Monday 5 December 2011

My first day of school and already, I'm running with a bad crowd.....

I should have known better. My first day of language school in Rome, and I've already fallen in with a bad crowd.

Women who eat too much and who enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love.

It all seemed so innocent, at first. After my placement test Monday morning, I was assigned to a beginner class that had begun its studies a few weeks before me. Okay, I thought -- I'm not an absolute beginner, but my language skills are erratic: some vocabulary, some verbs, many bad habits. It should be a decent fit.

Right away, there were a few misunderstandings. I could have sworn that our young teacher, Valeria, was referring to the older of the two nuns in my class as "Mother Teresa." I thought it was a little joke between the teacher and the nuns, who are from Ghana. (And yes, I realize Mother Teresa worked in India, not Africa. I thought it was joke, not a geography lesson!)

Thank goodness, my new Russian friend Olga cleared that up quickly. "No, that would be a terrible joke. Her name is Maria Teresa -- no one is calling her Mother Teresa, it's Maria! Open your ears!!!"

Well, Olga didn't say "Open your ears," but she should have. My ears are in terrible shape; it's going to take a lot of careful listening to Italian and concentrating on what's really being said, to get into linguistic shape.

Meanwhile, I'll have to be careful around Olga, who is a stunning young blonde woman, and Katerina, who is also young, blonde, German, and whose butterscotch  Tod's tote bag of the creamiest leather should have been a tip-off. These are young women who love to shop, discover wonderful restaurants, and try many different dishes. Too many!

A very bad crowd --during our three-hour lunch with a third student from Azerbaijan, we spoke little Italian, ate way too much (I actually couldn't finish all of the soccer-ball-sized piece of bufala mozzarella that was part of my caprese salad) and then began shopping.

But not before I admitted that I was a writer. "Eat, Pray, Love!" all three women cried out. Eat, Pray, Run, I thought. So, I did.


Anonymous said...

Oh, lordy, what a start. Have fun, conjugate those verbs, tote those participles ....

Is there some way I can subscribe/follow your blog, so I don't miss anything?

sandrac said...

Thanks Yvonne, hope you're having a great time in Venice! If you feel like a change of scenery, come on down for lunch or a coffee.

I think you can subscribe to this blog via a link at the top, thru a Google, Twitter, or Yahoo account.

menehune said...

Sounds like the beginning of a great adventure! Keep writing - I mean shopping - I mean laughing!

jessica said...

Ah, language class! Never a dull moment. So glad someone else felt like running after reading (I could not get through the book) eat,pray,love.
I'm sure you'll warm up to them...and you'll be a great addition to their group. :-)
Enjoy, have fun!


Trekcapri said...

Hi Sandra, sometimes bad can also be good too. Glad that your first day of school went well and that you have already made some cool friends.


Kathryn said...

A great start to your adventure! A woman, that also spent time in Italy learning Italian, mentioned that she had to be diligent to not let the non-English speakers use her to practice their English. Have fun and remember to use volere, potere and dovere to avoid conjugating...

sandrac said...

Menehune, thanks very much -- it is a pretty good start! (At least, there is lots to laugh about.)

Jessica, I just couldn't get through the book (although I certainly watched the movie all the way through, the settings were so gorgeous!) Thanks for stopping by!

Hi Kathy, you wouldn't believe how often I've gotten lost heading to the bus stop the last two mornings on my way to school -- I should NOT be trying shortcuts!

Kathryn, those are excellent tips; I had forgotten all about those 3 workhorses. Thanks!

TourMama Judy said...

Sandra - thanks for the chuckle!

Palma said...

I am living vicariously! You will calm down and focus soon, but it is ok to be naughty once in a while with the eating and shopping! Your adventures will also give you more ideas for writing!

Pamper those sore feet! Do you have bag balm? It is a footsaver!