No matter how hard you study, there will always be some parts of a language that you won’t be able to capture without living where it is actually used. Raised north of the Alps, I have always struggled to grasp certain nuances of my second language Italian (and pretty much everything about its grammar, but that’s a different story). It wasn’t until I went to live in Italy for a few months that I got a little closer to the art of expression that the Italians call their language – and that I finally cracked the one I’d been racking my brains about all my life. About the most Italian of words.
You know how sometimes, you try a certain thing once and immediately know “This shit isn’t for me”? Might be any activity or experience you could think of, like cage diving with a shark or eating fried maggots from a street food market – whatever. You could simply decide that you never want to go back doing that same thing, even if the shark DIDN’T eat half your leg or the insect snack DIDN’T give you three days of diarrhea. You could have simply hated it for itself. For me, this activity has always been skiing. Tried it once, no thanks, I’m good for the rest of my life. At least that’s what I thought until a few weeks ago. I guess it’s time to give these
maggots skis a second chance!
Unlike many girls my age, I have never been much of a kids kind of person. Tiny animals, yes! Tiny humans… well, not so much. Obviously, my mid-twenties are biologically forcing me to marvel at drooling newborns and “awww” at kids dressed up like Elsa, but this is pretty much where my excitement for the world of children comes to an end. Needless to say I have never EVER thought of myself as a teacher. And still – in a very urgent need to leave Germany and plunge into yet another adventure abroad, I signed up for an internship that allowed/forced me to be just that: a teacher. Continue reading
I was wondering how long it would take for me to start missing Florence after I left. Well, the answer is: precisely 3 weeks. To be honest, if it hadn’t been for the holidays in between (equal to lots of time spent with wonderful humans) this might have happened even sooner. At least it’s January now. It’s so grey, cold and despicably wet outside that I don’t feel too silly being caught by yet another fit of the grass being greener on the other side. So here I am craving to stroll along alleyways and trip on bumpy cobblestone like the hopeless idiot I tend to be. Continue reading
Ok, I get it, anything that is located in the close vicinity of Florence, one of the world’s capitals of arts and awesome, is hard to appreciate. But even apart from the home town of Dante and many others, Tuscany is a particularly gorgeous spot on the world map – and you could say it is highly appreciated by travelers. You could also choose to say that it is SWAMPED by tourists, which would be the much more accurate description. Continue reading
Living in Italy isn’t always easy. There’s a whole bunch of unwritten rules and conventions that can be simply impossible to grasp as a foreigner. I am not even a real stranger to this country (In fact, I’m 50% Italian which is practically unnoticeable except for when I’m gesturing wildly, which tends to happen) and I still make an arse of myself ALL OF THE TIME. Many of these particular incidents are downright embarrassing, some just leave you hungry or confused or both. Here’s four of the numerous times I messed up while living here – and my very personal approach to damage limitation. Continue reading