The Week of Terror, Teaching and Truffles…

Ciao a tutti!,

I need to vent!!!! This week has been traumatic.


I think this will be a regular feature. So – there I am, going at the speed limit which is already too fast for the little winding hilly road with poor visibility that I’m on and I start going up a bit of a hill. The cars behind are attached to my bumper so when my little Granmobile starts inevitably slowing down a bit because it’s a hill, I can’t even change gear because in the time that my foot needs to come off the accelerator to change gear, I will have created a pile-up behind me. As a result, I end up going up even slower up this hill than if they’d have just given me a modicum of space in the first place. There are hills EVERYWHERE so I suppose a way around it is to spend the entire time in 3rd gear but poor little Granmobile, it just wants an easy life.

The thing is – these crazies mean that I end up having to drive like a crazy myself. If I don’t, they’ll crash into me. I used to think “well, it’s their lookout if they’re driving too close to me” but I really don’t want someone to crash into me!!! I still have things I want to do in life! I’m not ready to die!!!!!!!!!!! So I end up going faster than I would like to be going just to try and escape the crazies. BUT THEY RACE AFTER ME. It’s harassment!!! Whatever dad says, I’m not Niki Lauda.

And the other day, I was going along a road, at the speed limit (it’s not like going through a town in the UK at 30mph which feels positively walking speed, the speed limits here are genuinely fast), and I was driving a reasonable distance from the car in front but keeping the same speed as them and some fruitcake behind me decided to overtake on a road where you’re not allowed to overtake, WITH CARS COMING THE OTHER WAY and AROUND A CORNER. Risking HIS life, MY life, and the people on the other side. CRAZIES!!!

AND AND AND, to get to Auchan, my favourite shop that is tantalisingly close but scary as hell to get to, requires joining a road at speed that has no more than a 3 meter slip way and you can’t see the cars coming because there’s a grassy verge. It’s like Russian Roulette but with a much higher chance of dying. I’ve found an alternative route – nobody else takes it. It’s pretty. I can switch the engine off and coast all the way down for 10 minutes to get down from Camerano. Anyway, face your fears and all – I will overcome this. I’m forcing myself to drive every day. If you don’t hear from me again, well, it’s been great. And just in case, I would like my body to be stuffed with potpourri and left sitting on my balcony looking out at the view (if it’s not completely mangled with my steering wheel that is).

I’ve bought my tea set back from the UK. I have a soothing cup of tea afterward my driving experiences and it makes it takes some of the nightmares away.



The next source of terror is that I have to teach a 4yr old. It didn’t happen Friday thank goodness. It’s happening Tuesday. The woman who’d organised it had told me that I should look up how to teach toddlers. So I did, and I have printed a WEALTH of material – flashcards, lesson plans, activities, games etc.


Forearmed is forewarned (“Uomo avvisato mezzo salvato” – a man who is warned is half saved). I felt better after that. I’ve bought plastic wallets and folder dividers and everything. I look like a professional. And then when I told the woman I’d got some ideas, she said that the child’s mother wants her kid to learn English “naturally” and that I shouldn’t use any of them.  I have to just play with this child. FOR AN HOUR! A TODDLER! I can barely keep myself entertained, let alone another person. I’d have been alright with a lesson plan. I can’t ad-lib for an entire hour.  If I could swap back to an hour of my old job presenting NHS projects to 100’s of people, I would.

And continuing on the scary theme – I had to phone the toddler’s mother to organise the lesson. She speaks a bit of English but the conversation was in Italian. I wish phones could have subtitles. Someone should invent that. I think I only caught half of the conversation. Still, hopefully it’s the half that’s important. It would be a shame if it was “don’t feed the toddler nuts because he has a terrible life threatening nut allergy” and I come bearing nutty treats. I’d have to find another job.

Wine & Truffles

I went to the Lacrime and Tartufo festival a Morro D’alba on Saturday with Il Polemico.


Lacrime is a type of grape used for wine – they use it a lot around that area. And Tartufo is truffles, not the nice chocolate ones, but the lumpy, nasty looking and overpowering smelling funghi. We saw truffles that were 400 Euros each. 400 EUROS!!! I’m going to be a truffle hunter when I grown up. Anyway, that was a good festival and I met some nice new people and there was a cool sort of open air club at the end of the evening.


Morro D’alba is a cute little village with a walled walk that goes around it that has a sort of craft type market.


It’s nice to wander around and we went into a museum as well – showed how things were done in the old days from an agricultural point of view and also from a weaving point of view. Interesting!


Connecting to the world at large

I’ve still not had any luck with wifi. I’ve caned my mobile data on my phone. I have to loiter around the school (the school has wifi). Good job the students are all mature otherwise I’d feel like a paedophile.


So I know you’re all waiting with baited breath as to my residency. My codice fiscale is wrong. Let me tell you why – it’s because it’s just my first and last name and not my NEVER USED second name. The conversation went like this (imagine one half of the conversation being in pigeon Italian):

  • Comune Lady: “You have to change your codice fiscale – the code is not the same as the one that it should be because you should be Sue Maverick Windsor (name changed)” (The code is created by using some algorithm that involves my name and some other stuff).
  • Sue: “Nobody calls me Sue Maverick Windsor. Why don’t you just put Sue Windsor into your whatsitmijig and then the code will be the same” (whatsitmijig doesn’t translate well in Italian).
  • Comune Lady: “But it says here on this form that your name is Sue Maverick Windsor”
  • Sue: “But, you know, we wrote the form together remember? Let’s just cross it out eh?”.
  • Comune Lady: “But it says in your passport that you’re Sue Maverick Windsor”.
  • Sue: “But NOBODY USES IT. I’m still the same person. Don’t YOU have a middle name that you don’t use?”
  • Comune Lady: <empty stare>
  • Sue: “Do you have a middle name?”
  • Comune Lady: “Yes, but nobody uses it”
  • Comune Lady: “But it’s on your passport”.
  • Sue: <Knocks head against plastic barrier. Understands completely why they feel they need to have a barrier> “Ok. Fine. If I change my codice fiscal, you know it will take another year?”
  • Comune Lady: “That’s fine. Whenever”.
  • Sue: “Fine. FINE.”

Tomorrow, I intend to go to the Agenzia Entrata to correct this codice fiscal issue. I imagine it will be closed.

What’s a bit odd?

This week – dialects and accents. I’ve learnt a bit of dialect J Instead of “Andiamo a mangiare qualcosa” (let’s go and eat something) in Jesi (local town), you say something that sounds like “Anamo a manya qualco”. And I learnt some interesting gestures that did not appear in the gestures section of my “learn Italian” book (because they are a bit rude). It’s really a sign language in its own right! Napolitans (people from Naples) apparently have a dialect that even regular Italians can’t understand. And people don’t seem to like their accent. I haven’t been able to distinguish that they sound even remotely different from anyone else which goes to show how terrible my Italian still is! But what it is, is that I CAN tell that there’s a difference – I just thought the people I’d heard happened to have a weird lisp but that’s their accent apparently e.g. rather than saying ospedale (for hospital), they say oschpedale. So perhaps there’s hope for me yet.

Right, I’ve written too much but I feel better now. It’s very therapeutic this blog writing malarkey!

Hope you’re all well.







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10 thoughts on “The Week of Terror, Teaching and Truffles…

  1. Mauro P.

    Errata Corrige

    The red wine, and the type of grape used for it, are colled Lacrima, and not Lacrime.

    “Andiamo a mangiare qualcosa”, in the local dialect is translated “Gimo a magna’ qualco'”, and not “Anamo a manya qualco”. The apostrophes are used for truncate words, for example “magna'” is the dialect of the word “magnare”, dialect of the word “mangiare”, a kind of square dialect 🙂

  2. lol… phones with subtitles…. I need a phone that translates into English, I think I once saw them on Star Trek, Spock was using it..

    Re teaching the child English… Stick him in front of the TV, tune in to Telly Tubbies or another English kids program, it seems to work for 65% of the families in the UK

  3. Peter G

    I knew there was a reason we used the buses in Sicily, even if they were sometimes late and occasionally didn’t turn up. I’m going to remind Jackie about this whenever she suggests hiring a car in Italy . . . .

    Good luck with the teaching, Jackie would be happy to swap teaching toddlers anyday!

    • Ha, she’ll appreciate that! My first lesson with 4yr old was just awful. She can have them anytime…! X

  4. Peter G

    I hope the parents who are thinking of getting you to teach their toddlers aren’t reading this blog! Good luck with it though, I’m sure it will get easier.

    • Ha, and you thought last week’s was bad re: teaching 😉 I toned this week’s down but I still think I might have to delete it at some point!!! Thanks for the support 🙂 x

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