Yesterday I took a trip to visit my school where I will be a comenius assistant for the year.
It takes me an hour or so to get there from Perugia on the local train service. Lucky for me the school is a five minute walk from the station and I live a few minutes away from the station in Perugia.
When I saw the outside of the train I was not looking forward to seeing the inside of the train but luckily for me the inside was fine. Look here to see what I mean.
When I got off the train I was greeted by the English teachers in my school. I also noticed quite quickly that the train station was not much of a station. It was just a building with a bench and a screen with the train arrivals/departures on it. There was no bar, which is typical at Italian train stations. No bar means small town/village where not a lot happens or people visit. Can you see why I choose to live in Perugia and commute?
I am going to be in the scuola media spending one hour a week with each class (12) plus maybe helping in other subjects or doing a class for teachers and parents. The school also has a primary attached to it and at Christmas I may get to help with the festivities there.
The school is very keen to get me involved in the local community too. They were super welcoming and kept saying ‘che carina!’ I think I am going to like it there.
The timetable for the trains is the most confusing thing ever! The teachers weren’t even sure if some of the train times were for Sundays and festivals or if you had to request a stop on Sundays and festivals*. In fact the bf had read the timetable wrong too so I had to get a later train than I was supposed to be the 9am train is only on Sundays. Why can’t they keep the Sunday and festival timetable on a separate page from the Monday to Saturday times? Or is the aim to confuse everyone?
*Side note: On this local Umbrian train service you need to tell the train conductor where you are getting off especially if it is not one of the main stops otherwise it won’t stop. it is a very Italian system if you ask me!
So lucky for me the 1230pm train does run on normal days. While waiting I had a conversation with an old lady (who said I can’t speak any Italian? :P). When I say conversation it only lasted about two minutes because I used all the Italian I knew without saying random words like melanzane, zucchine, pasta, pizza and Che schifo. I also helped her to validate her ticket on the train.
On the train back to Perugia it was the same train conductor. He was a little bit confused as to why I had a little time in the town. I explained that I was going to be assisting in English lessons at the school. Which he replied ‘ahhhh you speak English? I speak a little.’ For the rest of the train journey when he passed me he would ask me a different question. Why I choose Italy? Where I was from? Which Scottish football team I support? He told me to reply in Italian and he will speak to me English. He gave me advice on the tickets and on the 1st of October I should buy a monthly pass.
So it looks like my train journey will consist of a language exchange. Who said public transport isn’t fun?
Looks like this year is going to be fun 🙂