17 Aug The four week update
Believe it or not, I’ve already been here for a whole month, and as such it seems appropriate to give you a run-down of the goings on (or lack thereof).
Essentially what’s happened has been a repeat of the first month of my university year abroad, in Madrid in September 2010, when I found myself on a month-long solo-holiday, going on lots of long walks in the sun with my iPod for company and trying to avoid spending all my money in Zara (the crucial difference in the present case being a similar lack of self-control and 100% less Erasmus grant).
I still don’t have a job lined up for month number two, which is playing on my mind somewhat, especially seeing as I’m no closer to discovering how one goes about getting one, and funds are draining fast due to my aforementioned problems with self-discipline.
Ferragosto – the mid-summer holiday during which the whole Bel Paese screeches to a halt as the entire population floods to beaches around the country – has now also put an end to my job-hunting until September. As a result, I’m spending most of my time doing next to nothing, which has its ups and downs. After a month of relaxing, I’m now getting slightly bored of my aimless existence, but the boredom is temporarily eased by numerous barbeques and aperitivi in the sunshine, so I can’t really complain.
The Italian isn’t coming on too spectacularly for a couple of reasons. For one, I spend a lot of my time with my Greek housemate, who speaks great English and likes to talk almost as much as I do. Although I know I should just make him speak Italian with me, the one big bonus of this not being my University Year Abroad is that there will be no exam at the end of it, and there is no time limit, so if I wish to prioritise my own happiness over my education by incessantly speaking English for a little while, I can do that guilt free. In any case, if I didn’t speak in my native language with the Greek, I’d never get a word in edgeways. The other issue, and this is admittedly something I find a tiny bit annoying, is that a lot of people I’ve met feel it appropriate to use me to practice their (bad) English on, often telling me in broken phrases how they know they should go to the UK to improve their fluency, whilst overlooking the irony of what they’ve just said.
Anyway, until the job hunt begins once more after the summer, I’m immersing myself in Italian culture by taking the rest of August off.
I’ve booked a flight to Galicia next week to go and see my Spanish family at their beach house, which is really just as well as two of my housemates have already gone on their holidays and the other will be back at work on Monday, so my boredom would only have got worse.
In the meantime, I’ve been given artistic freedom to do an Art Attack on my bedroom, meaning that I can make Neil Buchanan proud just as soon as I work out what and where the equivalent of B&Q is. So I guess I’m off to find some paint…