My new home for the next few months
Trip Start Apr 26, 2008
28Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
After visiting Assisi, we finally arrived in Rimini, which is where I am now (a week later). I am staying here with my second cousin and his girlfriend who both visited Australia for about 8 months a few years back. Dad and Yvonne stayed the night and left the next day - and that was the end of my speaking with native English speakers! So there I was in my new home in a small apartment opposite the local market which is fantastic for getting fresh food. I am currently speaking about 60 - 70 % of the time in Italian and the rest in English. Needless to say I don't say as much as I do at home! However, I am learning new words rapidly - particularly the most useful ones as I need to use them everyday. You know, words like this, that, atleast, I don't know, I don't understand, how do you say ... in Italian etc...
I make quite a few mistakes, and we have a laugh when I make really silly ones like the other night when we went out for dinner with some of my second cousin's friends I called a "cup" a "steak". Often I also hear things incorrectly, like the first night when we went out for dinner (we do that alot!) I thought that one of my second cousin's friends (Antonio) said "I love you" to the waiter but he actually said "we're ready". This happens all the time and is hilarious. Because I'm not speaking English very much I'm already starting to forget English words and grammar because I spend so much time trying to convert things into Italian in my head. It often takes me awhile to work out what to say, and I often end up saying it half in English and half in Italian
So we've been out a few times for pizza, drinks etc. I can speak to everyone well enough to say a few things and I think they find me rather entertaining because I use words that I know rather than the words that I would like to use and that I think are more appropriate. What has struck me the most about their friends is that they are so full of enthusiasm all the time, it's great to be around. They are always bounding around the place joking and laughing. They have a tougher life because the average wage is much lower than in Australia and the cost of living is about them same, yet they still go out and enjoy themselves. Here it is normal to go and play beach tennis or soccer outdoors, and drop by at a friends place without ringing first.
Anyway, I've been at Italian school for nearly a week now and I'm enjoying it alot. There are only four of us in the class. Two nuns (one from Mexico and one from Korea), and also a woman from Columbia who has married an Italian. So it's interesting in class to hear about their experiences.
My average day involves getting up and having an espresso and a pastry with custard. Walking five minutes to school and doing 2 hours of grammar, followed by 2 hours of conversational practice. Then walking home (all the shops in Rimini close at 1pm and reopen at 3pm) and having a big lunch like pasta, soup or rice. Afterwards I have another espresso. Do my homework, then go to the shops again and have a gelato (they're open 'til 8pm here) and relax
Rimini is next to the sea, so we have gone there a few times. The last time I went I nearly got hit by a motorbike because I looked the wrong way thought there was no traffic and started walking. I heard a crash to my left and saw a guy had fallen off his motorbike. I didn't understand why until I remembered that traffic comes from the left first, not the right and that he'd missed me by half a meter. So I think I've learnt my lesson. The word left in Italian originated from "sinister" so I remember now to look left because otherwise something "sinister" might happen! Mind you in Rimini people drive all over the place, and there are bikes and people everywhere so you can't let yourself get too distracted in the street. People walk all over the roads, as to people ride and it looks like chaos but it usually works - except when there are stupid tourists about like me!
This weekend we are going to Bologna AKA "the fat" which is where there are many rich and delicious foods. We are going to visit one of my second cousins friend's restaurants which I'm looking forward to.
By the way, the cost of living here is pretty similar as in Australia, even after you convert AUD to EURO. A coffee costs about $1.50 to $2.00. Groceries cost about the same. Public transport is cheaper and more frequent. Cars are cheaper to buy, the rent is about the same as in Melbourne and clothes are about the same. The main problem is that the coffee, food and clothes are all amazing and it is very hard not to spend too much shopping all the time. I've been very good though!