Well I’m not that much further forward unfortunately on the flat / car renting and buying stakes, primarily down to my laziness. I’m going to look at it all again later today. I definitely need a car – there are so many places I want to see and just a complete inability to get there! I don’t want to rent a car– it feels like money down the drain if I’m going to buy one later but it suddenly occurred to me earlier that I could always rent a scooter. That would be cheaper and let me get around a bit easier. I’ve not driven for years. I never needed to in London. I find the prospect of driving more heart palpitation inducing than moving countries curiously so if I can get over that, I’ll actually be quite proud of myself.
I’ve been out and about a bit this week – Wednesday morning I popped out to see the market in Camerano. I’ve never seen it so busy! Everyone in Camerano it seems were out. There was lots of clothes, watches, fruit/veg etc. It was quite nice wandering around and I think the fruit and veg would be cheaper there than in the supermarket.
Wednesday I was out in Sirolo with a new friend for drinks and an “aperitivo” – I should have taken a picture of it. I’ll do that next time… Anyway, an aperitivo is a mixture of free food that comes with your drink. Nice and obviously quite good value being free and all. They even mustered up a vegetarian version for me which was nice of them. The following night, we were out again with her friend who lives in Jesi (Jesi sounds like it might be a nice place to live). We went for dinner in Portonovo. It was a bit cloudy Thursday so looked quite atmospheric. Still relatively warm though.
And when I got back to the flat, I had a little visitor! His name is Maximum Yogurtness II – he’s a gecko. An adorable little thing.
It was a wrench to release him back to the wild / balcony. I should have taken him downstairs, I’m skeptical about his ability to have got down by himself. He was only little. Anyway, since then I’ve been on periodic lizard searches of the apartment. They have these dark green lizards here with bright green spots (to be clear, not in my apartment). They’re a bit shy though so haven’t been able to take a photo yet (the locals so far have seen me taking pictures of myself eating ice-cream and taking pictures of walls. Even if they could see that there was a lizard on the wall, I think I would still look like an oddball). Whilst I’m on the subject of wildlife – the crickets are GINORMOUS, like, hand sized. And the bees… don’t get me started on the bees… they have “calabrone” (hornets) that are the size of small planes.
I’ve eaten out about 3 times since I’ve been here and had either pasta or gnocchi with tomato sauce each time. It seems to be the default vegetarian option – the “vegetable hot pot” of the UK. Thankfully, I really like pasta, gnocchi and tomatos 🙂
I went for quite a long walk yesterday in the countryside just down from Camerano. It was such a nice walk –through wheat fields, vineyards, past old rustic houses, meadows and a nice looking golf course into Sirolo.
The pollen is out in force at the moment. At one point, there was so much it looked like it was almost snowing… I need to get some hayfever tablets. Anyone else get “itchy tongue” hayfever?! I think it’s possibly one of the more unusual hayfever symptoms but it’s very irritating! Anyway, the walk was good, marred only by a perilous walk along a busy road (all walks that aren’t in the countryside are a bit perilous, they don’t do pavements here) in my quest to get ice-cream. Oh and whilst I’m on the subject of perilous roads – beware, the pedestrian crossings aren’t really treated like pedestrian crossings. Don’t be suckered in to crossing one and expect the cars to stop – you’ll most likely die.
I’ve finally done some washing too – I can’t say it was a vast success. The washing machine leaks / doesn’t hold even a tiny bit of water. The first time I used it, I left it to its own devices and came back to an inch of water in the bathroom (where it is) – took AGES to mop it up. Anyway, still needing to do a white wash, I decided that I’d give it another go. In retrospect, I should have just done a hand wash – it turns out it’s a lot more work to stand guard for an hour with a mop and bucket. And in the apartments, you hang your washing outside on lines that span across the apartments on a sort of pulley system. I’m on the top floor, it’s windy here. So after an hour of watching the washing machine, I watched the clothes dry on the line lest my knickers escaped. All in all, I had a fascinating afternoon of washing.
The language course is going well but I really have trouble believing that I’ll ever be anywhere near approaching fluent. I’m definitely still in a stage where I’m translating everything first to and from English which takes an age, particularly with the sentence structures requiring a complete overhaul. I’m understanding a lot more words than I think I did before but I’ve the memory of a goldfish so I think it’s going to take me ages to get any better. I’m having to be quite strict with myself not to get despondent with it! Last week in class they were trying to explain what a “vasca da bagno” was to me. It’s a “bath tube” they said. I should have worked it out from that. I didn’t. I asked them what on earth they were talking about. “A BATH TUBE” they kept saying, louder and louder – as though that was ample description in itself. The other student even insisted I had one in the bathroom of my own apartment. I racked my brains but there are simply no tubes in my bath. I said the English just must not have “bath tubes” but that I would definitely like to try one given they really seemed to think these bath tubes were almost a basic human right. A full and frustrating 10 minutes later, they double checked on the English pronunciation. Turns out they meant “Tub”. I definitely have a bath tub 🙂
We watched a film this week at school – Manuale d’amore 2. It’s a really nice film with 4 stories running through it. In Italian of course. I’ve knocked Vin Diesel off the top “Future Boyfriend” slot and have replaced him with Riccardo Scamarcio. Monica Bellucci is in it too and I suspect offers a similar service for the male audience. There was a catchy song in it that’s been in my head ever since. “Eppure Sentire” by Elisa (check it out on youtube here. It’s a nice song. There’s an English version too – I’ve downloaded the original Italian. If you’re interested in a lyric translation, click here.
It’s my birthday next week – Thursday for anyone that would like to send me presents 😉 I’m hoping to rally the people I’ve met so far and get them to a bar in Camerano. A friend is coming out to stay for a few days from Wednesday next week so looking forward to that. Hoping to do a few touristy things and maybe see an apartment or two?! Who knows…
I have more blog followers of late so thank you if you’ve just signed up 🙂 And if you happen to be Italian, don’t get the wrong idea, I honestly do love your country, its just it has some curious bits!