Back to school

There’s a degree of nervousness around the cottage today.  It’s the first Italian lesson this afternoon which means a double stress.  Firstly we have to apply our brains to something other than – pool day or not a pool day – and secondly we actually have to be somewhere at a pre arranged time.  Almost like a meeting.

But as with all things Italian there is a twist.  And the twist was an invitation we got from our language school to lunch last Wednesday.  It was an opportunity to get to know the staff and some of the other pupils before starting lessons.  Everyone bought something for the meal and we spent 2 hours chatting in a mix of Italian, English and occasionally other obscure languages as required.

The students are all nationalities, ages and backgrounds.  Everything from an Australian art student brushing up her Italian on the way to the Venice Biennale where she is one of the hosts at the Oz site, to a retired Irishman who was taking a group from one of the local Sinese contrada to have lunch with the Irish ambassador in Rome on Saturday.  He had learnt Italian at the school previously and was just taking a few “top up” lessons in anticipation of the visit.

Anyway, enough of this writing, I must go and get my school books ready.

We are now with TIM

A big day last Thursday.  We took the plunge and visited the local electronics store to get our technology “italianised”.  It was finally time to break the shackles of Vodafones roaming rates and start to enjoy cheap local calls and internet access.

We went into the local “Trony” shop (it’s italian for Noel Leeming I think) and plonked two iPhones, two iPads and one laptop on the counter and basically said fix it.

The young lady helping us had as good a grasp of English as we have of Italian but one hour and 4 SIM cards and a modem stick later we were customers of TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile) and everything seemed to work – and still does.

We have no exact idea of the rates we are being charged – our anglo-italia mix of language and gestures didn’t quite stretch to that. The TIM website is comprehensive and detailed but also completely in Italian which doesn’t help but we know whatever we’re paying it’s going to a lot less than Vodafone roaming rates.

The next challenge will be to top up the phones which can be done through the local Tabacchi shops which are found in every town and village.  I’m figuring we go in waving our phones and a wad of Euro notes and someone will understand.

I’ll be emailing our new numbers to everyone over the next few days.