Monday, April 13, 2009

The lovely chaos

The day you rest in one place too long, is the day you stop developing yourself. This is a saying I’ve heard once and I have always tried to live according to it. I must say, with years passing by, I’ve noticed that I have become more afraid of daring and challenging myself. It’s funny how we youngster always seem to make fun of our parents for not being daring enough, but then when we find ourselves in a new situation, we tend to act in the same way.

Anyway, I spent most of the autumn last year desperately searching for an internship in Italy. I had almost given up and lost all my hope, when I realized that my last chance was the annual travel fair that’s held in Helsinki. So I made it damn sure that I went through all the Italian stands that were present, and as incredible it might sound, this actually paid off because this way I managed to get myself this internship.

My internship is in a cozy small hotel with only 36 rooms called Hotel Daniele, www.hoteldaniele.com. The staff here is great. The owners are a couple, and they basically live here. At least they spend a great amount of their days here. I asked my boss, one of the owners today when she has free days. She merely replied “in this line of business, free days don’t exist”. I guess she’s right. This hotel is situated in a small town called Lignano Sabbiadoro, which you can find about 90 km from Venice. Population: 5 983. At first, this was a shock to me since I’m a city girl, but I take this fact as something positive. At least nobody can tell me that I don’t know how to go local. Here in one week I’ll know all the people in this town.

Yesterday when I arrived, I was lucky enough to have a friend who came to pick me up. Otherwise I would have had to take a bus from the airport to Venice and then a train, and then another bus. This is Italy. Long live public transportation! Luckily this time, I was saved from all the confusion. F and I decided to go first to my hotel to leave all my baggage there and then head back to Venice. I must add at this point that Venice looked so tiny from the airport. It’s incredible how a city so tiny can be so magical. Maybe the small size is the true reason to its fame.

Anyway, once we got to Lignano Sabbiadoro, I went up to the front desk of my hotel and told them who I was. I was immediately welcomed in a warm way. Despite this, there is a clear rule here. If you want to know something and be informed, you have to make sure to ask as many questions as possible. Italians are funny in that way. They never seem to understand that a foreign person doesn’t know everything about their country. The funny part is that I’ve already lived in Italy for some time, but I am still amazed at some things.

Returning to Italy always means returning to the chaos. The lovely chaos. Immediately when me and F headed back to Venice, we realized how difficult it was to find the right train to take us over the bridge going to Venice.

Venice is a unique Italian city because there are no cars. It’s a miracle. No honking horns. Therefore there was a massive amount of people taking trains from the train stop just outside Venice. Obviously all the Italians from other cities leave their cars there at the station and then take the train. The funny part was that at the train station, there were no indications about how to get to Venice. And when we finally got on the right train, only one wagon/car was working. The others were “fuori servizio”, a fraise Italians seem to love, which means out of order. In Italy, fuori servizio is an excuse for everything. You are forced to laugh every time you see a sign like that because you can never anticipate where you’ll find it.

I’ll continue domani..tomorrow :)

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