Saturday, November 14, 2009

When I posted this photo from a chestnut festival last month, I commented to my sister that it was unfortunate that I didn't realize how cute this guy (the one on the left) was when I snapped his photo, and I only noticed after downloading it at home. Well, Paula thought he looked familiar, and here is where she saw him before.

So the deal with the house offer - we made it, it was accepted, then an hour before signing the goon pulled it off the market. So today we are going to look at another place, and have a few more lined up for the coming week. We have decided to refocus and concentrate on finding an independent house, which means it could be a bit isolated, but we will cross that bridge if and when we come to it.

Last weekend we saw the Bologna "basket" team, Virtus, play (they don't call it basketBALL here) and had the opportunity to see up close and personal the owner of the opposing team - Giorgio Armani - who is looking quite elderly and frail. The players for teams in Italy are often recruited from the US, so their kids end up going to English speaking schools so we, the staff, often get to know them quite well. I wonder if the players on GA's team dress better than others?

On a boring note, we have all been incredibly sick - I really think the swine flu swept through our house. Quite a few people in Bologna have been diagnosed with it and there is really nothing one can do except treat it like any other flu - as long as I don't start oinking.

We are gearing up for our formal Thanksgiving dinner at a local restaurant. The students will attend and a number of special guests. This year I will leave Ray home with Nonna so I can sit and have an adult evening. I just hope none of the students start getting homesick and break down crying. Thanksgiving seems to be the most family-focused holiday so it can be difficult. Even for me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Advice on moving to Italy

Before I made the big move, I received some advice from an expat living here. I just found it on my computer and thought it might be helpful even if you plan to come for just a visit.

You have so little time to learn all the info you need to come on prepared.

1. there are no clothes dryers
2. get used to wearing clothes more than once before washing
3. you can buy 100% cotton nothing shrinks here
4. Olive oil goes on all food, no salt – that is used in cooking
5. Pasta is served before the main dish and salad is last
6. Use a cell phone all the time (including playing with all the sounds it makes) in public = cool.
7. look to the right and left before crossing, and even behind you cuz you never know where the cars are coming from or at.
8. Find where all the americans hang out, irish pubs are, and xpats...because you will miss BSing.
9. Learn how to cut in line before the italians do.
10. Say "Non parlo Italiano" all day till you learn it.
11. Hand towels are used after you wash your ass and not to dry your hands and face.
12. Your DVD and VCR do not work here buy it when you come.
13. Teaching english is what you will do till you get tired of it.
14. Walking more than you have to because the bus you planned to take is too packed to get on.

That should be enough for now....if I think of anything else I will let you know....Maybe someone can add more to it.

Don't think that what I wrote is negative and trying to get you not to come......Remember that Italy is a better place to live than the USA!

Italy vs. USA

1. If you are robbed you will not know about it here till you get home. Beats getting bashed in the head for your wallet or have a gun pointed at you.

2. You can walk the street late and will not get harassed by some bum...he will only ask for money

3. Italian men do not beat their wives if unhappy, or divorce them. They find a lover that makes them happy.

anything else?

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Before I started working at the International School, I studied for a TEFL certificate (teaching English as a Foreign Language) and then taught English privately for a couple of years. It is a great thing to do when you have a tiny baby at home who sleeps a lot, but it is really stressful in that the preparation takes a lot of effort so the high fee one can charge per hour isn't so great once you add in travel time and missed appointments (and I didn't have my Vespa in those days). But you meet and get to know very well many Italians and I made some nice friends along the way. Anyway, one of my favorite students was Daniele. He wanted to learn an American accent to prepare for his launch in Hollywood where he enrolled in acting school and we would spent hours reading over movie scripts. Fortunately, not "Streetcar...". Here is his website -