Important Lessons Learned

picture 2 picture 4Ciao! So, I know it’s been a while. Remember, I was in Ancona for the weekend. Let me just say, that was possibly the most stressful weekend since I have been in Italy. I mean, don’t get me wrong. At first things started out pretty okay. Don’t believe me? Check the pictures out from the Adriatic Sea. Yes, to me, being that close was just amazing. I mean, now I can say that I have dipped myself into the Pacific Ocean, danced around the Atlantic, and partied in the Adriatic sea. Seriously, it’s like a dream that water. It makes you feel as if you are in heaven. picture 1The bad really did not kick in until I tried to catch a train back to Macerata, only to have it cancelled. Now, normally that would not be such a big deal. Normally that would not even phase me. Well, I’m in a foreign country, I had run out of cash and I had a class at 8:00 a.m. this morning. I wanted to be back in Macerata and on time. Come to find out, from customer service that the trains were on strike. The representative said that I might not get back into Macerata that day. NOT OKAY with me. She recommended taking a train into Civitanova and then taking the bus to Macerata, which I promptly did.

I then arrived at the school, around 3:00, only to discover that they do not reopen until 9:00 p.m. Sunday. That would have been nice to know in advance. I mean that was a total and unnecessary major stressor.

Anyways, between last Friday when I left for Ancona and today, I have already learned multiple important lifelong lessons.

1) Always carry my passport while traveling.

I went to check in at my hostel, and was completely surprised and taken aback when the lady asked for my passport. I mean, if I were flying somewhere, yes, I would take my passport. But I do not want to be wandering Italy with my passport in hand. The last thing I need is to be stranded over here. She told me, “MAI” which means “never” in Italian, never travel without my passport. That does not make sense to me. You do not need your passport to sign into a hotel, why would you need one for a hostel? Thank goodness I had my driver’s license on me and she was able to use that to verify my identity.

2) Always carry cash

My mother has been trying to get me to do that for as long as I can remember, and I never really listened. However, considering that I am in a foreign country, and any number of things can happen, I made sure I listened this time, and thank goodness I did.  I had gone into a caffe, and ordered my food. I tried to pay with two different cards, and for whatever reason, the cards were not reading and registering with the system. But, lucky for me, I had cash.  I was able to pay my bill with the cash.  Now, I always ask before I go into the restaurant or wherever I am going, to ask first if they accept credit cards. After all, I am American and we pay for everything with cards.

3) Apparently I talk on the phone far too much

That one goes without saying.  I’m pretty sure my mother will die of a heart attack or a stroke when she sees my phone bill this month. But, in my defense, and yes, I do have a defense, I thought Google Voice was entirely free. I thought wrong. When you are using Google Voice from the iPhone (not the laptop or iPad, then it pulls from your data plan. Wish I had learned that sooner. I won’t make that mistake twice. My bill will certainly be huge this month. At least I’m on my mom’s plan. If this sort of thing happened on my father’s plan, he would kill me, then bring me back to life just so he could kill me again, and then cut off my plan, and take away my only connection to the outside world (sorry dad. I still love you though).

I  have learned a lot of hard lessons in my first few weeks here.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Kathleen says:

    To tell you the truth, hotels are also supposed to record information from your passport also, although some do skirt the law. Don’t leave town without it. If you can, make a photocopy of it in case you lose it. it will save you much grief.

    In Italy, strikes, especially transportation strikes, are as common as a rainy day. They happen a lot on Fridays, especially if Monday is a holiday. it’s a good idea to have a backup plan because sometimes they come without warning. Always check the trenitalia website before you leave.

    1. Thanks. yeah. What do they mean by strikes? Like, is it the same as how people go on strike in the US, because of like money or wages or the way staff is treated? Now I know, have a back up plan, and check online to see if there will be any hold ups. You seem to know a lot about Italy. Do you travel their a lot?

  2. Kathleen says:

    It is the same in a way, they are usually at least on the surface a complaint about something. When you’re working, there’s always something to complain about. But in the US, strikes usually happen because a contract has expired and the two sides cannot reach agreement. In Italy it is just because they are allowed to do it, it seems like, and they can happen at any time.

    I try to go to Italy once a year or so, and when I’m not there I’m reading about Italy and planning my next trip. It’s never enough. But then again, I have not spent any time in an Italian classroom. 😉

    1. You’re not missing out on much. From what I have experienced so far, these kids have no discipline whatsoever. I’d hate to know how they do on exams. If it was my school back in the day and we were disruptive, you can bet that we would come in the next day and have a pop quiz or oral exam or something.

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