Thoughts

Pescara Days

So it has been a little while since I’ve posted. That’s mostly because the days have settled into a pretty reliable routine and nothing that outstanding has happened. But let me attempt to write about a few notes of interest. It has been the Europe cup for soccer, and Italy did really well getting into the championship game, then they lost really badly to Spain. I watched the last two games at a beach club called Miramare with some new friends I met through couch surfing. I think out of all the people I’ve met so far I really get along with this group. The sad thing is they’re a bit older, all around 30 I’d say (they did introduce me to some young travelers though, and we had a fun night going out on the beach ;). However they understand the situation I’m in, and here I honestly do feel older than my age here. I’ve gathered that people 20 years old here most often haven’t gone to university yet, still live with their parents, basically are somewhere still in the high school level that we have in America. It’s not everybody, but the fact that I’m almost done with my first degree while I’m still 20 really amazed them. They had thought I was much older until I told them I was 20. I’m still trying to meet up with a group of ERASMUS students here though, and I think that will be a fun group closer to my age. Anyways, watching the soccer matches at Miramare was really fun! Unlimitied beer, delicious pizza, and various antipasta during the game, and lots of amaros and salsa dancing afterwards. It was a really good environment and I feel like a good slice of the Italian culture.

Here is a picture of Lorenzo and I dressed for Italy. 

On the children front things are going much better. They’re becoming more comfortable around me which means they do a little more of what I tell them to instead of me just chasing after them. Hopefully things continue on this way.

A last update is that going out to beach clubs at night is different from normal clubs. For more reasons than always having large amounts of sad in my shoes. People are more spread out, so I’ve had a hard time finding a legitimate club; people aren’t forced to dance as happens in a crowded room.

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Categories: Au Pairing, Kid Time, Nights out, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Knitting in Italy

So this is a report on knitting in Italy in general.

For some reason I thought knitting would be more common in Europe, or at least more accepted. But I’ve gathered it’s just as odd here for a young lady to bring out her knitting while sunbathing or on the bus. In fact it’s probably more odd as they add it to the list of the strange American things I do. The boys I babysit find it annoying because they’d rather I’d be playing with them. Oh well. Every little girl I meet worships me and pretends to knit next me. One of many reasons I should’ve picked girl children. In general EVERY old lady who sees me tries to come up and talk to me. Even the really fashionable old ladies who you wouldn’t think knit. It’s really sad though because none of them speak English, and I’d love nothing more than to discuss knitting with them. It always ends up being a little awkward and they walk away. Especially while I was knitting my bathing suit, quite scandalous once the old ladies realize what it is. Oh well. My Italian is getting better, maybe sometime soon I’ll be able to communicate better. Maybe I’ll focus on knitting words.

It has been the greatest way to relax here though; the best break from stressful communication issues and child watching. I’ve tried combining the getting gelato/knitting activities, but gelato melts too fast here so I have to eat all the ice cream, then knit. Which is fine, I use the excuse to sit in the cute cafes longer. One of the best activities I’ve found is discovering gelato flavors. Some are really difficult to figure out, and if you’ve been reading my blog you’ll remember great amarena/amaretto confusion. My latest adventure in gelato flavor exploration was when I went to knit yesterday afternoon. I got the classic nocciola (hazelnut), and amarena again as I really like it, but I was intrigued by a yellow and red gelato called zuppainglese. I asked the attendant what it was as she spoke a little english, and she excitedly translated “english soup”. Well, I had gathered this much as that’s the direct translation, but I still had no idea what it could be. It looked like cheesecake flavored ice cream, or maybe raspberry lemonade. So I ordered it. At first it did taste like cheesecake so I thought I was correct. Upon further enjoyment I decided it tasted more like egg nog. It was delicious, but I still did not know what it was. Later I remembered to translate it, and apparently zuppa inglese is “trifle”! A very random flavor, but that’s half the fun!

I finally managed to snap a picture of one of lizards around here while I was knitting. It was difficult, it scuttled by a few times and I didn’t have enough time to get my camera out. This time it stop to drink some water from the base of a plant. I win.

Finished my bathing suit!

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Girl on a Bench

Just a quick note to all of the potential stalkers out there. Does a girl knitting on a bench really look like that easy of a target to you? Do you really think I won’t know how to use my size three metal needles when the time comes? Seriously, figure something better to do with your lives.

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WTH Birkenstocks and Bugs

So for some reason I’m extremely delicious to Mediterranean insects. This picture can barely begin to describe the amount of bites I have received. It looks like I have chicken pocks or strange disease. ImageAnd I’ve had bad bug bites before, I’ve gone camping for weeks at a time in Idaho and Washington, but for some reason these bugs love me more. Why don’t Italians use window screens…….

Last complaint:

I wore these Birkenstocks on my hectic travel day, and they gave me a horrible blister. I’m really upset, I had hopes for these shoesImage. The blister juices actually permanently stained the shoes, hate to say it but I think they deserved it. Image

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OMG beach volleyball

So I just got back from checking out the beach volleyball club. I was just going to meet the coach and observe some practices to help guess what level I would be at. Alfredo kept insisting I start at the ‘seniores’ level, and after watching for a little while I thought I might be able to. They weren’t spiking very hard and in general the pace of play wasn’t too fast. On the other hand the beginners were struggling to bump the ball without it going out of the court. Honestly, I had no idea if I was going to make a fool of myself, the women playing were rock hard dark Italian women in their thirties, clearly knowing what they were about. When they were taking a break Alfredo led me into the court to meet the coach (a past Olympian, I forgot his name), and he surprised me by asking me to join in right then and there (lessons are pretty expensive). That’s one nice thing about beach volleyball, once you have a court to play on there is very limited gear you need, just a semi dependable bathing suit (sadly the one I was wearing was a cream color, not expecting to actually play, and now it is brown). I surprised myself by actually being able to control my passes and return their serves. I couldn’t serve it over the net overhand, but I’ve really never been able to do that. That’s my main practice point. The Olympian coach spoke very good English, at least when it came to coaching terms, so that was a good discovery. I was worried there’d be a lot more pointing. I struggled a bit with some basic form and techniques, but I was nervous out of my mind so I think I will be able to get better at those quickly. All in all it was VERY fun, so much more fun than I thought it would be. Volleyball in my experience has been a good sport to bond with the other girls, and it proved to be true in this case too. The women were very welcoming of me and said it would give them a chance to practice their English. However, the coach said I should do the first week in the beginner group just to get some basic techniques up to speed. I wasn’t insulted by this, I was happy with the fact that in general he thought I could keep up with these born and bred beach volleyball players, I just needed some reintroduction into the sport.

Main conclusion: in a beautiful sandy place beach volleyball is amazing. It’s great to dive into the powdery sand even if you miss the dig. It’s an amazing workout and by the end of it you’re covered in sand and sweat and feel really accomplished. I hope I can get better, I know it will be a challenge for me every time I try. Especially in this intense environment, it’s definitely out of my element. But overcoming that challenge and reflecting on the fact that I’m watching the Pescaran sunset while being trained in beach volleyball by an Olympic player makes me think about all of the places I could go in this world!

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Brief Thoughts

Thank goodness for audio books. It’s very nice to listen to a book and still keep your eyes on the babies.

And knitting. Although I don’t think this activity attracts any Italian men. (edit: I got asked my number while knitting. But the man was no were near attractive)

Italian men are short.

If somebody yells Marco, they are actually looking for somebody named Marco. And it’s funny when somebody yells Paulo directly after.

Roller blades are cool. Well, they’re at least used, I can’t tell if they’re actually cool or not.

Short hair is quite in fashion here. Like short short.

The sun makes me tired.

I wish I could longboard because that would make me very cool. That trend hasn’t quite gotten here yet. Then again neither has smooth paved streets, but pescara is close with that one.

Balloon Aladdin pants are in fashion, and I’m determined find some and wear them forever.

Somehow they’ve mutated all if the dogs here to be short and squat. But like… Actually.

People don’t actually go out and get extremely drunk. They go out, have a beer, then a pizza, then go home at 2am

It’s very hard to make friends when you don’t know anybody and can’t speak with anybody.

Old people hang out where the young people do. Sometimes there will even be a lady trying to push a stroller through a crowd of what looks like prostitutes.

It’s very hard to judge italian’s age.

I’ve started speaking English in an Italian accent.

The Jersey Shore seems less and less eccentric.

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