Buon anno nuovo a tutti 🙂 I hope everyone has had fabulous breaks over the Christmas period. This week, I bring you a moving account of the horrible winter weather here in Italy, a three step guide to banking in Italy and how to make Rocket Fuel in 60 days.
I came back to Italy on Monday and apart from Italy being inextricably linked to teaching, it’s nice to be back 🙂 Those in my home country will know that it’s been horrible weather with storms galore and countless floods and well, it’s been horrid here too…
The highs and lows of banking in Italia
I have prepared this three step guide for banking in Italy.
1. Get an Italian Bank Account
I have managed to get an Italian Bank Account! You have to PAY for the honour of having a bank account here in Italy. I pay 6 Euros a month. It galls me. I hadn’t bothered with one here before out of principle (instead very wisely deciding to pay 6 Euros and then some every time I used my English bank card). With the teaching job, I needed to bite the bullet and get an account set up here. I’m pleased, and quite frankly astounded to report that it’s very easy to do – you need your codice fiscale (like a National Insurance number if you’re in the UK) and some ID and that’s it. In return, you get so much bank related documentation that it could give the book of Lord of the Rings a run for its money. No wonder they charge so much for the account. It’ll take them years to recuperate the costs.
2. Acquire money
My teaching job has PAID me! I am IMMENSELY relieved. With all the money I’ve got from the ENDLESS hours I’ve been teaching and associated planning activities, I’ll be able to buy almost two cinema tickets! I’m being sarcastic of course.
I could probably buy three.
3. Manage your expectations
In summary, I now have a bank account with money in it. “GREAT! I can buy things” I thought! But I reckon they’ve given me a fake bank card. It isn’t Visa or Mastercard or any of the other weird ones that I have at least heard of before. So whereas I can get money out at ATMs (only those dealing with these Fake Cards mind – otherwise I’m charged), and pay for stuff at the local supermarket (they must have some sort of personal agreement with my bank), I cannot do online shopping because at the point where you select “Visa”, “Mastercard” etc., there is no “My card appears to be fake” option. Some companies, for example, Trenitalia, seem to recognise the Fake Card but dress it up attractively as “book now, pay later”. EXCELLENT! “Perhaps there are advantages to Fake Cards after all” I thought. Aha! No. What they mean is “book now and spend 3 hours faffing around the next day” as it emerges you have to confirm it at a train station almost immediately. What a handy bank card.
I know that you’re all dying to hear how the corbezzoli liquor worked out…… and let me tell you! It is a delicate little number with hints of alcohol hand gel and petrol. However, I’m sure it’ll serve a purpose <considers putting it in a hip flask to help maintain a cheery disposition at school. If there’s enough left, I might have some myself>.
OK, over and out for this week. I’m devising a plan cosi astuto che posso attaccarci una coda e chiamarlo ermellino for the blog (a plan so cunning that I could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel. I’m relieved I know how to say that Blackadder phrase in Italian now). I shall keep you posted.