I’m into my third day now and I’ve certainly been busy considering how little time I’ve been here. I’ve located the main university areas; which bus(es) I need to get/how far it is to walk (TOO far in some cases) to reach said areas; one of the main streets for shopping (essential) and the supermarket. Today I (finally) managed to register with the uni at the Erasmus/International Relations office, after two failed attempts – once on Wednesday (it was closed when I arrived) and once yesterday (copy of your passport AND a passport photo). I’ve accomplished little things, such as buying myself a good-sized mug, and big things, like turning up at a ‘tandem language’ event organised by the uni on my own and getting chatting to people (thoroughly enjoyed it and will be off again in a couple of weeks). Phew!
The journey here was considerably easy, after some of the pants ones I’ve had recently. And whilst flitting between excitement, dread and sheer terror prior to my departure from the UK, since my mother abandoned me at the airport early Wednesday morning I have been very calm. Which is nice! My flight was fine, taxi got to the apartment okay and my landlord seems nice too. He's staying here for a little while too, whilst he sorts out some other tenants (I'm still the only one at the moment!) and I was surprised to find that he speaks pretty good English, since we'd only communicated in Italian in our emails (now we speak nearly always Italian but he often tries to practice his English and it's a good balance).
Aaand onto something very important: the apartment! It's in a nice quiet area a bit of a way out of the city (perhaps more than I'd realised): well, quiet besides the occasional low-flying plane (we're near the airport) or extremely rackety freight train that goes over the bridge down the road. My room is huuuuge which is a bit of a shame since I don't have very much to fill it with. I brought along some bunting and lots of photos/postcards to put up - unfortunately I did so without bringing any blu-tack (which is ever so slightly annoying) but luckily Mum's already posted some out for me, yay! Here are some photos for those of you who are nosey.
(Don't worry I do have pillows, just took this photo before they were put in place)
And the kitchen too….
Despite it only being my third day, I've already managed to go through nearly my entire chocolate supply (I didn't bring that much...), travel on the bus without a ticket (purely accidental) and get locked in the bathroom for five (kinda panicky) minutes. On the other hand, I've have been striving to speak oodles of Italian to absolutely everyone and anyone - my landlord, people at this tandem language event, two girls in the street when I had to ask directions, and a very snotty woman at the Erasmus office just to name a few! So far I'd say it's going swimmingly, possibly all due to having spent my summer with an Italian family getting used to the language - looks like it's done the trick!
Of course, I am getting the (now somewhat strangely familiar) pangs of homesickness. They usually come knocking when I've run out of things to do, so the obvious thing is to go and find something to do (as I wrote in this post shortly after arriving in Milan at the start of August). On my first night when I felt a bit lonely (I was also exhausted which never helps) I watched Atlantis: The Lost Empire (yes, Disney!), and this afternoon I'm going to try and watch an Italian film (read - stumble through half of one, then give up and find something else to watch). Oh, and devour the last quarter of my chocolate. Dairy Milk, thou art perfection.
Wheew not too much more to say just yet. Lectures start on Monday and I *think* I've got my options sorted. As an Erasmus student, you don't seem to have to properly register for your courses, but you have to know which you're doing in order to create a 'study plan' which is VERY important as that is what gets sent back to my UK university....I think. And I also have to fill it in on the Erasmus Learning Agreement (a lot of paperwork, not a lot of fun), and register to attend the exams (not til November), and make sure I'm doing the right amount of credits...sorry that's probably dead boring to read about, but it's mostly all I'm thinking about right now!
More news soon. For now, the long and short of it is - I'm fine!