2014

Seems that everyone is doing year summaries today, since it’s the last day of the year. Once upon a time I was doing such things as well, but these days I’m not much into those things. But remembering it’s a blog I feel obliged to write at least a couple of words.

I just want to say, that for me 2014 was mostly a year of good choices, even though in the end I gave up to many things I chose. But those turned out to be good choices as well, cause they all led me to the best choice of all: moving to Italy for an EVS.

Let’s not be overexcited here though. I’ve met many obstacles on the way. Fortunately they were only connected to things that were not really important to me. As for the thing most precious, it couldn’t be better and I couldn’t be happier now.

And 2015? I will continue my EVS, after which… well… let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

How things are done around here

You all probably know at least a couple of stereotypes about Italy and Italians. We all do. Not all of them are true (as it often goes with stereotypes), but some definitely yes. Like for example the one about Italians being always late. I guess for them it’s fine as long as everyone else is late too. In this case even though you agree with other people to meet at, let’s say 20.00, no one will come earlier than 20.30-21.00 anyway, so you don’t have to either.

It's middle of December and they are sitting outside... Maybe they agreed to meet in November and they are late?
It’s middle of December and they are sitting outside… Maybe they agreed to meet in November and they are late?

But what is still a bit shocking and annoying (but you know, there’s this moment when something that pisses you off changes into something that makes you roll on the floor laughing) is that also institutions base on that stereotype. Simple example: the Italian National Erasmus+ Agency still hasn’t paid to my host organisation all the money for the project I’m doing here (I’d like to remind that everyone knew since July that this project will take place). So, as a result, my host organisation is paying from their own pocket, so that I have a roof over my head and food in my stomach.

And another hilarious example. The national agency writes on their own website:

Entro un mese dalla data di arrivo, il volontario ha il diritto e il dovere di partecipare alla formazione all’arrivo, che deve essere predisposta dall’Agenzia Nazionale.
(“Within one month from the date of arrival, the volunteer has the right and duty to participate in an on-arrival training which must be arranged by the National Agency.”)

Do you want to know when I’m going to this training? Next week. More than two months after my arrival. Seriously, what can they possibly teach me there right now? After all my adventures with dentists, hospitals, insurance companies and rather incompetent people of any kind, it’s probably me who should be teaching in this course. It’s very likely that I know more about how things are done around here than most of the volunteers who came to Italy in the same period as I did.

But let’s look on the bright side: the course lasts one week and it will take place in a hotel in Rimini, just next to the seaside.

And since I don’t drink coffee and eat rather heavy things for breakfast I just hope they won’t serve only Italian breakfast there…