Visits, Raw Pig Butt and Navigational Challenges…

Ciao!

Well hello!!!! How is everyone?! Apologies for the radio silence – I’ve had an influx of visitors coming to see me which has been great so many thanks to the following for coming out to see me 🙂

  • “Ms Meaty”: She wanted a pseudonym – she’ll probably regret that.  Anyway, she’s so-called because she spent a good portion of our time in restaurants trying to find carcasses to eat  ;-)) and…
  • Jackie and Pete:  No pseudonyms required – they seem more confident I wont be harsh…

The Tourist Trail

I almost look like I know what I’m doing driving around – I can successfully get to my favourite local places without Tom (my completely untrustworthy Sat Nav – I really must check that I’ve not got some kind of “tractors only” setting on). I still haven’t discovered ALL of the sleeping policeman in order to impose speed rectification measures/avoid launching myself into the air like a stunt driver. To be honest though, I don’t think the Italian’s even know that they’re supposed to reduce their speed when they go over them, in the same way that they appear unaware what the white lines in the middle of the road are for  (any Italian’s reading this – they’re not lines that you’re supposed to drive on).

Anyway, Ms Meaty arrived first and she came with me to do some teaching on Tuesday with the little kids (3-5yr olds) which was EXCELLENT timing as I’d all but lost my voice on the Monday shouting at children (shouting + cold = rapid voice deterioration) which for Ms Meaty meant the start of her blossoming singing and dancing career. So, I played “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” on the guitar whilst she sang, danced and trained the troupes to do the same. We have a Christmas play to do on the 13th December. It’s a shame that Ms Meaty wont be here 😦  By the end of it, she was shouting at them in Italian like a pro.

It was a fairly relaxed week and we spent Thursday doing “Sue’s Favourite Places Tour” where we learnt that the angels didn’t really fly what I thought was Mary’s house from Palestine to Loreto but only flew the bricks. There’s a massive marble surround that was in fact built there after to protect it… Fortunate really, as if it was there to begin with, I imagine health and safety regulations for flying such an unwieldy heavy object would have impeded the angel’s progress.

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Mary’s Marble Surround. The original brick walls for her house are inside.

Alas, by Friday, Ms Meaty had contracted the man-flu strain of my cold which I felt horrible about (but on the plus side, a problem shared is a problem halved and mine felt a LOT better).

In a whirlwind change of guests, I was sad to drop Ms Meaty off at the airport but pleased to pick up Jackie and Pete. We had a lovely dinner in Camerano (Bar Maffy) where I think we probably decided that my Italian/English translations when it comes to meat produce could probably do with more work. Surprisingly, Jackie STILL decided to have the Raw Pig Butt Pasta.

Then we headed to see a band that I felt sure would be cancelled because it was raining. However, they were playing under the Comune in a very atmospheric, er… cellar I think it is.  I was pleased about that – makes Camerano look a bit more hip and happening than it usually is.

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All very talented musicians but I must say, the bass player’s hair was a distraction. So silky smooth and flowing. I wonder where he buys his conditioner. The conditioner here seems to require something akin to acid to rinse out. Since coming here, my hair can happily stay in whatever position I put it in.

I included Osimo in the “Sue’s Favourite Places Tour” the following day which was good as I’d only been there once before.

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The statues here do not have heads. The Osimo inhabitants are thus called “without head” apparently. Poor inhabitants.

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You can take a little railway from some of the parking at the bottom to the town at the top. Cute 🙂

The following day we found a Chocolate Festival in Ancona and did a bit of sightseeing.

Camera 360

MMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Teaching Traumas Continued…

I haven’t made any children cry yet this week. I feel like I’ve let myself down. I did almost give them an impromptu lesson in English angry swear words after the squillienth time of telling them to “sit down please” and to stop hitting classmates. I exercised patience I think previously unbeknownst to mankind. I should really get a medal.

Anyway, let me tell you about school children here. They are OBSESSED with One Direction.  They ask me if I like them and because they use the correct English I reward them with a “yes, I like One Direction” but then alas, they ask me more questions like “What is your favourite one?” to which, I have no idea but vaguely remember that one is called Dane so go with that. It turns out Dane is not a member of One Direction. I should do some One Direction research to bond with the kiddies.

I’ve taught all the school children that felt tip pens are called felptip pens. They’ve written it in their exercise books and everything. I thought it was! I’ve been saying felptip pens for years!  Admittedly, I should have seen that one coming. I don’t know what felp even is, let alone what a tip of felp might look like. Next week I’ll tell them they’ve all made mistakes and they should really pay better attention when I write things on the board in future. I wonder if they have detention here.

In other teaching news, I’ll never be able to go out anywhere again without seeing children I now know – at the cinema the other day I think there was about 5 I saw. Admittedly, we’d gone to see Despicable Me 2. Perhaps I’ll have to start getting into the horror genre.

What’s a bit odd

Often offices don’t have a house/building number – ok, that is sometimes the case in the UK as well. So you think “Fine, FINE, I suppose I’ll just drive up and down the road and hopefully something will indicate where I’m supposed to be”. Maybe the postcode will help? No no, there will be no postcode. So you try and find the road in the Sat Nav. This is where the next challenge lies: the address you’re trying to find will invariably look something like this: “Via D. Mizoni”. Sometimes Sat Nav makes a point of making you put “via” in and sometimes it doesn’t. In fact, the only common factor I’ve found is that it’s whatever you’ve not tried first. And what on earth do you do with a full stop after D?! You try and put the full stop in after D but of course, there’s nothing – it’s an initial for something. It doesn’t work without the full stop. “Minzoni” on it’s own doesn’t work. So what to do? Is there a way of finding out what the D stands for? No. No there is not. The Italians, not even on their road signs, maps, formal addresses, “how to find us” sections on websites will include the full name of their road. People here must be born with this knowledge of road names. So, imagining you’ve been in Italy long enough to notice that there appear to be hundreds of Via and Piazza Don Minzoni’s within the area, you might try that. Success! But not for long. Then it asks the town, which is a challenge in itself because it could be any town within a 5 km area and then, because there ARE so many Via D. Minzoni’s, it could be any one of a dozen roads. My advice? Allow at least 3 hours to just locate the address on Sat Nav before even attempting your trip!!!

Right, I think that’s all of my ranting done today. Hope you’re all having an excellent Monday.

x

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