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Cruising in the South

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The adventure begins

Due Torri
Due Torri / Bologna

It has been a little bit crazy after my arrival yesterday morning, but now I’m starting to settle in and organize things. To my pleasant surprise, my bus from Poland wasn’t late at all and moreover I had the best place of all on it, cause I was sitting on the higher deck in the very first front row with only the window before me. But don’t think I had awesome views or something. I took a camera with me, yes, but I crossed the border with Czech Republic at 20.30, when it was already dark and the whole journey it was raining. I was at least hoping for nice landscapes closer to Italy, but I had to have some sleep after all and when the sun started to rise around 7.00, there were no mountains around anymore, cause we were in Veneto. And what is even funnier, when we crossed the “border” between Veneto and Emilia-Romagna, the only thing you could see outside of the window was… a very thick fog. In the end: no views for me.

Yesterday was all about trying to realize I’m seriously going to live in this country for 10 months. I mean, 5 months in Finland were crazy, but this is another dimension. Not all people will just speak English to me. Actually, most of them won’t. But since I already understand some things when spoken to me and can express myself in Italian in a very simple way, there shouldn’t be much problem in taking it a step further. Being thrown into a situation where the only option is to adjust yourself and be forced to try as hard as you can may work some miracles.

The next days will still be mostly about working things out with everyone, organizing our plans for the next weeks and introducing us (me and the other volunteer, Laure) to all the activities and events. But, so far so good. I will consider it already a success if I don’t die tragically while riding a bike in the Italian traffic. Just in case, today I signed a document stating that in case of my death (sic!) my parents will share the insurance money 50/50, so if there’s anyone that wanted to have their share here too, you’re late.

Time to go!

Piazza Maggiore
Piazza Maggiore / Bologna

Here we are, at the beginning of a new adventure. I’m leaving to Bologna in a couple of hours. After all the craziness (believe me, there was a lot!) happening in the past weeks, I have made it to this point.

Writing tones of mails, running millions of errands, arranging things in advance just to be ready for any circumstance — this is all in the past right now. Well, more or less at least, cause you know how it usually goes: you can’t be prepared for everything and I’m going to Italy in the end, so probably the motto of my trip should be Expect the unexpected. Or maybe better: Don’t expect.

Being a control freak that I am, this EVS will probably be a big test for my and my abilities to adapt and be patient. And anyway, I can always take a yoga class.

17 hours

It’s official: I have my ticket for travelling to Bologna. I’m leaving on Wednesday, 1st October in the afternoon. I should arrive in Bologna around 10.00 the following day. In total, the whole travel would take around 17 hours. In that time I shall cover about 1240 km through four countries.

Yes, that means I’m taking a bus to Italy. Old school, I know, but that’s the “benefit” of living in a city that has no airport of its own. Travelling to another city, at least 120 km away from my hometown, with a lot of luggage and a drum seemed to be too uncomfortable, costly and tiring to even take it into consideration. Not to mention the extra costs of my unusual baggage and the risk of loosing it on the way.

I actually have traveled to Italy by bus before. I was much younger, about 12 I think, and the bus was full of screaming, overexcited children of my age. Not that I enjoyed it so much, I was more interested in the views outside the window, but I guess the journey went fast, cause they tried to keep us occupied. Now I will have to entertain myself and I have doubts about whether the bus has sockets, so I could plug my computer in for instance. But fortunately, I’ll also be “armored” with A Feast For Crows in original language and so hopefully I will get myself busy with all those characters dying around in rivers of blood and guts (don’t spoil me anything!).

For now, I have more urging matters to attend though. The following week will be all about the art of packing for a year.