Getting back to the real world….

Ciao a tutti,

Getting back to this thing called the “real world” is never an exciting experience, I loved the feeling of being on holiday, of all things new, of having dinner made for me, of enjoying time with la famiglia, of just really enjoying the relaxed life style of being in italia. I think I felt my first real shock back into reality as I was having to work through the “Non EU passport holder” gate as we were entering customs at the airport. I was being my usual cherry self, and I said a buongiorno to l’uomo behind the desk (since it was like 6.30am) and he asked me where I was going, so I said londra, then he said something else that I suddenly got confused with, and he then replied in english, “why are you speaking italian” … he made it seem like such a male thing, that I was SPEAKING italian. I was quite upset to say the least, I was like, well my boyfriend is italian, so I’m trying to learn. I know that I am leaving the bella paese to then go to an english country, but come on, he could of at least encouraged my practising of the italian.

Now that I’m back here in londra, it feels like italia was nothing more than a dream. Everyone asks me how it was, and my reply is always the same “It was beautiful, and I didn’t want to come back.

I’m slowly building up a routine now, between revising my previous studies of italian, to remember things that I’ve forgotten. I scored myself some flash sticks which I plan to cover around la casa! Exercising on a new routine to use to build up a bikini body for italia in agosto, and practising my lingua skills with Matteo. La problema is I know enough vocabulary, it’s just forming that damn sentence! arrrrh!

At least I can reminisce over the bella memories of those due settimani in febbraio! I think I need to remind myself why I’m learning this, and not get frustrated but laugh in all the faults I make, and enjoy this language, and enjoy learning it, I don’t want it to be like a chore. I want it to be fun! I guess I just need the encouragement I suppose. Because I do really try my hardest, but I guess when you don’t feel you have the encouragement of those closest to home it does get a lot harder.

I think the person I will miss the most and who will change the most next time I see him will be little Daniel. I learnt so much from just being around him (unfortunately that makes me realise I have the linguistic skills of a 14 month old) But just interactions with him on a daily basis really improved my understanding. And made me enjoy the learning process so much, because he would teach me, but I could teach him also. It was a great little thing we had going on!

 

mio piccolo Daniel e la macchina!  Photo Credit: Matteo

mio piccolo Daniel e la macchina!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Well now I better get to doing some practise!

Ciao miei amici!

xx

Anna

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Arrivederci mia bella roma….

Ciao miei amici,

Allora, I am now back in londra feeling as though my 2 weeks in Italia were all a dream… did that really happen? Was I really there? It was so hard saying goodbye, especially when I stupidly decided to book our flights back at 7.15am, which meant we had to be up at 4.30am and leave by 5, all for the savings of around £10, next time I think we will pay that extra £10 to not have to get up so early with only 2 hours sleep under our belts.

I’m finding it quite difficult to get back to reality, after arriving at work on Tuesday just before lunch, it almost feels as though Italy wasn’t real, as if it was all infact a dream. Now I have to get myself back into practising my italian everyday, I want to be better than I was this trip. I want to be able to actually properly converse with everyone, rather than it all just going over my head. Time to get back into study study and more study.

We are already planning our next trip back, this time to the glorious (or dreaded) heat in agosto! I want to get that beautiful italian tan! Of beaches and festi, any reason to soak up the sunshine and not have to be rugged up as you do in inverno! And we’re hoping to do a 3 1/2 week trip this time. That will be so much nicer! Because the 2 weeks we were there just flew past. And at least it will be much easier for us to actually go places, without worries of flood warnings, or the such. Maybe even higher a car, since Matteo will be 25 while we’re in Italy, so it won’t cost a ridiculous amount and my NZ driving license isn’t valid in Italy unfortunately. And we will also have more soldi, I won’t be the only one with the cash, handing it out like I am a madre! It will be much better planned!

I really wish I was back there now, I feel as though I was actually getting somewhere with the linguistics, between listening to the television, watching la sirenetta and cinderella, and the weird game show that was on every dinner time, and was highly addictive to watch. To eating great food.

Now we both have to aim to exercise and eat healthy, so we will feel much better stripping down alla spiaggia! 

It’s quite a downer coming back to the “real world” when you have just spent 2 weeks in paradise! I hope I can get back into the swing of things, and study and enjoy returning to learning this bella lingua, so I can parlo it properly when we arrive for 3 weeks in agosto! 

At least I can practise my writing skills by writing to mamma and zia now! So that will be good! haha

Enjoying the view of piazza del popolo  Photo Credit: Matteo

Enjoying the view of piazza del popolo
Photo Credit: Matteo

Allora, scrivere a presto!

Ciao

Anna x

A Cassino era tutto chiuso…. Latina piana delle orme, e canzoni da Frozen

Ciao a tutti,

Just after 10am Papa Stefano arrived to pick up Matteo and I with his fidanzata Mariangela. And we made our way to Cassino, since for me being a Neozelandese meant that there was a bit of history for me. We rolled up outside the museo, only to find it chiuso, everything on a Sunday at this time of year was closed. Nothing was open! Much to our disappointment. This always seems to be happening to me whenever we decided to go and see something… Papa managed to get the attention of some people through the gate at the museo, and they said that everything was closed until marzo, but that there was a memorial for the Neozelandese just by the train station. So we made our way to la stazione di treni to hunt out this “special” memorial. And well to me it was a bit of a joke. I mean yes it’s nice to find a special memorial for New Zealand on the otherside of the world, but I mean look at it…. It’s not that exciting! But hey I guess beggars can’t be choosers right…

The New Zealand flag!

The New Zealand flag!

All the flags outside the Cassino museum

All the flags outside the Cassino museum

As close as I could get to seeing what was inside the museum

As close as I could get to seeing what was inside the museum

The cassino abbey. Where the Benedictine monks are. It was bombed during WWII and the americans rebuild it.  Photo Credit: Matteo

The cassino abbey. Where the Benedictine monks are. It was bombed during WWII and the americans rebuild it.
Photo Credit: Matteo

 

The neozelandese plaque by the Cassino train station

The neozelandese plaque by the Cassino train station

Look at it. It's tiny! But I guess it is all the way on the other side of the world….

Look at it. It’s tiny! But I guess it is all the way on the other side of the world….

We then jumped back into the car to make our way to Latina, first stopping at a cute little trattoria on the way, where we enjoyed a delicious meal of antipasti, pasta al pomodori and a couple of bites of Matteo’s tiramisu. Where we saw a funny report of the television about an English man driving on the wrong side  of the road because he thought he was in England. That would definitely be a big fear for me when it came to driving in Italy. I think I would need to actually get lessons to overcome that fear… or maybe a vespa. I think it would be easier on a vespa! Haha 😛

My delicious antipasto! I love prosciutto!

My delicious antipasto! I love prosciutto!

We finally made it back on the road and came in view of Latina. Which originally used to be all swamp land until Mussolini actually did something good, where he turned it into a little town… after that he met Adolf, and well we all know what happened there… We made it to the museo, where we went into the little shop. I thought it was going to be all war stuff, but like new war stuff…. Not items that were originally from la guerra. Matteo bought my step father some bullets from the war to send over to Nouva Zelanda, so hopefully he should enjoy those!

Having just arrived to piana delle orme. Matteo with his "step mum" Mariangela!

Having just arrived to piana delle orme. Matteo with his “step mum” Mariangela!

The souvenir shop…. souvenirs FROM the WW!

The souvenir shop…. souvenirs FROM the WW!

In memory of the fallen on the cassino, anzio, and nettuno front lines 1943 - 1944, Latina 21st January 2008

In memory of the fallen on the cassino, anzio, and nettuno front lines 1943 – 1944, Latina 21st January 2006

Piana delle Orme!!!

Piana delle Orme!!!

From learning about the good things Mussolini did by creating Latina, to learning the horrible things that the Italian jewish went through. At least when they first created the concentration camps by order of Mussolini they weren’t to be harmed in anyway, and if they were working they were to be paid, to the harsh consquences that happened after Benito got chummy with Hitler, we saw all the names of the Italian jews in a train car, to seeing how they could tell who was who from the tags on their pajamas. It was quite painful to see. I couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like in those days. Growing up today we are so lucky to know that we will never have to go through anything like that. Children born in todays world will never understand how lucky they are. They will never have to go through what our grandparents went through as children. But then they will probably never truly learn or understand from our grandparents, as the war was a very long time ago now. And all those that lived through it won’t be here for too much longer. Which is another whole sadness in itself.

To the fallen of all the wars...

To the fallen of all the wars…

Just casually chilling out with a soldier

Just casually chilling out with a soldier

The baggage train

The baggage train

The names of all the italian jews….

The names of all the italian jews….

How they used to distinguish the people, with the little tags on their pyjamas. (jail suits)

How they used to distinguish the people, with the little tags on their pyjamas. (jail suits)

Mussolini…

Mussolini…

I couldn’t help but getting rather patriotic and proud for New Zealand when I spotted the flag and would read things about the New Zealanders. Where were the Australians in all this hey? Not there, but the New Zealanders who lived on the other side of the world who probably didn’t have anything to do with the War really because they were too far away, they were there fighting beside all the Italians, americans, French, Canadians, belgiums etc etc etc. It was exciting seeing all the little photos they had on the KIWIS as they called them on one information board! Go the Kiwis! From half way across the world you can still make us proud!

The countries in the war at Cassino

The countries in the war at Cassino

New Zealand troops attacking in the middle of the destroyed Cassino centre.

New Zealand troops attacking in the middle of the destroyed Cassino centre.

New Zealand infantries in a moment of break

New Zealand infantries in a moment of break

After seeing how they did everything in the “olden days” it was finally time to go back to roma. It was a very learned experience for me. Because I am quite naïve in the ways of la guerra, but it makes me want to learn more.

To finish of the evening, I found some FROZEN musica!!! Now I love the film frozen, who can complain when there is a Principessa, clearly named over them! haha, and I unfortunately missed out on seeing it here with Matteo’s sorella Gaia as she was working all the time. So to cure that issue, I got some songs from frozen in italian. I already know them in English, so this should improve the understanding right? Oh I hope so! 😛

Photo credit: Wiki

Photo credit: Wiki

Oggi is now our last day here, as we will be leaving early tomorrow morning. I think both Matteo and I are struggling, because we are torn, I mean I don’t want to leave at all. But he doesn’t want to leave, but knows we have to because it’s better for us in londra at the moment. I think I now have a goal, to save as hard as I can to be able to save to make the move here, after hard convincing to Matteo. And hoping that people like Matteo Renzi (if he becomes Prime minister) will make it better for all Italians!

Ciao a tutti!

See you back in londra!

To finish off I’ll leave you with some more pictures of our trip to piana delle orme:

Once upon a time….

Once upon a time….

Sneaking into a tunnel I wasn't supposed too at the train station. I was going to plead ignorance of the language if I got caught...

Sneaking into a tunnel I wasn’t supposed too at the train station. I was going to plead ignorance of the language if I got caught…

Beautiful Peacock. They weren't trying to hit on any girl peacocks so wouldn't show us their pretty wings.

Beautiful Peacock. They weren’t trying to hit on any girl peacocks so wouldn’t show us their pretty wings.

Matteo would make such a good madre :P

Matteo would make such a good madre 😛

Fiat tractor!!!

Fiat tractor!!!

I think I would be the coolest tractor driver out there. It suits me no?

I think I would be the coolest tractor driver out there. It suits me no?

Boys will be boys!  "Can I get a picture with the tank!!!?" This tank was also in the film la bella e vita.

Boys will be boys!
“Can I get a picture with the tank!!!?”
This tank was also in the film la bella e vita.

I really adored the UV images. They portrayed so much.

I really adored the UV images. They portrayed so much.

An old comic strip of the time.

An old comic strip of the time.

The New Zealand flag once again! Out and Proud in this little town of Latina!

The New Zealand flag once again! Out and Proud in this little town of Latina!

Arrivederci

Anna x

San Valentino, Supermercato, la luna, Daniel, Pizza and why old people love Berlusconi

Ciao a tutti,

Ieri was one of my favourite “holidays” san valentino, I always get excited for any excuse to buy presents, perchè I think I am an amazing gift giver, I couldn’t actually wait for yesterday morning to give Matteo his gift, I gave it to him the night before, with the excuse “It’s already Valentine’s Day in New Zealand”, I really like to use that excuse a lot as away to give out presents the day before. He was lucky enough to get a St. Christopher Necklace (although it was a lot bigger than I imagined when I got it.) That good ol’ patron saint of travellers. Since he now has a girlfriend from half way across the world, it would be fair to say we will be doing a lot of travelling together, so we need that little bit of extra protection that San Cristoforo can offer. I even got it personalised for him on the back with: “Matteo, Buon San Valentino 2014, Cogli l’attimo, Ti amo, Anna” So he can always remember. 🙂 My Valentine’s Day present was the day before our trip to Assisi, and that was just as amazing, as well as homemade pizza for dinner.

In the late mattina we made our way to the supermercato, now one thing I will say for italians, they really know how to lay out a supermarket, large aisles, all beautifully arranged, I absolutely LOVE shopping in Italy, I would happily spend hours doing the grocery shop if I lived here. One person I wouldn’t take though is Matteo, who hates grocery shopping, whether it’s a man thing or not, I drive him insane taking forever, enjoying all that’s around me. He just likes to buy what he came in for and then leave, not soak up the surroundings. If we do move back here, he will not be joining be for the grocery shopping, that will be Anna’s treat to herself! haha, we made our way around the beautiful supermarket, getting ingredients for the pizza, and stocking up on paprika Pringles to take back to london. I love how over here, they have flour specifically for pizza, and a whole aisle dedicated to Pasta, which is half the price for branded pasta over here in Italy, that what you pay in london for the same brand, with NO Neopolitan branded dodgy grown on rubbish dumps food! If there was a supermarket in heaven, it will be an italian one!

Clearly enough room for like 3 1/2 trolleys!!! Photo Credit: Google images

Clearly enough room for like 3 1/2 trolleys!!!
Photo Credit: Google images

Checkout that aisle! Oh yeah! Photo Credit: Google images

Checkout that aisle! Oh yeah!
Photo Credit: Google images

After finally getting dragged out of my supermarket heaven, we went back home.
Matteo’s sorella Gaia was planning on making a red velvet cake, from the mixes that we brought with us from londra, go betty crocker! Matteo was busy translating for her in italian, when I spoke to her in english, saying You can understand me right? And she was nodding her head. She studied languages at school, and Matteo’s busy translating, when she can actually read and understand the whole thing herself. She’s a closet english speaker that one! haha

And Nonna was also making homemade  pasta! Can’t get enough of the home made pasta here in Italy! Home made everything tastes so much nicer than bought products! And all it involves in uovo eggs, farina flour and a bit of sale salt! How easy is that! And It makes a delicious mezzogiorno meal!

home made pasta! Photo Credit: Matteo

home made pasta!
Photo Credit: Matteo

The amazing pasta machine! That has lasted 30 years for the cost of around 40-50 euro! Can't go wrong there!  Photo Credit: Matteo

The amazing pasta machine! That has lasted 30 years for the cost of around 40-50 euro! Can’t go wrong there!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Buon appetito!

Buon appetito!

I went to have a nap, and got woken up to Matteo coming back from dropping the alfa romeo back to papa, I arrived in the kitchen to see both papa and Daniel! ahhhh! But first I went out to look at the moon! It was MASSIVE! Una bellissima luna! 

la bellissima luna! bella e gialla!

la bellissima luna! bella e gialla!

After shooting the moon half asleep, I went into la cucina to play with the adorable Daniel. He is the funniest little italian bambino I know (the only italian bambino I know) il mio piccolo amico! My little friend! He has the most funniest characteristics, between blowing raspberries at Matteo, to constantly roaring at me like a lion. We both could not get enough of this adorable little creature that is Daniel. Matteo got told off by Nonna for trying to teach Daniel how to pick his nose, that was quite entertaining. He is just such an amazing little man!

il mio piccolo amico!

il mio piccolo amico!

We then enjoyed finishing the pizzas, I helped Matteo with his patate pizza. A strange combination I thought, but then he thinks I’m weird for liking pineapple on my pizzas in england. After they went in the oven, and came out, we sat down to enjoy them. Who knew that pizza with just patate could be so delicious! Then Zia Donatella arrived with a present for me, just out of the blue, it was so lovely. A scarf and a pair of gloves that can turn into mittens! The best present ever! She said she saw it and thought of me! How lovely! It absolutely made my day!

ingredienti per pizza!

ingredienti per pizza!

finished product! nom nom nom

finished product! nom nom nom

 

While eating cena, Berlusconi came on television, I asked nonna, why all the old people love Berlusconi, since it seems like everyone else dislikes him greatly. She said that 30 years ago, there was only one network on tv, until Berlusconi brought out a new network, with great television shows and all for free. And he was such a hard worker, and made lots of differences for the italians of that time. So they all thought he should try for government because he was such a hard worker. But when that happened others started to get involved too, and it all went down hill from there. But the elderly of Italy will still remember all the good that he did for Italy BEFORE he ran for government, which is probably why they will all still vote for him whenever he decides to run again!

Since they always have dinner so late here in Italy, around 8 o’clock, not your typico 6 on the dot like my parents do in New Zealand, along with a lot of other english countries. I am always worn out by that time. So Matteo got the tv working in the room, and I fell asleep to the beautiful sounds of some tv show called Virus. I think it had to do with the italian government or something along those lines. Although it took me such a long time to fall asleep, because my brain was too switched on to the sounds of the italian and trying to make it out. I’m just hoping at some point it a switch will flick in my brain and it will all make sense!

Allora, buona giornata a tutti!

It always takes me hours to write a post… because i’m using the internet at Donatella’s which is the piano below, so it always goes in and out of connection. Arrrrrrh! Italian internet drives me insane!!!

Ciao

Anna x

pic credit: Catholic gags

pic credit: Catholic gags

San Francesco in Assisi

Ciao a tutti,

Growing up in New Zealand I learnt a lot about my mother’s confirmation saint, Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals because he could TALK to them, had the stigmata, and was a hermit, but a friend to all. So coming to Italy, I really had to go to where St. Francis was from!

When I came here in dicembre 2012, I had even booked a tour of assisi starting in roma, unfortunately it ended up getting cancelled, much to my dismay, and even though I was here all through gennaio 2013, Matteo’s car was a late 80s mini, which was bound to break down if we even drove 50km from where he lived, so that meant my trip to assisi was out in january as well.

Now much to my surprise, this morning after slowly waking up, Matteo says to me, “do you want to go to assisi?”…. Now I thought he was joking, because it would be just like him to get my hopes up only to be like.. just kidding, i’m such a good actor… so I was like “Are you being serious?” and he replied with a “yeah!” So we got up, got ready and jumped into la macchina and was on our way to assisi! 

It was such a bellissimo journey, farms, old medieval houses, we did end up getting lost, because Matteo thought he had missed the turn off, so we had to ask for directions, at least he wasn’t afraid to ask! Then we got the right turn off! I never knew that there were TOLLS in Italy! That actually still have the little man in the booth who collects the money, but hey we are talking about Italy here… so we made our way through the Toll Booth, and back on our way onward to assisi!!!

Beautiful buildings on the drive to Assisi

Beautiful buildings on the drive to Assisi

Matteo had just stopped to ask for directions when I spotted this sign!

Matteo had just stopped to ask for directions when I spotted this sign!

We arrived into “New” assisi, where we came upon a great basilica, unsure of the name, where I spotted 3 francisicans, 2 male and 1 female. I was sneakily taking photos of them from a far distance, so they probably wouldn’t of noticed, when I made Matteo go up and ask them if I could take a photo of them, since I loved St. Francis and they were rocking his outfit, even down to the sandals on there feet. Unfortunately they turned down the offer to be in a photo with me, much to my disappointment.

Me sneakily taking photos of the Franciscans… heeheehee

Me sneakily taking photos of the Franciscans… heeheehee

The cathedral we came across. Not sure of the name of it, but it was closed unfortunately. But it is beautiful from the outside!

The cathedral we came across. Not sure of the name of it, but it was closed unfortunately. But it is beautiful from the outside!

Beautiful statue of the madonna on the top!

Beautiful statue of the madonna on the top!

This is a pathway where people can pay for a brick with their name in it! Photo Credit: Matteo

This is a pathway where people can pay for a brick with their name in it!
Photo Credit: Matteo

We then made our way to “old” assisi, and boy was it magical. This bellissimo little medieval town. That is tiny, but has like 5 or 6 churches! We went to the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi, which had two parts to the basilica, an upstairs and downstairs. It was just breathtaking being in there, the ceilings, o dio they were magnificent! I just sat take to take it all in. It was so amazing! With the paintings by Giotto! They were just divine! 

View of Assisi from the car on the way there.

View of Assisi from the car on the way there.

Arriving at the basilica! Photo Credit: Matteo!

Arriving at the basilica!
Photo Credit: Matteo!

Entrance to the Basilica  Photo Credit: Matteo

Entrance to the Basilica
Photo Credit: Matteo

Matteo managed to get a few sneaky pictures before he got told off! Photo Credit: Matteo

Matteo managed to get a few sneaky pictures before he got told off!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Artwork by Giotto! Photo Credit: Matteo

Artwork by Giotto!
Photo Credit: Matteo

The amaze balls roof!! Photo Credit: Matteo

The amaze balls roof!!
Photo Credit: Matteo

We unfortunately arrived rather late, so didn’t get to see all we would of liked, and I ended up suffering from il mal di pancia so that didn’t help either. We made our way to see some of the other sites, such as The Temple of Minerva.

The Temple of Minerva. Photo Credit: Matteo

The Temple of Minerva.
Photo Credit: Matteo

Then we managed to find where St. Francis was born, called chiesa nuova  They have turned his old house into a mini church! It is rather a cute wee place! I just love the history, and medieval feel about this town!

St. Francis' Parents. Photo Credit: Matteo

St. Francis’ Parents.
Photo Credit: Matteo

Chiesa Nuovo on the inside! Photo Credit: Matteo

Chiesa Nuovo on the inside!
Photo Credit: Matteo

The original door from when it was St. Francis' House. Photo Credit: Matteo

The original door from when it was St. Francis’ House.
Photo Credit: Matteo

I absolutely adored Assisi, it was definitely a big highlight of all my times I have been in Italy. It will be somewhere I will definitely come to see again! I cannot rave about it enough! Thank you Umbria!

Here are a few more images of our trip to Assisi!

The basilica from "New" Assisi! Photo Credit: Matteo

The basilica from “New” Assisi!
Photo Credit: Matteo

The view from the top half of the Basillica of San Francesco.

The view from the top half of the Basillica of San Francesco.

Me with the gorgeous view behind me! Photo Credit: Matteo

Me with the gorgeous view behind me!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Beautiful Assisi! Photo Credit: Matteo

Beautiful Assisi!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Just got to make sure we were on the right street! Photo Credit: Matteo

Just got to make sure we were on the right street!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Hanging out with the parents of francesco!  Photo Credit: Matteo

Hanging out with the parents of francesco!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Just casually sitting in the house where Francis was born! Photo Credit: Matteo

Just casually sitting in the house where Francis was born!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Yes… it's true… I am secretly pinocchio! Photo Credit: Matteo

Yes… it’s true… I am secretly pinocchio!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Mascarpone pastries! It looks like a toy apple! Crazy!!

Marzipan pastries! It looks like a toy apple! Crazy!!

Random plaques on the side of a building! Photo Credit: Matteo

Random plaques on the side of a building!
Photo Credit: Matteo

One last view of Umbria from on high. Looks like the clouds are starting to roll in! Photo Credit: Matteo

One last view of Umbria from on high. Looks like the clouds are starting to roll in!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Buona Notte miei amici.

I hope you enjoyed my reminiscing of my journey as much as I enjoyed being there!

Ciao

Anna x

Not understanding a language that surrounds you can make you really depressed

Buonasera miei amici,

È vero (it’s true) when you are in a foreign country it can get very frustrating when you can’t understand thing going on around you. I so WISH and DREAM I could understand the things that are coming out of everyones melodic mouth over here. And I am really trying, but just somethings it feels as though you have hit a brick wall, with no where to go. And let me tell you, il mio bello ragazzo is no help at all. Every time I build up my courage to say the small sentences I can actually say that make sense for everyone to understand me, it is HORRIBLE when he is around, because he here’s me say it and then goes on to ripetere exactly what I have said in his version of my voice. It really makes me want to crawl into a grotto and hide and never resurface. He doesn’t understand how much courage it actually takes me to build that sentence in my head, the amount of thought process it actually takes to get there to begin with, when I can feel my heart pounding in my chest, my worrying that I might not actually be understood, only to then here in repeating in the high pitched girly voice of Matteo mocking me. He is lucky, he can speak both languages… he can switch like its nothing. A year ago he couldn’t do it. But now he is pretty much perfect at the mongrel languages we call english. I desire so much to be able to communicate with his family, to be able to have a full on conversation with nonna, or to have a laugh with mamma. 

I really enjoy when I have those small breakthroughs with the language, that may seem like to nothing to the ordinary Joe Blog, but to me it feels as though I am walking in the clouds. When I say things to Lucky, like Batti il cinque and he actually gives me a High Five! Or when I say come fa leone to Daniel and he replies with a ROAAAAAAAAR! Although that’s a dog, and a 14 month old. But I guess it is still progress. 

And the understanding is getting there, I just wish there was a switch in my head, where I could block out the english and just understand italian. I mean when we were hanging with Matteo’s amici just two days past, they did a run down of words like animals and fruits where they would say them in italian and I would tell them what they were in english. I have enough vocabulary, just forming that DAMN sentence! ARRRRRRRRHHHHH!

To which everyone replies piano piano piano….. But I want it NOW! I don’t want it to slowly happen! I had to have a bit of a giggle when Matteo’s aunty Paola came to visit yesterday (nonna and her 3 daughters all live in the same apartment complex, just on different floors, or those mamma is living with his while her apartment is being renovated) and she was telling Matteo that it annoys her that I can’t speak italian, and that he should speak to me in italian all the time so I can start to understand the italian structure properly. I replied with an anche io me too. Because I understood what she was saying. Why is learning a new language as an adult never easy? Why is it sooooo frustrating!!!?

It’s not fair…. Now I love Disney! Disney movies are my favourite, so as a way to try to improve the minuscule amount of italian I do know, I have started youtubing videos of disney movie songs. Because I love to sing, I spent 7 years doing singing lessons, and singing for weddings and funerals and in church, so I figure lets use this gift I have to incorporate my language learning. And I know the songs well enough in english anyway, so learning them in italian and already knowing the translation should speed up the learning process right? Oh I hope so! I even started watching la sirenetta (the little mermaid) I was so impressed that they managed to have sebastian with a Jamaican accent even though he is speaking italian! That is AWESOME! I am trying to wait for Frozen to come out on dvd here in Italy, I have seen it quite a few times already and they have a principessa Anna (clearly named after me) so I am longing to see it in italian to be able to watch it over and over again in the hope that at some point it will begin to make sense.

Well rant over!

Buona notte a tutti

This is what my brain looks like when attempting italian!

This is what my brain looks like when attempting italian!

Ciao

Anna

 

Piovere, Bracciano, il lago e una kinder sorpresa MAXI!

Ciao a tutti,

Allora, ieri I woke up to piovere piovere piovere… I hate rain! More than anything, it gets in the way of all my wonderful plans. And I really love to plan things! Unfortunately because of the pioggia it meant no assisi because all the roads were closed. But we had a back up plan, so we made our way to Braccianoa small town about 30km (18 miles) northwest of Rome. Now while it was raining a little bit, the views were stupendous, bella campagna views. Green grass everywhere, little farm houses, my italian dream! But when we arrived we arrived only to disappointed.

We first arrived at the Italian Airforce Museum only to find the gates barred, and a little sign saying closed on the weekends and on lunedi… great, just travelled about 45 minuti to NOT see some old war machines. Then we went on to arrive in the town of Bracciano to go to see the Castello orsini-odescalchinow this was one of my one goals of this vacanza to see a Castle! At 25, I still like to think I’m a princess in my head, and if I went to an italian castle I would have walked around saying very loudly sono principessa anna! But alas, we arrive into Bracciano, make our way to the castello all the while thinking everything is looking pretty closed, no shops open, not even pizzerias. We arrived just outside the castello, get out of the car, pay for parking, only to find that the castello orsini-odescalchi is also not open on lunedi… what is up with everything not being open on a monday… so much to how disappointed me started to make our way back. Couldn’t even go anywhere for a bite to eat for lunch, because all the bars, restaurants and cafes were closed.

the only view of the castle I get to experience…. so close yet so far away. Maybe next i will get to be principessa Anna…

the only view of the castle I get to experience…. so close yet so far away. Maybe next i will get to be principessa Anna…

Gate all shut up :( drove all this way with nowhere to go!

Gate all shut up 😦 drove all this way with nowhere to go!

After all this disappointment of NIENTE being open, we made our way to see one last possible destination in bracciano, Lago di Braccianoit is a lake of volcanic origin and the second largest lake in lazio. So we made our way there, unfortunately it was still a miserable day, but hey I got to see some swans. haha

beautiful swans, with their massive long necks!

beautiful swans, with their massive long necks!

il lago! Even in crappy weather it is still beautiful!

il lago! Even in crappy weather it is still beautiful!

Selfies time!

Selfies time!

Playing hide and seek Photo Credit: Matteo

Playing hide and seek
Photo Credit: Matteo

My poser of a fidanzato!

My poser of a fidanzato!

After our disappointing late morning/early afternoon we made our way back to roma, and stopping at the autogrill, where I found the most amazing treat in il mondo!

GIANT KINDER SURPRISE!!!!

GIANT KINDER SURPRISE!!!!

Later that evening, we enjoyed a wonderful cena, of those funny looking roman broccoli, it was really delicious! With herb potatoes and roast turkey! At around 9.30pm, we then made our way to the “meeting spot” where all of Matteo’s amici gather to have a chat and decide there next location, it was so nice to see his friends again, I just love how everyone greets each other with air kisses on the cheek! We then made our way to a bar for a quick coffee, (or in my case a coke) then made our way back to the meeting spot. Luckily some of Matteo’s friends can speak a little bit of english. Matteo’s friend chiappa, was saying that if we speak in english, it’s like a secret language, no one else will really understand. I was thinking that that is how I feel about italian, it’s like a secret language that everyone else understands apart from me. I really need to concentrate if I want to understand what’s going on, but even then, half the time it just washes right over me! But as everyone tells me piano piano! I guess it’s not going to come over night, but it will happen…. eventually! i mean I want it bad enough! JUST HAPPEN NOW!!!! ahhhh!

On a side note, I did have to actually talk to some shop keepers by myself, I had to go to the pharmacy to get some buscofed (ibuprofen) and Matteo waited in the car, I went into the farmacia, up to one desk, and said “hai bisogno di buscofed” she pointed me to the main desk, so I repeated the question to the donna behind the counter, and it all worked out wonderfully! No one even said anything in english to me at all… perchè they normally do when they hear my accent.  I was so proud! Then I also had to ask for a straw in italian, not that I can remember what I said now, but he never replied in broken english too! Small steps Anna, small steps!

Well I’m still in bed, so I best be getting up soon, Matteo has gone for a long awaited haircut, and pranzo won’t be too far away!

Ciao miei amici!

A dopo

x

Anna