Friday, July 1, 2011

Ups and Downs in Perugia

After being here for just 2 days I have already figured out two Italian quirks: The first is that nobody knows what an "internet cafe" is and get confused when I ask. It took me two hours to find this one today because of the second quirk, which is that when people dont know where something is they point in a vague direction and tell you to try that way. I have been literally all over the city today, trying to find this internet cafe and also orient myself to the city at the same time. Unfortunately, like yesterday it started to thunder in the middle of the day. Luckily though I had brought my rain coat because I thought it looked like it was going to rain (I was hoping to be in the internet cafe by the time it rained).

To be perfectly honest, Perugia has been filled with mishaps ever since I got here. I had been talking to a girl online about an apartment with a single room for a really good price in a good location. She said that she was going to go to Rome in July, so it would be the perfect time to step in. We set up an appointment to see the place and she told me to come back at 5 to talk to the landlord. When I got there at 5 a few hours later, she wasnt sure if she still wanted to move out, and ultimately decided to stay. I rushed back to the hostel and luckily there was space there to stay the night. This morning I went to an apartment agency and decided to just pay the commission to make sure I have some place to live. They suggested a double room apartment under about 15 minutes walk from the University, and I took it. There is another girl living in the apartment named Ana, and the moment I moved in the very first thing she told me about was how terrible the landlords are and how the month before they didnt allow her to see the bills but charged her 100 or more euros for electric, etc. She told me they had lied when they said it would cost about 30 (other landlords have quoted prices of utilities anywhere from 20 to 50 euros so that was what I was expecting). At this point I was panicking that I had made a terrible mistake and I went back to the agency and tried to leave the apartment but ended up finding a different solution, which was to lock in my expenses at 30 euros. The lady who works at the agency then went over and yelled at Ana for telling me this, and said that I was the second person she had tried to keep from coming into the apartment. So my apartment mate (she lives in the other room and I dont have a roommate) probably doesnt like me much, but she is moving out on the 5th of July apparently, so I will only have to live with her a few days. So in summary, I have a place to live, but I had to jump through a lot of hoops to get there.

I also am a bit disappointed to find that I placed into B2, which means intermediate 2 level. I talked to other people in the level and they said that they have been studying Italian for 2 years, and their original languages are Korean and German, so they have no advantage over me. I have been studying Italian for 6 years and I really thought I could make it into the advanced level. I want to be in the appropriate level for me, but I also want the appropriate level to be advanced. I am going to do my best to switch, but they said the earliest I could try was after two days of classes, which dont start until the 5th for some reason. On the positive side, I was planning to take a trip to Siena to see the Palio tomorrow and spend the night in Florence, and I am now going to try to stay there for one more day since I dont have to be back to Perugia until Tuesday. This will give me time to see more of Florence and maybe Pisa.

Also, I have met some nice people. In the hostel I met a boy from China who introduced himeself as Sebastiano. I have run into him two or three times at random and he placed into A2 so we wont be in classes together but it is nice to know someone. Also, I met a boy named Wesley from Miami who has been to the University for Foreigners before and helped me get oriented at the University. I also met a girl from Estonia named Helen and we talked in the hostel last night for over an hour. I have been practicing my Italian as much as possible, but most people Ive met who arent actual Italians have a much lower speaking level than I do and dont even want to try speaking Italian. When class starts I hope to really practice more.

Perugia is beautiful and I am liking it despite all of these mishaps. I bought a copy of The Portrait of Dorian Gray in Italian, a book that Ive already read in English and enjoyed and today and yesterday sat in the Piazza XIV Novembre reading it in the sun. I am really excited for the Palio tomorrow and hope that the weather is nice!
A beauiful Perguia hillside

Perugia sunset

My new place to live, on the left. There is also a desk, window, and airmoir and the room is quite big with a nice view. The apartment is also very clean and has a nice living room

1 comment:

  1. Looks like it comes with sheets too- yay!

    Hopefully will be smooth sailing from this point forward.

    I think Zurich got bumped up because you added photos- everything looks so beautiful!