Well I don’t know how I made it here! I managed to lose my boarding pass with hours to go. I remember putting it somewhere safe. Hmm. Then whilst at the Internet Cafe printing out another, I left my phone behind and some guy came running out to give it back (stick that in your pipe, South London doubters!), and whilst at the airport, I dropped my passport during a race to another gate (Ryanair). I sort of won the race, or at least improved on my previous “last place” position and got a window seat and a place for my bag in the overhead lockers, AND someone handed me my passport back. I really am amazed I make it out the door sometimes. And certainly amazed that I generally make it back through.
Ryanair were as expected. Little bit farcical with large queues, broken computers, gate changes and then a steady stream of passengers faffing around with suitcases in the first rows blocking every other passenger from getting on. I mean, I know they don’t like to allocate seats but jeez, it would make everyone’s lives, including theirs a lot easier. The wing was bent – are wings usually bent? Being a good passenger, I checked the other side and noted it was equally bent which I decided was either very good or very bad (can you tell it’s been YEARS since I’ve been able to get a window seat on a plane?! Things have clearly moved on since the 90’s. I hope next time they will have invented time travel rather than simply bent wings).
The plane was full of Italians. I did consider befriending the one next to me but he looked like he was the stag on a stag do and I couldn’t see the others which made me think he was probably just a bit odd rather than celebrating/commiserating.
The flight was just over 2 hours – not bad at all and Ancona airport is tiny which I think worked in its favour – the plane stopped just outside the terminal and by the time we got through passport control, the bags were there. 10 minutes I’d say from landing to getting out. Speedy.
To my relief, Marco was there with a sign when I got in. I’ve decided I’d like it if every time I went somewhere there was someone waiting for me with a sign (on reflection, perhaps just at airports. It would probably be unnerving if the same thing happened everytime I went into a shop or bar). He doesn’t drive like a maniac as far as I can tell but I was sort of dazed and chatting for most of it. I’m pleased to report that my Italian held up a bit at least 🙂 Marco is a lovely chap, very friendly and helpful. He’s married with two grown up kids. He set up the school about 9 years ago. He’s tall with what I think must be exceptionally long legs. I used to think I walked fast, but Marco walks at the pace that I run at. And not even a sort of relaxed run, it’s at escaping-from-rabid-dog run levels. I think we must look odd walking/sprinting around together. He’s suggested I come around for dinner one evening.
Ooo guess what? He has a good friend with a large sailing boat that he thinks will want crew and who is a member of a sailing club that’s not too far away. He’s going to introduce us maybe on Monday or at least give me his details. Woohoo 🙂
Oooooo and guess what? Marco’s considering branching out to teaching English to Italians – he seemed quite interested that I was considering teaching English. Would be quite nice to have a bit of a job.
OOOOOOOOOOOoooooo and guess what? I HAVE WIFI!!!! IN THE FLAT!!! What a relief! I’ll be able to continue my (occasionally) undefeated reign at Scramble.
And there’s a Hungarian guy that’ll be on the course as well – he’s been here a week or two already I think. He’s been in my apartment up until now but has just got a place in Numana (a local beach town). Marco reckons that though it’s pretty and a lively place to live in the summer, in the winter it can be dead when all the Italian’s go back home. Not sure how long the guy’s staying for in Italy.
So far, I like Camerano though that was largely based on a 5 minute tour last night. It’s bigger than I thought, and MUCH more lively! Not at all like the sleepy little villages where all the old people take their chairs outside onto the roadsides in the evenings and stare at passersby like other villages I’ve been to in Italy. There seem to be quite a few bars and loads of people in them. Pub Club: You would like it here 🙂 Marco seemed to think I could just turn up to the bar and make friends. That seems unrealistically easy. He did mention that “we” go to some bars sometimes… “We” I think was him and the students, which would definitely be less daunting.
AND AND I now have an Italian SIM card (friends/family – let me know if you want the number – Whatsapp seems to work regardless much to my amazement and Skype does of course anyway). Getting a SIM card warrants an entire page in itself. Here it is: “Getting an Italian SIM card”.
The apartment is alright – it could certainly do with some sprucing up but really it’s not too bad. And they’ve replaced the metal bed frames that were on the original photo’s with wooden bed frames for a less prison cell like feel. The bathroom smells – I think it’s the drains rather than anything I can do anything about. The view from the back of my apartment is (ignoring a bunch of factories) just lovely. I can see for miles. There’s a little town not far away on a hill. I wonder what that is… I might get my map out later.
There is an exceedingly complicated rubbish system. I have 5 bins in the kitchen alone. It’s very complex.
I went to a shopping centre this morning, “Auchan”. Auchan seems to be the name of the whole shopping centre as well as the supermarket in there. I LOVE IT. It’s huge! It has EVERYTHING (actually, that’s a lie, it doesn’t seem to have matches and it turns out that you can’t light candles with a gas lighter). As with the SIM card purchasing, the shopping centre also deserves a page. See here for Italian Supermarket Hints & Tips for the uninitiated. I lost a notebook in the shopping centre. That was my “Italian” diary – I’ve been writing in it for a year or so in Italian. I think my annoyance is probably equal to the hilarity that it must be giving to some Italian somewhere right now!
I’m going to need a car / scooter I think – it’s too in the middle of nowhere. The busses run reasonably often and go to a few places but it’s really not too good for getting around. Driving here terrifies me but I’ll have to get over that. I was considering getting a bike (of the push bike variety) – they’re not too expensive but I’d have to be at Tour de France levels to get anywhere (ah, I’d be pushing the bike all the time. Perhaps that’s where “push bike” comes from!).
I found out how to get a pin number from the Post Office for their pre-paid travel card. You have to phone up for it. A bit frustrating. Cost me 1,15 Euros that did. Pfft. The Travelex one worked well. I’ll put some more money on that I think.
Anyway, that’s far too much writing for one day. School tomorrow!