Hey Hey!! Sorry, I’ve been AWOL, this moving to a new country is stressful and busy work. I’m writing this from my new bedroom in my new apartment in Napoli. I’ve been here for about 3 weeks now and I’ve loved every second of it.
I had the longest flight in the entire world…..okay that might be a slight exageration but it was pretty freaking long. Vancouver-Toronto, Toronto-Frankfurt, Frankfurt-Naples. Since I was moving here and I learned my lesson about missing certain things when I moved to Bali, I think I overpacked for this trip out here. My suitcase was STUPIDLY heavy and thankfully, by distracting the check in guy in Vancouver with inane questions I managed to miss out on getting my suitcase weighed until I had to re-check it in Frankfurt. Apparently my suitcase was 3.5 kilograms over the weight limit and I was given a choice of either paying 50 Euros excess baggage or trying to sneak an extra 3 kilograms into my hand luggage. Being the cheapass that I am, I chose the latter and proceeded to unpack my very carefully packed suitcase on the floor of Frankfurt Airport. In the end my ‘carry-on bag’ was a backpack, a separate compression sack stuffed with a random assortment of clothing and my Cowichan sweater (see The Dude’s big woolly sweater in The Big Lebowski) hidden inside my rain jacket. So much for baggage allowance.
I finally made it to Napoli and my panic about going through customs without a return ticket was completely unfounded when there was no one actually manning the customs/immigration booths at the airport. Maybe this was because it was a European flight? Oh well, I’m still happy that I didn’t have to deal with Italian customs after having no sleep in 25 hours. I got into a taxi outside the airport and the ridiculousness of my situation finally dawned on me. I was in Italy……no, scrap that…..I had moved to Italy. I live in Italy. I’ve only been to Italy once before and that was for a week on a school trip when I was 18. While I was trying to make my decision whether or not to accept the job, I started asking friends for advice and one of them, had been on that previous trip to Italy and she reminded me of a bold statment that we had made way back then; Being the little archaeology nerds we were (Ahem….are), there was nowhere as exciting as Italy and that we were going to move to Italy when we were older. This was my chance to live up to 18-year old Kate’s dreams. And here I am.
I’m not going to bore you with what I’ve been doing everyday because lets face it, that’s boring and you probably don’t care. I’ve been here for about 3 weeks and I am starting my second week of work. It was quite hard getting back into a teachers mind frame after about 8 months of not teaching but I’ve got back into the swing of things and I am enojying the classes. I really like the mix of students I have. I’m doing a lot of one on one classes which is a real difference from teaching large groups.
One big difference (non-student wise) is the what is acceptable workwear. People in Napoli and I’m assuming Italy in general are very fashion conscious, even if it means wearing an evening gownesque dress and heels in the middle of the day. Those of you who know me, know that I am NOT fashion conscious in the slightest. It’s a good day if you can get me to have brushed my hair and wear shoes at the same time. People stare a lot here so I don’t know if they are judging my classicly Van-Isle outfit choices or just staring for the sake of staring. Hey, maybe I will start a style down/fashion unconscious movement. Ladies, the time is nigh for ratty unbrushed hair, no makeup and hidiously mismatched clothes…….yeaahh..I don’t see that catching on anytime soon. I do feel that I might be learning something from the Neopolitans about personal grooming and general desire to look presentable and not like a semi-dirty hippie all the time. I went to a local market with some friends the on the weekend and found myself going a little crazy about some high heeled shoes- I actually considered buying them FFS!! Who knows I might go back to Canada with some style and personal grooming tips?
This might be one of the silliest differences but I miss big cups of coffee. Yes, the general calibre of coffee is infinitely better than the coffee in Canada but I really can’t get on board with the tiny cups of espresso. There is something wrong with a shot glass sized amount of coffee. I want my greasy coffee in paper cups as big as my head and I want them now. Thankfully, my roommate and I found a metal coffee pot hiding in the back of the cupboard the other day and I’ve been enjoying slightly larger than the average Italian serving suggestion MUGS of coffee. Mmmmmmmm….coffee. So much coffee that he, probably too early in our roommate relationship for it to go well, saw what a stir crazy and highly caffeinated Kate looks like. I’m surprised he’s still around to be honest.
Another odd thing is how grateful I am for Indonesia preparing me for somewhere that is not Canada. It sounds crazy but it’s really surprising how many things that I learned in Indo are helping me out here:
1) crossing the road. Napoli like Bali, you cannot show hesitation when crossing the road. Hestiation shows weakness and weakness makes people nervous. You just have to bite the bullet and go. The drivers don’t want to hit you anymore than you want to get hit by them.
2) dealing with crazy humid weather. I have been promised that we are on our way into Autumn/Winter but as I am still wearing sleevless dresses I am having a hard time believing that. It’s generally about 25-30 C everyday and about 7860406993% humidity. That said…I am sitting out on my balcony wearing a sweatshirt sooooo who knows maybe Winter is Coming!?!
3) Getting stared at. This is a typical Canadian complaint. We don’t like attention. Attention and praise makes us uncomfortable so when you are walking down the street and every person you walk or in your general vicinity past stares at you, you begin to feel judged even if it is part of the normal routine. I hated it in Bali and I still hate it now but we aren’t perfect and we all have stuff to work on. Being stared at by 10 people in a minute is mine.
I promise that I will write of thrilling adventures of daring and excitment next time. This has really just been my, ‘Hey guys, I’m alive” post. I hope you still like the blog and I haven’t lost people because of my huge amount of time off. For the time being…here’s a picture of Naples and Vesuvius, which hopefully won’t erupt anytime soon.
See you soon.