plan I know for the next couple of days is that we’re going to Pisa on Thursday. Yay! I also need stamps… anyone know where to buy stamps in Florence? Better question, does Florence even have post boxes? Legit. I don’t think they exist on this side of the waters.

23:38
Okay, seriously. I have no idea why my brain keeps waking up early in the bloody morning. I lie in past twelve, even with the time difference it’s ridiculous. I am so tired right now but it’s way too hot and I don’t know how to turn off the heater. Plus Lada has decided to claim my sleeping space as her own and refuses to go to her room… every time I try she just plods right back and stares mournfully up at me. Oh well, I can’t get annoyed at her cute little squishy face.

Just before 12 Natalie came back with a friend just as I was putting on my socks to leave. Although I was told yesterday that if she came back and I hadn’t left she’d walk me down, she didn’t make any movement to leave. Instead she handed out fresh cherries and strawberries as I sat and awkwardly sat staring at some 9 year old Italian kid playing Mario on my bed. I messaged Lizzy asking whether she knew if I was being walked down or not, I’m way too awkward to go and say bye and interrupt their conversation, which was swiftly followed by a phone call and leaving noises. Sorry Natalies friend, I was trying to avoid interrupting you.

I caught the tram, constantly checking what the station looked like on my camera, and nervously arrived in front of Lizzys school. Public transport makes me so nervous, I’m always afraid I’m going to get off at the wrong stop and get horrible lost never to be seen from again. Trams and trains aren’t as bad as buses because they at least tell you where you are, but the feeling of impending doom is still there. I’m also paranoid that they’re going to change all the station signs for the shits and giggles, just because I’m travelling that day. It’s dumb, but I value my life. I have an awful sense of direction.

School is like a prison. Normally said by teenagers all over the world about the enclosed and suffocating environment they learn about the world in. However in Lizzys case this phrase holds some accuracy as her school was designed and built to be a prison.. boy was I wrong when I said my high school looked like a prison. Big iron gates and grey metallic walls looked on either side, spiral staircase leading to the old potential jail cells which now, instead of unwilling criminals, hold the unwilling future of Italy. The only redeeming point I could say about the grey, soul seeping architecture of the building was that the cafeteria was adorable. Then again I’m also told that the cafeteria is not run by the school, but an actual legitimate business who just so happen to have a cafe within the school for the students. Would explain the excellent waitressing.

As I was watching Lizzy doing her work, she turned to me with an essay written in English with large red scrawls crossing out words and phrases. It’s an essay she wrote for English, in which she is certain what she is written is correct. I read it through and noticed that what the teacher was marking wrong wasn’t necessarily wrong, the subject doesn’t always have to be at the start of the sentence;  ‘In’ can be used at the start of a sentence; clauses full of addition information can be put in commas in the middle of a sentence. It’s no wonder Lizzy isn’t getting top marks in English despite being practically fluent! Her teacher can’t speak bloody English herself. I offered to rewrite the essay for her using a native speakers version of proper English, and although she thought it would be nice to show up her snooty teacher, she also thought her teacher would hate her even more. I might just give her the sentence “I want to put a hyphen between the words Fish and And and And and Chips on my Fish-And-Chips sign” to throw at her teacher and see what she says.

DSC_4693.jpg

I also sat in a lesson, everyone assumed I was an exchange student so kept talking in Italian. Only one girl spoke to me in English, she complimented me on my hair so I was a very happy bunny. The lesson was called ‘Public Speaking’ (yes in English) but it just seemed like a lesson on body language to me. The snippets I did over hear, by interpreting hand movements and by picking out cognates, I already knew about. The direction of feet when speaking shows who you’re talking to and wringing your hands can be a sign if nervousness. The basics. They did some other stuff by acting out different feelings but I wasn’t included as I would have not understood a single thing going on. The lesson only lasted about a hour and a bit but it felt like yeons. At first it was interesting seeing how lessons were taught in different countries, but the fact it was so similar and I  couldn’t sit straight without sliding off my chair drove me insane. It soon turning uncomfortable and boring, with the added downfall of needing a pee halfway through the lesson. Then in addition, when I’ve peed after the lesson, the toilet doesn’t flush and I have to leave in front of about 4 fashionable teenage girls. I felt judged. As interesting as the experience was… I would hate to learn in that environment. I guess I’m spoilt from going to cushy government funded, middle class schools but this place literally had no colour. Just grey, grey and a slight tint of grey. I’ll pray for you Lizzy, I’ll pray.

We rode home via the library and the supermarket to catch a snack. No idea what happened at the library, we went backstage and there was lots of Italian, as there generally is in Italy. Still have no clue what happened there. We brought sour gummy octopuses at the supermarket, and a valentines marshmallow for Natalie. On the last leg before home I learnt a bit more Russian words Natalie would appreciate. Opening the door I take Natalies hands in my own…“Yah hahchoo yerst!” which means “I am hungry.” The wonderful woman acts like I’ve come home with a cure for cancer, speeding up her lunch making process and swiftly handing me a chicken, mayo and lettuce wrap. If she reacts like this every time I learn some ‘good russian’ I might do it more often for definite.

The rest of our day played out like most of our other afternoons, sprawled out on the bed watching videos with a short intermission full of dinner. Left over lasagne cooked in the oven whilst we topped brains on top of bread. It wasn’t actually brains, it was the sausage and cheese mix I ate the other day, but the raw substance looked like brains. It tasted so good though. We also made tiramisu for tomorrow, whip 2 egg yolks and sugar together then add three heaped tablespoons of mascarpone until it’s smooth. Dip the super absorby heaven sticks in cold coffee, only a second or so each side, then place sugar side down in a container. Layer the cream and the sticks with even spreading between them. Nom. Pudding for today though was cherries as there was a bag bigger then my head resting in the fridge.

Lizzy went to sleep at about 11, leaving me with the floof ball as I finished Rise of the Guardians. I followed her soon after in the sport of sleep, my long day of doing little has made me tired, when I finish writing this I will probably sleep. One thing I will say is that I think something is nibbling me in my sleep, I keep getting bite marks and stuff. My bet is that Lada has a bitey thing caught somewhere in the depth of her furs, I wish it didn’t think me so tasty though…

(Good morning. I just realised I went to sleep without posting this… Sorry~)


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