All change | The Gap Life Diaries
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All change

Cheeky trip to the zoo with Rhi and Lia

September flew by at record speed. After a practically work-free month in August, by the first week of the following month, I was already run off my feet with lessons once again.

I said a teary goodbye to the last of the Brits to make their way back to muddier shores to finish their degrees, and I was once again left without anybody to sit with in our favourite café, moaning about the lack of crunchy peanut butter and the sub-standard tea.

Almost as soon as Rhiannon left for England, a new half-French-half-Italian girl moved into my (now old) house and the Greek and I have spent some time getting to know her, eating, drinking, going out a little bit and even taking a spontaneous trip to the Venaria Reale for a night of MTV-organised fun before moving to our new pad.

At the end of September, we moved the last of our things, and ourselves, into our new house down the road, and the Greek set about fixing things, spending an hour or so constructing cupboards, and a week or so admiring his handiwork and imploring anybody who came round to admire it too. In his defense, he has done a great job on a lot of things, and seeing as he’s ‘working from home’ at the moment, he’s being a pretty wonderful housewife and I frequently come home to find Disco Radio blaring, a tidy home and a large quantity of Greek food on the table. No complaints from me.

MTV night at the Reggia di Venaria

I have to say that living in a house away from loud/annoying/otherwise bonkers housemates has improved my quality of life by about 400 percent, and having a living room (a rare find in rented property here in Italy, let me assure you) is blimming lovely.

We’re still living in the same area as before (the so-called Precollina), meaning that we see green from all of the windows and are well away from the city noise but still within walking distance of the centre. Although the view isn’t as incredible as in my old flat, I’ve fallen well and truly in love with the new little place already. We’re now preparing for our ‘housewarming’: a Halloween party on Friday. We still need to track down some pumpkins and some decorations and warn the neighbours, but I for one am hugely excited to bring out the face paint and fake blood and am just hoping that this year’s party will be as fun as last year’s. Time will tell…

We’ve already had our first visitors: The Greek’s brother, sister-in-law, and 2 year old nephew, which made for an active week, especially as I am apparently, and for some unknown reason, the little boy’s favourite person in the entire world. This meant that any time I was in the house, I was being marched around, instructed to do things in fast baby-greek, and everyone who tried to come and help me/translate was told to go away because I was his. It was quite alright though, as he is one of the most adorable little things on earth, and it was a Greek lesson of sorts, too, although all I learnt was “look at the river”, “why are you moving my pencils”, and “sit down here, now”.

My work schedule went from the non existent to the ridiculous in a matter of days at the end of August, and I’m now leaving the house before 7am and getting home well after 7pm every day, which is less than ideal, particularly when we throw the Italian ‘flexible’ (read: unreliable) payment system into the equation. As always, my students are a mixed bag, ranging from the sweet lady who reliably pitches up 15 minutes late and then regales me with tales of everything she’s bought recently and sometimes makes me taste her patisserie purchases, to the horrendous forty-something year old who brings me terrible DVDs to watch and asks me out on a date every single lesson, much to my horror.

Other than that, I’ve been all work and no play, aside from the occasional night of being bullied into going out by people from school, sometimes resulting in a quiet drink, but more often turning into a full blown night of debauchery, last time ending up at a techno rave in what was once a Catholic church. Bizarre. Another Greek Aperitivo happened last week and I managed to trick myself into thinking that I didn’t have to wake up at 6am the next day, had a brilliant time, ate, drank, danced, went to bed at 2, and spent the entirety of the following day promising myself that I’d never do that again – supposedly we live and learn, but I suspect I might not…

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