Firmare means to sign, and today we have found ourselves in the confusion of paperwork that is Erasmus, which would be perfectly manageable if we had a printer nearby to use! Unfortunately we can’t find one anywhere which means we are bit stuck on receiving our grant and officially letting the Uni know we have arrived. Also, our tutor here has never met, seen or spoken to us, it’s like he’s avoiding us… and everyone else makes their offices very hard to find, and changes their office hours daily so we can never find anyone to sign anything.
I'm back after a lovely Easter break with my family in England.
I learned this Neapolitan slang on the train and worked out that it means sporca, or “dirty”. A woman was telling off her daughter for touching the bin on the train. They pronounce the letter S more like a Sh in Neapolitan, and it gets pretty confusing when people talk it in the city. It does make me envy people in Tuscany who can pick up standard Italian in the street without even thinking about it!
After being pretty quiet on the blogging front recently, I am back with lots of exciting things to report on! The past few months have been great fun - Adelaide, as always, has been the heart of constant enjoyment and lifetime memory-making opportunities. There has been an array of fantastic events recently such as the Fringe Festival, WOMAD Festival and various food and drink events and tasting festivals such as ‘Taste Australia’ which has been on this weekend.
‘Mad March’ has been my favourite time since living down Under. I enjoyed attending the Adelaide Fringe Festival watching a wide range of world-class acts and covering my face in glitter for the entirety of the Fringe! Some of my favourite shows included the infamous and utterly hilarious ‘Dragapella’ (yes, this is a real show AND they have multiple albums on Spotify), '360 All-Stars', a theatrical acrobatic group consisting of world renowned athletes, dancers and musicians and ‘Critically Will’, a fantastically entertaining comedy show by Australia’s most talented comic, Will Anderson. I’d definitely encourage checking them all out if you are thinking of heading to the Edinburgh Fringe – I’ll see you there!
On the first night of the Fringe, there was a brilliant opening parade show. To get in the real Aussie spirit I thought that this selfie on the left was a must. The tent in the photo on the right was the venue for the first Fringe show that I saw which was called ‘Best of Ed’, a stand-up comedy show by 3 talented comedians from the Edinburgh Fringe.
As well as seeing some great shows, I loved the buzz of the city whilst the Fringe was on. There were heaps of pop up bars and amazing street food trucks. People from all over the world had come to Adelaide to watch the Fringe, it really was the place to be. Also, as part of the Festival, there were venues all over the city with live music, more food and drink places and a great excuse to catch up with friends, have a few drinks and a boogie, or see a last minute show after work! My favourite venues were the Royal Croquet Club and the Garden of Unearthly delights. One night I went to one of the venues for some food with a friend after work and very luckily bagged some free tickets for a show called YouTunes! It was hosted in a small but quirky tent in the Royal Croquet Club and ran by one incredibly talented musician with a mixture of instruments who made music out of the interactions and noises the crowed made, such as laughing, cheering and even speaking. It was comical, interactive and thoroughly entertaining!
Here are some photos from the Garden of Unearthly delights, Royal Croquet Club, and ‘Secret Garden bar’!
So, big advice for anyone coming to Adelaide, or even Australia, on placement next year – be sure to check out the Fringe and all associated events, and save your pennies for what I guarantee will be the best month of your placement!
Before I leave to go to England for Easter for a week, I thought I should take the opportunity to post a photo of where I live! This is Chiaia, an absolute dream compared to the run down (still beautiful) and dangerous landscapes of the city center.
I probably knew words like this already from Bath (at least I should), but I thought I’d write how interesting it is studying French from an Italian’s perspective. Affinché means pour que or afin que in French (“in order that” in English). Our classes are interesting because most of them place a huge focus on pronunciation, something that has come very naturally to English students, and they work the language out very mathematically, with very specific rules of pronunciation that I have never seen before. In England we seem to just pick it up as we go along, which seems like a more natural way of learning. Also, in Italian they have to be reminded that you can’t put the article before a noun (e.g. gateau le, it has to be le gateau) because in Italian you can do this. But English people have never had to question it. Interesting!
This means meatballs, and I have developed a new love of making them! I make them every week from reduced hamburger meat, and they are super low cost and really nice. (Boring post but potentially the most exciting thing to happen all day!)
One thing I really should mention about Naples is that the university has not been as supportive as we thought. I honestly think they are just not used to having Erasmus students, let alone language-studying ones. All the courses they originally signed off for us last year they have cancelled which meant we had to panic and find enough credits to make up the semester. The Italian course they run has been canceled, which was really annoying since it is compulsory for us to study it. There was a time we thought we’d be forced to study (and unfortunately inevitably fail) a course like Architecture since that was the closest we could find, but luckily we have found a medieval history course and a French course worth a hefty 12 credits each. They’re not ideal but by far our best options that fit with the orario (timetable) we are putting together. My housemate is paying for an extra Italian class but I am being brave and a bit stupid by saving myself €100 and learning it by myself.
As there’s so much to update on, I thought I’d go for four mini-posts! So without waiting any longer…
The Christmas Party
Now, the NBCUniversal Christmas party is an event that is hyped up to the point where you’re excited for Christmas from about mid-August. As the date approached, I found myself seriously considering the extent of which I was looking forward to this more than actual Christmas (sorry mum). Each year it happens in a different location, with plenty of music, food and drink. This year’s theme was “Night Circus” and took place in the Waterloo Vaults (a venue that stretches out under Waterloo train station).
Getting dressed up in the office was taken pretty seriously here in research, topped by one of the interns bringing in a light up mirror. The event itself definitely lived up to expectations, with room after room filled with something new. Highlights included challenging various people to an arcade dance machine, eating nitrogen ice-cream and subjecting my colleagues to my terrible dance moves.
M. Night Shyamalan and Free Coffee
This placement has led to a lot of slightly surreal showbiz moments, but up there has to be when M. Night Shyamalan was the reason for the café on the newly acquired floor of our building becoming completely free. It started with a business update at a theatre near the office, during which James McAvoy and M. Night Shyamalan answered questions about their new film Split (which I definitely recommend, even if I literally had to hide my eyes behind my hands for some of it). However, on the more logistical side of the business update, the prospect of a subsidised café with real-life baristas was raised. To cut a long story short, M. Night congratulated us on the cheap coffee which was enough to persuade the Chairman that we should actually be having this coffee for free. So thanks M. Night, can’t beat drinking an Americano whilst looking over London.
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I am now a member of the committee for the LGBT+ employee resource group OUT London. Part of this has involved reaching out to the cross-media LGBT+ alliance InterMedia UK. Subsequently, I attend monthly steering committee meetings at offices across London (recently this has included Channel Four and ITV). Ultimately, the group’s aim is to make the media industry more LGBT+ friendly and getting to discuss issues with such a plethora of industry professionals has been incredibly insightful. It’s still early days, but there are some cracking events coming up.
50 Shades Darker Premiere
I first read Fifty Shades of Grey when I realised that I could get it for free because I shared a Kindle account with my mum who had already bought it (a mixed blessing). It was therefore incredibly exciting to open my emails one Thursday and see that I had won an internal contest to attend the premiere that evening. Walking to Leicester Square, I could see the lights and hear the crowds as we approached the cinema. As luck would have it, we arrived on the red carpet at the same time as Jamie Dornan and the flash of cameras was unreal. Security moved us down the red carpet quickly, but we still were able to take lots of pictures. Before the film itself, we were treated to a glass of champagne and a quick introduction from E. L. James herself. It’s safe to say I could get used to that lifestyle!
I've officially reached the halfway point of my placement, but I know the next half will likely be just as eventful!
This means rechargeable or “top up”, and I learnt this word when buying myself a SIM card for my time here. A tip for future students? Go to TIM and they will give you a SIM card for 10€ that is also only 10€ a month for a lot of data and enough texts and calls. This is incredible compared to the €30 a month I was having to spending at Orange in France for the same deal.
Binario means platform, and that is a fairly boring word but I didn’t know it before. Living in beautiful Chiaia means we are a 1hr journey away from Uni whether we take the metro or walk. We usually take the metro and buy tickets religiously every day even though we never see people checking them. In Naples it is a much better option than walking or taking the crazily crowded bus and as long as you have your bag all zipped up you will have no problems at all.