Not much to report this week – it’s been very sedate! I saw the girls, my friends from Portsmouth, last week which was great – I’ve been so busy the last few months that I’ve not been down much so was good to see them. We went out for a meal and cocktails and they got me some lovely pressies – a lovely silver bangle, a personalized travel journal and some tea bags in a very patriotic tin so I can take a piece of home with me 🙂
I’ve been doing some finance stuff – I’m sticking (er, more accurately, I will try to stick) to a budget and I’ve got an AMAZING spreadsheet for tracking my spend developed years ago back when I had a job but absolutely nothing all day to do for it. I’m going to give some currency conversion companies a call tomorrow – suspect they’ll tell me I need to have an Italian bank account before I can do anything which seems sensible, only that I don’t have it set up now.
I was hoping to go full steam ahead on the Italian last week but I’ve lacked motivation. I have, however, gone on a health kick and been swimming at the local pool most days. I’ll do some more Italian next week hopefully.
I’ve got some pictures of the apartment I’ll be staying in. It’s 5 minutes or so from the school, in Via Minzoni. It looks reasonable enough – pretty basic but clean looking. I haven’t slept in a single bed since Halls of Residence at Uni. I think I’ll spend all night rolling off it. Perhaps I’ll need to invest in some pillows early on for the floor. The town center, a supermarket and a bus stop to Ancona and the bus stop for the beach are all less than 5 minutes walk away from the apartment. Here’s some pics of it they sent through:
I’ll be sharing it with an American girl the first week I’m there and then I think I’m on my own for 7 weeks! SEVEN WEEKS!!! There better be more people in the class! I’ve no doubt one to one Italian tuition everyday would do my Italian some good but I was sort of relying on making some friends there! I’m going to have to devise a rigorous entertainment plan I think. So far it consists of:
- Do something healthy everyday – I think I’ve found a swimming pool in Ancona. At a push, I might try to start “jogging”. I use the term loosely. I can’t jog. This weeks attempt was shocking. I made it about 100 yards before having to stop in a heaving mess.
- Do something creative every day. I want to find a nice cafe and perhaps go there regularly to write/sketch. Probably write. I need to do some photography as well – I will win the Christmas Family Photography Competition one of these years.
- I need to get a bank account and a new sim card for my phone – I’m hoping to get a pay as you go limitless data one. I strongly suspect the apartment doesn’t have wifi.
- I’ve got a bunch of Le Marche tourist brochures I’ve started going through – there’s lots to see and do around the area so looking forward to doing some of those. I’m also hoping to pop into the tourist office in Camerano too but I think it might not open until June so that might not be a runner in the first few weeks.
- I need to work out how to get around – there’s lots of little villages quite close and I think it’s only about 5km to the beach which I could probably walk to but would be nice to get the hang of buses / trains.
- There’s a few ferries which leave Ancona to Croatia, Istanbul, Greece etc, so would be good to explore that a bit. The prices aren’t bad – about 60 Euros for a return to Croatia (takes 10+ hours) – more info http://www.directferries.com/
- Hoping to try and befriend an ex pat or two as well. There’s some websites that seem to bring ex-pats together so will have a look at that.
- Finding/befriending the local sailing club.
Right, onwards and upwards. I’m going to continue the research into the local area and with any luck, might actually create a separate page!