When we were back home in New Zealand earlier in the year, I caught myself explaining to someone that I didn’t really speak to my boss, because he didn’t (still doesn’t) speak English. And there in New Zealand, at that moment, it seemed like the most ridiculous thing.
In my everyday in Italy I’m accustomed to not communicating with 99.5 per cent of the people around me. And when I do have to engage with people, I’m also accustomed to not understanding much more than half of what goes on.
And it’s ok, you get used to it.
At that last job I really didn’t talk to the school director all that much. Asides from responding to a few ‘ciao’s, and ‘vuoi caffe?’s that is. Staff meetings were always a little interesting, as I could generally follow whatever topic was being discussed, but it usually wasn’t until later that I would find out if actually something had been quite tense, or if I had missed something of vague importance.
I think this must be one of the reasons why my contract wasn’t extended? I had asked at one point if we could do Italian lessons at the school, but no one seemed all that interested.
And so now I again find myself vaguely unemployed and under-occupied. And I would like to use the time to study Italian with more purpose*. Because being terrified every time I have to make a phone call or do something a little bit complicated gets tiring.
So next month I’m going to start one, maybe even two, Italian courses up in Trento. We’ve got close to eight months left in Italy, it’s time to crack that language nut before we leave. If only it was as easy as saying it.
*Sometimes ‘more purpose’ can even just be ‘watch more movies in Italian’. Because it all helps, right!