Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finally in Verona

The people of Verona like to drive. The traffic seems heavy all night long outside the apartment window. I woke up a bit earlier than I meant to, climbing out of bed at seven. I went to the kitchen to have what would become a routine breakfast; toast with nutella.

That first morning, in addition to getting to the school, I actually had to find it as well. I thought I knew how to get there, and as I had no map, or internet, I would have to rely on what I remembered from google earth.

I set out about 45 mins before the beginning of class as I had no real sense of how far a walk it was.

After making one short detour, I managed to find the street I was looking for, and proceeded to walk up and down it for about half an hour, looking for a sign indicating the school. Eventually I went into a building that seemed to be some sort of educational institute, and immediately saw a sign for the school. I followed the signs, through the lobby, down a long corridor, up some stairs, back outside onto the roof, and across a bridge thing.

I entered the school, and a lady popped her head out of the office, asked if I was Graham, and disappeared again. Seconds later, my teacher walked out, and directed me to a small classroom to begin my first private lesson.

She was very nice, and as it turns out, is my conversation class teacher now. The hour long class seemed to whip by in no time at all, and I soon found myself directed to a larger class where in just a few minutes I would meet my classmates.

Pretty quickly, the three other students entered, Julia, Rangel, and Beni. The teacher followed a few minutes late in, as I now know, a classically italian fashion.

We introduced ourselves, and learned where we all hailed from. Julia is Danish, Rangel Brazilian, and Beni Indian. The classes are conducted 100% in italian, so giving your full attention is kind of a necessity. The first hour and a half of class passed without any sensation of time, and we found ourselves with a half hour break.

The four of us students headed outside, and down the street a little ways to a bar. By bar I mean coffee bar, it has no real translation. It is a bar, but different. We all got cappuccinos in what would become a tradition, and little sandwiches.

Talking in english, we got to know each other a little bit more, and a bit about where we come from and why we are here.

Back in the school, we had another hour and a half of class, then we dispersed to our respective homes. I stopped along the way and got a nice bun on which to spread nutella.

After a quick lunch of pasta, Jake and I walked to the library thereafter to go on the internet. It is a 2 km walk in each direction, so it is a bit of a haul. We stayed there for a while, and eventually I left to head home.

The next few days saw me settling into a routine pretty much like that. I do a ton of walking, eat lots of pasta, nutella, and bread. I found one of my favorite kinds of tea in the grocery store on the weekend and I have had around ten cups a day since then.

I have timed my walk to the school at 11 minutes and still, I am always the first one to arrive, even though I step through the door only a minute or two early.

Today I took my camera out for a walk, and I got some nice pictures, and I will put those up in the next few days, as well as writing a bit more about the past week and a half.


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