Major Adventures

Just a bloke's records of how his life unfolds.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Survival Tactics For Your First Day In Lecce

OK so the last 24 hours have been very very tough for me and again the great old saying of what doesn't kill you only makes your stronger ... Here, I list the points that made me write this e-mail to you know with a happier disposition:

  1. Tell everyone you speak to that you are nervous, feel crap and want to go home ... in particular tell those people who care the most about you and you for them ... unless they've just come out of hospital or are caring for the maim ... they shouldnt know cos then they'd just worry too much.
  2. When you think you have just heard a question that think resembled is there anyone here who doesn't understand ... raise your hand up as quickly as you can ... they will often then reply in the best sounding English you are ever likely to hear.
  3. Know that ALL nationalities LOVE GELATO - share one and make friends.Go to Natale in the town centre and buy a Gelato €3 cup with Chocolate Fondante, Vanilla and Caffe. Eat it whilst overlooking roman ampitheatre and bask in the sun with your factor 50 sunscreen covering your freshly mown head.
  4. Learn that there are people in the group around that speak Italian better than you but they are not perfect. Most of them are English speakers who will laugh with you when you cock up.
  5. Share your phone number with all your Italian friends so that they call you to make you feel better and in doing so you know people care.
  6. Remember that this trip is all about you ... to test your comfort, stamina, communication skills and mental ability to learn another language at the age of 31.
  7. Go into a supermarket - order as much cheese as you can buy for €9.00 and make the man at the deli smile ... he will give you free cheese ;)
  8. Thank the precious gods out there who let you have friends who send you sim cards so as you can connect to the internet and receive phone calls and make phone calls and try to communicate using SMSs. You have to include the gorgeous friends who very patiently and methodically talk you through the process of linking up all the possible technologies.
  9. Go into TIM in Lecce and ask the lady in there if she speaks English, she will say very little then ask if she speaks French and watch her face as she gasps "GASP" and says no. So finally try your Italian sense of humour and ask he is she speaks Italy and be overjoyed when she giggles and answers with a very enthusiastic SI. Then progress with your Italian (which at this point is French with an O at the end of every word spoken with a greek accent) and you will be pleasantly suprised when you end up with €20 credit on your phone and internet. Puts a huge smile on your dial and allows for a little more confidence in your step.
  10. Cook a great pasta dish and wash it down with a nice bottle of lightly fizzy mineral water that you can only buy in Italy ... speak with a person that you care for tremendously, on line, right a blog - its great therapy, have a shower, curl up in bed and chat to that same person on the phone to know that you are still human.

Good night and a HUGE thanks to everyone for caring about me ... All my Italian friends, you are the coolest ;)


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