All or Nothing – tutto o niente

Ciao a tutti,

I’ve been having a bit of a struggle lately with my italian, really just trying to get back into the habit of incorporating italian practise into every day life. I think the main problem for me, is I only have two speeds, all or nothing. And the problem is, when I give my all, like spend all my time learning italian, I want to use it all around me, at home, at school, when I’m with my one friend I actually have in london, and the problem is, they aren’t into it as much as I am. They aren’t excited about learning this bella lingua as I am. Why can’t everyone in the world just want to learn italian like me? Or really, just the people that are around me everyday.

At the moment, I think I’ve been filling my italian void with other things, I am quite a self professed nerd, and Game of Thrones addict. (maybe I should watch GoT with italian subtitles to help out my language learning) and have recently been spending a vast amount of money of something called Pop Vinyls. It’s basically a cheap collectable that looks something like this:

Hodor?!

Hodor?!

 

This is where all my current funds have been going too, although it got rather bad and Matteo had to sit me down and tell me I needed to stop, so now I can only spend half the money I have made on ebay selling extras I acquired. haha. But now that I’ve stopped being so addicted to collecting these little toys I’m trying to get back into this thing called italian!

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been doing absolutely no italian, when I’m out in public with Matteo I try to speak italian to him, so it’s like a secret language, and I have gotten myself known to the parents at school who are italian. (I lavoro as an admin assistant at a primary school and Children’s Centre) I’m pretty sure a few of them think that I can speak fluently, and I just try to wing it when they actually talk to me in fast italian, and I pretend I know what they’re saying. But still, to me I don’t feel like I’m getting very far.

In August I have two weeks off school during the summer holidays, so after chatting with Matteo who is currently already in Italy for a week (not fair!) I can go there without Matteo for a whole week to try to get a grips with this language. His family are all on board with me coming over to spend time with them for a week, that way I will have to speak the language, because I will have no Matteo there to be my english crutch. I am thinking I might do an intensive italian course while in roma, but mamma said I didn’t have to do it, that she was happy to show me round and spend time with me the whole time. But I guess that depends how much I can improve in the next 3 months. Because if I’m making no vast improvements, I will be spending a lot of time just using random words that probably won’t make much sense to get my point across. But I cannot wait! Because then I’ll come back to work for a week, and we will then be going back to Italy for 3 weeks in september! so I’m really hoping it will then make a difference for me with my language abilities!

Well I better get to doing some fast studying hey?!

picgifs-ciao-301451

 

Ciao!

Anna

Advertisements

two new saints today!

Ciao a tutti,

Allora, oggi marks a big step in any catholic’s life, when both Pope John XXIII (Papa Giovanni XXII) e Pope John Paul II (Papa Giovanni Paulo II) became saints just hours ago!

It’s really quite a big deal! And these two amazing popes, played such a big part in moving the catholic church forward.

When I look at the life of Papa Giovanni XXIII, whom everybody just thought was going to be a caretaker pope, he surprised all, by calling the historic second vatican council. He is affectionately known by italians as il Papa buono or the good pope!

For me, only the past 17 months or so is where I have started to find quite an affection for il Papa buono, as he was far before my time, it was the second time I was in Italy in January 2013, when I was staying with Matteo’s family, and I found out that is great nonno  actually worked for Papa Giovanni XXIII, now that is amazing, as soon as Nonna found out I was a catholic, she showed me straight away the framed photo of her papa with Papa Giovanni, and then she went on to give me a pair of rosary beads that were from Papa Giovanni XXIII, now that just meant to much to me, considering she didn’t really know me that well, but it just meant the world to me, so that gave me a real desire to learn more about this il Papa buono! 

 

Credit: Facebook page - Catholic gags

credit: Facebook page - catholic gags

 

Then there is the beautiful John Paul II…

I went to a high school named after him, so we learnt a lot about him, he’s the one pope, other than the recent two, that was actually around in my life time… for any 25 year old, we have only seen 3 popes, John Paul II, Benedict XXVI and Francis, but none have been quite like John Paul II (I mean I love Francis, and I think very fondly of him, and he will probably create a legacy just like John Paul II, although for now, it’s JPII for the win) I mean, Papa Giovanni Paulo II was one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century, he was Pope for 26 anni! Now that is a very long time to serve as Pope! And he was the first non-italian pope since the 1500s! He visited 129 countries during his reign as pontificate, beatified 1340 people and canonised 483 saints, more than the combined tally of his predecessors over the past 5 centuries. And he really called for religious unity, not just christian unity, but unity between all faiths. And he must of been pretty special because Pope Bene waived the 5 year traditional waiting period that existed before Pope John Paul II was beatified!

He was just such a beautiful beautiful man! As they called him shortly after his death Pope John Paul II the great!

 

 

It is unbecoming of a cardinal to ski badly - Pope John Paul II

It is unbecoming of a cardinal to ski badly – Pope John Paul II

It is unbecoming of a cardinal to ski badly - Pope John Paul II

It is unbecoming of a cardinal to ski badly – Pope John Paul II

10171741_650757778306126_3993100785296247121_n

I wish I got to be one of the 800,000 people gathered at San Piedro Piazza today, unfortunately I haven’t been very well this weekend! I keep getting that horrid la febbre di primavera! Finally just starting to feel better today, had to go home early from work on friday, and I have never had a sick day off in the whole year I have worked there! Arrrrh! 😦

Well looked like everyone in roma had an amazing experience of the canonisation of two amazing men!

Ciao a tutti! 

A dopo!

xx

Anna

553706_104493083033776_748165975_n

Credit: Catholic Memes

Credit: Catholic Memes

 

Buona Pasqua miei amici!!!

Ciao a tutti,

As we are coming into Pasqua, it is so nice to see the warmer weather and tempo, it is my secondo anno on this side of the world, and as Nuova Zealanda is coming into autumn, we are now thriving in Spring.

Unfortunately I did catch that dreading febbre di primavera or spring fever, and not the good kind! The one rare occurrence the other half had a Sunday off, I was unfortunately stuck to the bed. But luckily I had an amazing carer, who didn’t actually believe I was ill until I took my temperature! (I think I’ve now past on my febbre di primavera to him though… oops)

It’s weird for me to think back on my past Easters this year, it’s hard when you’re so far away from everything you know, as well as not being around family. I think maybe next year I might have to go to Italy to celebrate it over there, at least I’ll be surrounded by the comfort of my Italian family that I found through being with Matteo, but still, I at least have Saturday with him, on another rare occurrence that he isn’t working!

In New Zealand, basically everywhere would be closed tomorrow, being that it’s good Friday, no public transport would be running, and you can’t buy any alcohol. It’s hard for me to imagine that there are still shops going to be open tomorrow!

This Easter will definitely be a different one! Last year I was singing in an Easter play with a few people from a church I was attending, unfortunately it took me over a hour to get there, so while I loved the sense of community and friendship I had built there, it was just to hard to travel that far, unfortunately I don’t feel the same sense of community at the church that is only a 10minute walk away. I remember I asked the priest if they had any choirs, and while they did, he just seemed really grumpy that I didn’t know who he was telling me to go at see. So it sort of put me off, which is a shame. But I guess we can go to the vigil on Saturday night, it’s much better to go with someone rather than alone right?

Although it would definitely be a dream of mine to spend Easter at the Vatican! Maybe one day hey? haha

It will definitely be a different Easter than usual, but I will make the most of it! And even have roast chicken! At least I can start eating takeaways again, since we both gave it up for Lent! But really can’t say I’m missing it at all!

Allora, Buono giornata e buona pasqua!!!!

Image

Ciao

Anna x

not trying actually works….

Ciao a tutti,

Mi scusi I have been a bit of a no show these past couple of weeks. I have been taking a break of actually trying to learn italian, and I was thinking about it this afternoon as I was walking to il stazione di treni and I came to the conclusion, I actually use italian in every day life. More than I could imagine.

From the little ciao bellissime at lavoro to the beautiful donne that are either madre di bambini or coworkers, to randomly getting asked to say something in italian to my colleagues, where I said lo vuoi un sapere un segreto (probably spelt ridiculously wrong, but I’m sure Matteo will get me to correct it later) only cos I actually knew how to say “do you want to know a secret” and they thought it was amazing, even though when they heard it through their ears, they actually had no idea what I was saying, they just went on to say “everything sounds better in italian”

To the emails I send to Matteo while sitting at the computer, which I ALWAYS write the first email in italian, even though it’s probably only like 5 or 6 lines wrong, if I ever accidentally sent it to someone else, it would be a secret language they wouldn’t understand.

It is amazing, that even though I haven’t actually studied recently, I am amazed at how much italian is already apart of my everyday life. And you know what…. that is pretty exciting!

I mean, you get down when you feel like you’re not getting anywhere with your studies, when you feel like you’ve hit a wall, but if I think back a year ago, even 6 months ago, my brain definitely wasn’t bilingual… but now, you know, it kinda is. Even if I’ve got a long way to go, my brain thinks in two different languages now….

When I see the days of the week written somewhere, I automatically translate them in my head into italian, then back to english, or now when I sing that beautiful Frozen song All’alba sorgero, the italian version of let it go, when I sing it in my head, I’m singing it IN italian! (which I may even film myself and put it on here, when I build up the courage/have the space to project my voice)

It is so encouraging, that after a couple of weeks of taking a break, I came to the conclusion, that it doesn’t matter anymore, I can still understand, think and speak italian, even if it’s not much, it’s not going to disappear anytime soon, it is apart of me now, and I’m not going to let go one bit!

A dopo!

Buona notte xx

Anna

random crow like bird.

random crow like bird.

 

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

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