Buonasera a tutti,
How is everyone? I’ve had a successful week here, slightly more productive than recent weeks at least! Here’s an update going from the least to the most exciting.
I have a terrible affliction. I am unable to say ‘no’ to people that want lessons. If you’re new to this blog, just to fill you in, I do not like teaching, particularly children. I don’t wish to sound ungrateful by any means, I’m incredibly fortunate to be in a position where work finds me rather than vice versa. But it’s a lot of effort, not so much the class itself but all the preparation that goes into it for so little reward. The pay is awful (and the children are mean to me and they don’t listen. It’s literally just like being back at school again!!!!) Interviews are non existent – the only qualification required is that I’m English. My interviews in the UK used to be “can you explain to me what the critical path of a project is and how you’d highlight what that is using x software?”. Now my interviews consist of only “when can you start?”. Last week the local school phoned me up to see if I could do some teaching and we organised a catch up. It went thusly:
School: Great. So what hours can you do?
Me: Meh. You know, I really don’t like teaching. Let’s say, the minimum number of hours possible and even then I’m not sure I want to do it. Maximum of maybe 3 hours a week.
School: Ok. What about 8 hours a week?
Me: Ugh. I really don’t like teaching. Did I mention that?
School: Huh. Well what do you want to do?
Me: I want to be a rich and successful artist.
School: <laughing/odd looks> Ok. How about we say, like 6 hours a week?
Me: <sigh> I guess.
School: How much is your usual hourly rate?
Me: Hmmm 25 Euros…
Me: But no, hang on. If I’m teaching a bunch of people and they’re all paying you x, I want at least half of everything you get to take the edge off.
So that’s that. In January, I shall be teaching a mix of children (ugh) and adults (not at the same time unfortunately).
My Italian speaking went considerably downhill when I stopped watching CSI New York (an american police drama series for the uninitiated) which was for an hour and a half or so each weekday. Watching TV may SOUND lazy but when you’re learning a new language it’s really quite helpful, particularly when it’s dubbed and subtitled in Italian. I stopped watching it when they moved to CSI Miami as I can’t stand David Caruso (I’m sorry if you’re reading this David. It’s nothing personal but for goodness me, you don’t have to spend the entire programme talking to people but looking meaningfully elsewhere). Anyway, since then I’ve not found any other decent TV programmes. To the discerning English eye (mine at least), Italian TV can be summarised largely by back-to-back sexist drivel. However, I have discovered “Infinity TV”! I can’t tell you how chuffed I am! You pay just under 5 euros a month and you can watch an unlimited amount of different series and films, many with subtitles both in English and Italian and have the audio in their original language if you want. So in summary, my Italian language comprehension and vocabulary practice has just got a lot less boring.
My nudey drawing class has started! It’s for one day a week. So far so good. I think I naturally err to the more traditional sort of art techniques and this course is more about exploring different mediums so it’ll be interesting learning new techniques!
Chioggia and Venezia
My favourite part of last week by far though was a quick trip to Venice and a town called Chioggia nearby to it. I drove up with my friend Pablo (I allowed him to select his own blog nickname and he’s chosen “Pablo” after Pablo Escobar, the Mexican Drug Kingpin. I don’t, however, believe he has any drug cartel connections to speak of). Saturday night we explored Chioggia, a little village on the seafront, 40 minutes drive to the south of Venice. It was nice but probably needs a bit more time to explore to get the best out of it.
Then we headed to Venice. Venice is one of my favourite places and its nice in the autumn as it’s slightly less busy than usual. Here are some photos…
And then we went to a cute little island called Burano that you have to get a ferry to. It specialises in lace making and has some really lovely unique clothes etc. The thing of note when you go there though are the houses – all different colours. It’s a very pretty place!
I think that about sums up my week. I hope you’re all well 🙂