Friday, September 08, 2006

Orient Yourself Take 2

Life is taking a peaceful rhythm with orientations and tours and exams. This morning we were lectured a bit on transportation before handing in our documents and money for our permesso di soggiorno. Then we took a tour of the faculty where we would be studying. Although the University of Ferrara has all its course information online, the best way to figure things out is to consult the boards in the department building, that gives schedules, room changes, office hours and locations, and more complete course information (complete with an actual person to help you). The ordering of the classrooms doesn’t really make sense, omitting classrooms 1 and 17 (17 is unlucky in Italy whereas 13 is actually fortunate) and having classroom 16 in a building found through a parking lot and classroom 18 resemble a bomb shelter more than an actual classroom.

This afternoon we took a multiple choice Italian test along with an oral interview to test our general level of Italian to better teach us for the next three weeks. I left my interview feeling a bit tongue-tied, blech. And it was raining. I need to get the whole oral expression thing under my belt because my whole academic life, ie my grade, will depend on my oral performance at the end of the semester, being asked questions by the professor. But for now, all is good, I have some time to sharpen my skills, arguably plenty of time, so I walked home in the rain and called the technician for the washing machine that is now firmly shut, the handle having come off. Bene. Let’s hope that the appointment for Monday afternoon will actually be followed, boh.

Speaking of broken, taking a shower is an experience here in my apartment. The stream of water from the showerhead is absolutely fine, it is only that the drain well, doesn’t really do its job to, you know, drain. It does but it takes a long time. So you can’t just take a shower, you have to take a shath or a bower (amalgam of bath and shower, yeah, I know, bad). Hopefully the Italian Drain-O stuff I bought today will clear up whatever beast of a hairball or whatnot is stuck in our drain. We can only hope.

And so now the weekend and future visits from both Chris and Marina. I’m so excited. This place, which I am growing to love more and more everyday, will feel even more my own with some apparitions of familiar faces. This whole sensation of home is a strange thing, it has to do with getting a full night’s sleep, discovering your surroundings and breathing more easily. I was just walking around and discovering great little shops for food, gelato, and drink. Places where I could really hang out. In the end, when you breathe easily and drift off to sleep, it’s hard not to call the bed your own or the city your home.

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