Tuesday, June 9, 2009
On Sunday for the first time here I felt bad from drinking. I just need to face the fact that the heat here makes it impossible to drink even close to the amount I drink at home. Fortunately my colleague G let me sleep at her place, so we could feel bad together on Monday morning before heading for work. Monday was a great day at work. My boss actually said to me that it’s a pity that I’m going home soon since I’ve improved everything so well. That’s a lot coming from a woman who never gives compliments.
Today we got a real chock. One of the colleagues working at the hotel I sleep in decided late last night to leave the hotel. But she did so without telling anybody. So this morning the housekeepers and waitresses found the reception empty without any kind of note. Instead her room was cleaned and empty and her working shirt was thrown in the laundry. Of course this has caused a lot of problems around here, and I fear that my last days here in Lignano will be filled with work.
Today was my last free day before finishing my internship here. After this, I’m working until next Friday when it’s my last working day here. Then Saturday I’m free and Sunday the 21st I fly home to Finland. Yeah!
I spent today tracking my lost package from my mom. Apparently it won’t arrive since she put in a nice Marimekko package. It’s been over two weeks now since she mailed it and there is no sign of it, so I think it’s quite evident that it’s not coming. The funny part was that I had to go to two mail offices in order to find out that they can’t help me. Wonderful. Actually I was happy to get a chance to go to Sabbiadoro, the outer part of Lignano Sabbiadoro, so I could look around for some souvenirs to bring back home. And I found just the kind of things I wanted to. And I managed to hear Finnish for the first time here too. I saw two girls and I couldn’t believe that they were actually speaking in Finnish. How strange it sounded, hehe. It will be a chock to come home and not hear merely Italian everywhere. Oh my god, I have been Italianized!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Visiting the city of castles, capos, caffé lattes, ice cream and ruins.
Yesterday I spent my free day making a trip. It was incredibly refreshing to get out of Lignano and see something else of Italy. I had been studying a brochure I found at the hotel that presented some organized tours from Lignano. The reason why I haven’t been on these trips until now is simple: they haven’t been organized until now since there hasn’t been enough goers in order to realize them. This was the first week it was possible. I hope my luck with continue, because I’m planning another one for next Tuesday and I seriously want to go.
Back to the trip of today..it all started at twenty to nine when the Lignano tours bus arrived to pick me up. After a 40-minute-long ride to the Miramare castle, we arrived in a beautiful park. I’ve never been especially interested in castles, but I must admit that I liked visiting this one since it was situated close to the sea. It made me think about home.
I met other tourists too, that was fun. I especially remember a man on the balcony of the castle who thanked me for taking his photo in Finnish, so nice! Somebody in the world knows about our existence, even though it seems hopeless sometimes in Lignano.
I must mention a funny detail. When I heading back to our bus taking us to Trieste, I saw that there was a toilet on the way. I thought it would be a good idea to go before heading into the city (Miramare is situated about 20 minutes from Trieste). I entered and of course there was a woman sitting there. Why? Because in Italy it’s very common that there actually sits a person supervising the toilet and kind of taking care of it. The point with this all is of course to make people pay for the maintenance of the toilet. So eventually, my toilet visit cost me one euro. Incredible that a job like that actually exists somewhere, but then again - I rather pay for the service than go to a dirty and disgusting toilet.
Entering Trieste one thing was evident - the city was unlike any other Italian city. Trieste has a different type of architecture, mainly because of its history. I liked the city immediately. I could directly sense the city’s vitality. Our guide took us first to see a beautiful church and some Roman ruins, situated on a hill with the view of the city.
What makes the church special is the fact that it has been constructed by combining two already existing churches. This means that inside the church there was not only one altar, but two. And what altars! The altars were made by stunning mosaics that could be illuminated. By now, the Italians have realized that they can collect money from everything, so even church services cost. Illuminations, church descriptions, you name it. Everything has a price. I find this highly controversial to the true beliefs of the church. But I guess it’s the rule of the commercial world we now live in.
Leaving the hill, we entered the main square of the city with three powerful seats visible - the halls of the city, region, and state. Impressive buildings. We got some free time to walk around the center.
Even though I was afraid to get lost in a new city, I accepted the challenge and started to walk around. I had lunch in a typical bar where they served ham rolls. It was a funny scene; I entered a bar full of noise and disorder. Again, a very typical Italian scene. People shouting and no clear order, especially no queue. I looked around in order to get eye contact with somebody, anybody who worked there and I managed to get my roll and a coke. I liked the crazy busy atmosphere there. While eating my roll outside the bar, I decided to have a cup of coffee as dessert. In Trieste, even coffee types go under different names. Cappuccino is no longer cappuccino, but caffé latte. And macchiato is not macchiato, but capo. Anyway, whatever they might be called, they were damn good.
Trieste has a little bit of everything. History but even modern buildings. People in suits, but also people that look like they’re on holiday. Locals and foreigners. An interesting fact is that the city has many minorities presented due to its harbor. Our guide told us that the city had two Ortodox churches, which I have never encountered before in Italy. Not only that but even a prayer room for Chinese people, which usually aren't appreciated in Italy and therefore not taken into consideration.
After walking around for about one and a half hour, it was time to continue the journey and rejoin my tour group. Now we were off to Duino, a small town of eight thousand people or so. The castle of Duino itself was not that special, but the settings in which you found it in were breathtaking. I could have stayed there forever. The scenery was amazing. The bunker that could be found on the premises was scary, it reminded me of war times and I could not wait to get out of it.
Safe and sound on the bus again, I easily fell asleep and slept through the whole way back. Overall, the trip was wonderfully organized and I enjoyed myself. I would call it a perfect way to spend my free day.
Friday, June 5, 2009
As the days pass here in Lignano Sabbiadoro, I begin to realize that I’m returning home soon. I can’t express myself well enough in words to describe how happy that makes me. It’s crazy, when I left, I remember thinking that ten weeks would be nothing, but they have turned out to be longer than I imagined, probably because my time here is so eventful. After all, working in a hotel is one of the easiest ways to get to know people, although I have noticed that the other staff doesn’t really mind getting to know the hotel guests, besides my bosses of course. I think that is only natural since the hotel is family owned. In fact, the marketing made for the hotel emphasizes the familiar and cozy atmosphere of the hotel.
One of the funniest things that have happened during the last few days concerns a package my mother sent me from Finland. I used the word funny, but I actually should have used the word tragic. Funny is just a way to ease the pain for myself. Yes, so I was saying that my mom sent me a package from Finland and this time I made sure to tell her not to put something important in the package and maybe even pay some more to get the package home delivered.
Last time I spoke to my mom she said that over a week had passed since she sent the package, so I started to ask around about it in my hotel. It turned out that it might be that I will never receive the package because the post office here is not always open. And even if the post office is, it might be that the mail deliverer is on holiday. WTF??? Therefore I should go to the post office and demand that they search my package. Ridiculous. Have you ever heard about something similar? The problem is of course that I’m always working when the post office is open, but I just might pass by there tomorrow because I really do want my package. I can’t believe this. I mean, I’d accepted the fact that the mailing system here might be slow, but non existing? That takes us back in time..hmm..how many years? Fifty?