Posts Tagged With: Morro D’alba

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.







Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Fun, embarrassment and appeal to train station designers…


How is everyone? I’ve had another fun week this week with nothing much in the way of productivity. I’ll be remedying that this coming week in terms of productivity. I hope one day to combine the two: Productivity and Fun 🙂

Sunday I headed to an organ concert at a church in San Germano, a tiny little village walk-able from Camerano. The problem with organ concerns in churches is that the organs are generally hidden (or at least the organist is). I left after half an hour, deciding that if I wanted to listen to organ music, I should just buy a CD and listen to it somewhere that wasn’t life-sappingly hot. But it was nice to see another little village and if it wasn’t so hot, I would have stayed.

Camera 360

Everyone is misleadingly looking at the front of the church here. The organ was behind everyone above the door and you couldn’t see it!

We went on a boat trip on Tuesday from Numana (one of the close coastal villages) and I finally got to see one of the beaches that I’ve been keen to visit for a while – Spiaggia dei Gabbiani (Seagull beach basically). You can only get there by boat – we didn’t actually end up going to that one, but just went past it and hopped off at another beach, Le Due Sorelle which is also only reachable by boat (There’s a path but you’re not allowed to use it – admittedly it does look a bit perilous) so it was great to finally get to that beach too. The only photo I took didn’t seem to take so I’ve got no proof!

I had one of my top rated embarrassing moments on Wednesday at Cinema Sotto Le Stelle in Camerano – I put my phone on silent like a good cinema go-er and forgot about it. Halfway through, my phone starts blaring out music at top volume. It’s my alarm, not the phone so that’s why putting it on silent didn’t work. There were a few disapproving grunts and tuts in the audience. Embarrassing, but not the end of the world. I go to turn it off. Does it turn off? Nope it doesn’t. I’d swapped the battery before the film and for my phone, that means I have a Fort Knox style pin entry system before I can get into the phone. Everyone is now looking around with incredulous looks on their faces. Very embarrassing. I’ll turn the whole phone off I think. Does the whole phone turn off? Nope, it doesn’t. Ok. Ok. Fine. I’ll take the battery out then. Can I get the back off the phone? Something that I’ve been doing for a year without any problems? No, no I can’t.  By that point, the grunts of disapprovals had turned into sporadic giggles. I decided that I’d just have to leave the cinema and throw my phone into the path of a passing car, so I hot footed it out over people’s laps. As I jumped over the last person’s legs to the door, I was flooded with a sense of relief – the trauma was almost over. Or that’s what I thought until the previously sleeping barky dog (WHO BRINGS DOGS TO THE CINEMA!) that appeared to be guarding the door launched into a tirade of barks, much louder than my phone, subsequent scream of terror and the cinema put together. I’m going to buy a disguise for when I go out in Camerano next.

I met my Couch-surfing pen pal Italian buddy last week. Headed to San Michele beach the first time (where he got a 41 Euro parking fine) and then Senigallia (where I was 4 / 5 hours late and actually never arrived in Senigallia at all – see below!) and then a couple of days later, he gave me a whistle-stop tour around Jesi kicking off with a lovely lunch at Vintora, a restaurant in his home village of San Marcello (near Jesi). After lunch, we headed to Morra D’alba and Jesi as well as a 5 minute left-hand-drive car driving lesson before my train came (where I’m pleased to report that nothing bad happened).  I still vaguely remember how to drive, the problem will be keeping to the correct side of the road.

Had a lovely lunch at this restaurant - great food...

Had a lovely lunch at this restaurant – great food…

Camera 360

Una bella vista in San Marcello – the portaloo sets it off nicely I think 🙂

Camera 360

Morro D’alba – there’s a cute little walk that goes around the main bit of the paese – this photo was taken from there.

Camera 360

Jesi – the main square…

So let me tell you about the Senigallia ordeal on Thursday. It was the “Summer Jamboree” which I was really keen to get to so arranged to meet some friends down there. I looked at the train monitor at Ancona, I identified the train I needed and platform I needed to be on. I went to the platform. When the train came, I got on it. But then, rather than go to Senigallia (20 minutes north), the train went to Pescara (an hour and a half in the opposite direction). Why?  Well, let me tell you why. Ancona station have duplicate platforms it turns out – there are two platform 1’s, 2’s and 3’s in different parts of the station. I went to Platform 3 instead of Platform 3 (?!?!), a terrible and time-consuming mistake! So, an appeal to any Train Station Designers reading this: GIVE YOUR PLATFORMS UNIQUE NUMBERS!!!!!!!!

Camera 360

Pescara train station – it was a fascinating evening out…

To get to Senigallia was going to take almost 4 hours from there at that time of night. I decided to give up and go back to Ancona instead (still over 2 hours) but by then there were no buses home anyway. My new Couchsurfing friend who I was supposed to be meeting in Senigallia and who’d been patiently waiting hours for me (he doesn’t want to be “in” the blog – I’ll have to come up with a pseudonym… hmm…) came to get me from the station and we went for dinner in an Agriturismo in Camerano that I didn’t even know existed (La Giuggiola) – it was a good meal and turned out to be a good night in the end. I still feel a bit guilty! I’ve never been 4 + hours late before!!!

I had a chat to Marco about potential teaching opportunities last week – he’d definitely like to set up some English courses in the winter or at least when the weather cools down a bit. I’m hoping to meet him this week to discuss.

Ah – on a bureaucratic front, I did attempt to get a bit done last week in fact – I went to an insurance company to buy health insurance – the guy couldn’t understand why I wanted it. I explained I just needed a bit of paper from him with “health insurance” at the top just for box ticking purposes at the Comune, but he insisted I should confirm what level of care I needed. So I headed to the Comune who confirmed that yes, it was just that I needed a piece of paper with health insurance at the top and they couldn’t care less what I actually had. By the time I went to report back, the insurance company had closed. Camerano is positively rife with insurance companies but they all open for something like 15 minutes on a random non published evening during the week so I haven’t yet managed to get the health insurance. BUT THIS WEEK IS THE WEEK!

This week’s what’s a bit odd:

I've never known people in any other country sit out in the middle of a square before quite like this...

I’ve never known people in any other country sit out in the middle of a square before quite like this…

Ciao x

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Blog at