Sunday, October 21, 2012

This week has been a good week

On Monday I thought I'd cursed it all by saying how brilliant the weather has been, and it got all cold and windy and stormy and a little bit scary. It wasn't the thunder and lightning     that freaked me out, that doesn't bother me, but the way the balcony doors were shaking and rattling made me wonder if they'd last until morning or if I was going to wake up with my bed covered in glass and splinters. Obviously this building has been here a LOT longer than I have, so really there was no reason to hide with my head under the covers all night.
When I woke up on Tuesday morning the weather was back to its full glory, sunshine and blue skies and 25 degrees, and it was almost like I'd made the whole thing up.
I don't have much to report from school this week. Week 3 played out pretty much the same as the first 2 weeks. I still feel like a giant talking dictionary in some classes, where I just sit  in the corner and every so often I'm asked how to pronounce a certain word. It is getting better though, and I’m gradually getting more chances to talk with the students, and try to explain (awful) grammatical aspects of the English language, for example, the phonetic differences between "fell", "fill", and "feel" - completely different meanings, but some students were pronouncing them exactly the same. I suspect most of them still are.

The big, exciting part of my week was Wednesday afternoon, when I discovered that I'd been waiting over a month for Orange to unlock my phone for NO GOOD REASON, because it was
already unlocked. So, off I skipped, (literally), to the nearest phone shop that I could think of to buy an Italian sim card. I realise that this doesn't exactly come across as all that exciting, but it really is. Now that I have 3G on my phone, I don't have to run down to the beach every time I want to check my emails. This is particularly handy because the lidos have all closed down for the 'winter' and there IS no wifi. In the absence of free wifi on the beach, having 3G on my phone also means that I don't have to turn up on Cettina's doorstep every afternoon, just so I can check facebook/check my emails/ call my mum. She says she doesn't mind, but I can't help but feel it's a bit intrusive to turn
up at 3pm every day, laptop/phone in hand, so I can call my mum and then if Cettina so much as mentions the word 'mum' afterwards I get all watery-eyed and blink at her a lot. This is not really how I want to spend my afternoons here in Sicily, and I can't help but suspect Cettina feels the same way. SO now, I have 100mb of data coverage with which I can do whatever I like each day, for only 5 euros a month. Most of this has so far gone on facebook and Skype, which is great, it means that I can keep in touch with everyone back home without going on some wild trek around Cefalu, searching for internet access. I will appreciate it all the more if this mythical 'winter' ever actually arrives, and I don't have to leave my cosy bed to update my status and tell the world that it is, in fact, 'reeeally bloody cold'. This may be a moot point however, because I honestly don't believe it ever gets cold here.

Another highlight of my week (that is also a bit less nerdy than the previous section) was Thursday evening. After I got home from school on Thursday, I fell asleep for hours, and ended up waking up at around 5pm, feeling terrible that I'd wasted a whole afternoon of sunshine and potential beach opportunity. So I decided that to make up for wasting so much time I would go for a wander around the old town with my camera, while the light was still good, and try to get some nice photos (a couple of which I will try to include here).

 I left the flat and headed towards the cathedral, but found it impossible to take any photographs of said cathedral that didn't have tourists blundering into the shot, or without beggars coming up to me, which, (and this might sound terrible), always makes me nervous when I'm on my own, especially when I've got my camera/phone/purse out in my hand.

I gave up on the cathedral and ended up walking towards the marina. I (rather unsuccessfully) tried to take some decent photos of the lighthouse, (curse you, shaky shaky hands), and walked all the way along the road above the marina, fairly certain that if I carried on that way I would go right around the rock and back into town. After about half an hour of walking along this road, in the darkness, (because the sun had definitely gone down by now), silently convincing myself that I would probably be kidnapped or murdered or run over, I reached the turning in the road that led back to Cefalu. Only, it was JUST a road, no sign of a pavement, and the road narrowed to pitch blackness about 50 metres from where I was. Obviously I had to turn back.

All the way past the marina I convinced myself I couldn't look down because then I'd see something I wasn't supposed to see and then I'd end up "sleepin' with the fishes", so I pretty much power-walked all the way back into the familiar territory of the old town.

Back in the old town, I managed to get a snap of the cathedral (which is not the friendliest-looking building, notice the slits in the walls for shooting arrows out of?) while a man on a scooter tried to run me over. By the time I got home it was only about half 7, but it had felt like the dead of the night, walking around on my own out there.

I'm sure there was no danger at all, but I properly spooked myself, and when I got home I realised I'd got about 15 massive mosquito bites for my troubles. I did manage to get a couple of decent photos on this mini-adventure, and I guess I've got a lot of time to practice while I'm here. I think I might just stick to getting my camera out during the day while I'm on my own though.

Hopefully my Erasmus grant will come through this week, so that I can go on a wee adventure to Palermo, (and also, so that I can pay my rent, which would be very useful). Cefal├╣ is lovely, but it’s SO SMALL, so I definitely want to get out and explore more of Sicily. Next week (the week where October turns into November), there’s a 4-day school holiday, so I will investigate bus/train timetables and go on at least one trip to somewhere new. Right now I feel like I’ve got all the time in the world to go exploring, but I know that if I carry on thinking like that it’ll get to May and I won’t have been anywhere! It’s been a month already, and it’s flown by! As much as I miss my road bike, because in theory it would be great for exploring, I don’t think that I’d get that much use out of it here, because the roads are so twisty and narrow, and the Sicilians drive like absolute nutters. And the thought of hoiking it up all those scarily steep stairs every time I wanted to go out just makes me feel sad. You’d have to see these stairs to understand, each of them is higher than it is deep, and you honestly have to be some kind of mountain goat just to get up to the flat without tripping or clinging onto the banister. I have no idea how I’ll get my suitcase down when I go home at Christmas - I might have to get some rope and lower it down from the balcony (not even joking).

It's Sunday today, which is my day off, and I really want to go up the rock, but I think I may have left it too late in the day now, as it's nearly 1pm now, and I don't want to evaporate halfway up. I think I’ll save it for one of the holiday-days at the end of the month. I might just have to go to the beach today instead; it’s too hot to do anything else.

Finally – at least 2 different people have gone down the road outside my flat on segways since I started writing this. In fact, I think they’re going round in big loops, along the seafront and back round. I’m sure this is not normal.

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