italian phenomenon: procrastination

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HELLO WORLD, I seem to have completely forgotten my password I made for this blog, whoops! So, having kept meticulous records of my time here, I’m going to backtrack a bit to autumn and fill y’all in on what y’all have missed! And future students of Bologna who are just now receiving confirmation that y’all can come – hope that this information will be helpful!! Apologies for my bad memory.

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VOCABULARY WORD OF THE DAY: SCIOPERO (‘strike’)

Probably one of the most important terms you will learn in Italian living, ‘sciopero’ (strike) guides the ebb and flow of civilian activities. Whether it is a strike organized by 10-year old students (I’ve seen it!), the university (these seem nice except that it means that you have to make up the lost lecture hours at some other time arbitrarily determined by each of your professors), trains (by far the most frustrating, see below), or city-wide (where you just go to the gardens and play frisbee, not bad…), all lend to the general unphased character of the country. My plans have been destroyed because someone doesn’t want to work? Okay, that’s fine, I don’t really enjoy working either. Give them the day off. To English speakers, however, who have grown up with a sense of ‘deal with it, you’re paying / getting paid to do this’, it might be a bit frustrating. That is when, my friends, you get a cappuccino or a bottle of wine and enjoy the brilliant sunshine and countryside of the not-bothered Italian land.

My own experiences with the sciopero have been rather mild, except for train strikes. These are rather a bother, especially for the student trying to travel cheaply. (Note – Italian trains are really cheap if you take regional trains… though regional train workers are the ones who tend to strike – there’s a relationship here, I suppose) Make sure you always have extra food when you travel, especially if you’re planning to travel on a Sunday – being stuck in a train station with nothing open really augments hunger!

Perugia train schedule
STUCK IN PERUGIA, SCIOPERO

Don’t know if this is legible, but basically every train says ‘cancelled’. Good luck to you if you get caught in a train strike away from home!

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