Thursday, April 26, 2012

Warm fuzzies.

Earlier this week, I received my first "care package". It's always nice to know that no matter where I am, I have my amazing Toronto girls who love me. It's funny how simple things like peanut butter, ketchup chips, Korean cup noodles, floss picks and gossip mags can put a great big smile on my face.

Nutella took a backseat for breakfast that  morning to a warm cup of asian noodles at 9:30....mmmmm. Don't judge, you would have done the same. =P

xoT

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My very own...

....Bancomat card!! Awww yeah! Another mini-milestone for me. I know for many people it may seem like something strange to be excited about. But for me, it's all these tiny things that I stressed over before moving here. So opening my first Italian bank account and depositing a cheque from my employer felt great! Now I no longer have to deal with those pesky international withdrawal fees and exchange rates, whoo-hoo!!! Makin' euros, spendin' euros. It's all gravy baby.....well, at least until tax season creeps up on me next year. Ick.



xoT

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pasquetta

My first Easter (Pasqua) weekend in Italia was very similar my first Christmas here. Mass in the morning, then a 5 hour lunch at mamma's. Antipasti, lasagne, fried lamb, grilled lamb, fried artichokes, 4 kinds of dessert....food, food and more food as usual.

However, Easter Monday (Pasquetta) was something new to me, mainly beacuse Easter Monday isn't a holiday in Canada. I really appreciated having an extra day off. Even better, is having friends who have homes up in the mountains. It's always a good time getting away from the city, even if it's only for a few hours.

A half hour drive up the mountain in Stroncone, passing a few cows here and there, and we were in this small town called Prati. The photos don't really do justice since I wasn't really snapping photos like crazy. But it was a beautiful, sunny day with traces of snow here and there which reminded me of the first days of Spring back in Toronto. We enjoyed another fantastic lunch, mostly prepared by the guys which made it even more fantastic. Our "digestion walk" was well needed after all that food.

In Toronto, after having one day off for Easter, we normally lug our sorry asses back to work on Monday morning. On top of that, we would have to wait until the big May 2-4 (Victoria Day) weekend to party it up with friends. But it's quite a nice change having our next holiday fast approaching on April 25th (Liberazione) and a week after that there's May 1st (Festa del Lavoro). One of the perks about living here, all those extra days off.

xoT





Alessio giving me the "stop taking photos" finger while cooking

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Official.

No, I'm not an Italian citizen (yet). However, this morning, I strolled into the comune office to get my Carta d'Identita (identification document held by all Itaians over the age of 18). 5.42 and 5 minutes later, I walked out of there with the crispy new card in my hand. It feels damn good!


Side note: Before I moved here, I did tons of research and read many blogs on experiences dealing with the Italian bureaucracy. I think about 99% of what I read were complaints about how confusing and disorganized the offices were, or how difficult and frustrating it was to get a straight response from someone. While I don't completely disagree, I have to say that my experience has been quite positive overall. Part of it could possibly be due to the fact that I'm in a smaller city, therefore lines tend to be a bit shorter and some of the staff tend to remember you if you make more than one trip to the same office. Or maybe it's just sheer luck. Regardless, whether it was the Questura to get my permesso di soggiorno, the Prefettura to legalize a document,  or even the Anagrafe to register myself as a resident, everyone so far has been helpful (which seemed to be very rare from what I read online) and some even friendly (yes, friendly! I do not kid you). So I just had to give some props to Terni for keeping it plain and simple for a foreigner like me.

Living here as an expat can definitely be frustrating at times, so it's been nice not having to go through a crazy mess to get what I need to live here legally. Next step, Italian health care....keeping my fingers crossed.

xoT
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