Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Week One

Monday 5th October

Today is the twenty fifth anniversary of the glorious day of my birth. Spent most of the day an emotional wreck at the thought of not seeing baby Jack until Christmas. Then to top it all off I went in to say goodbye to Grandad. Well needless to say there was snot flying everywhere. I couldn’t even breathe. And then HE started crying. I nearly called the whole thing off! Headed up to Dublino to spent the night at Mark’s.

Tuesday 6th October

Wake up at 3.30am to get ready to go to the airport. Didn’t sleep properly all night, kept waking up with those stabbing stomach pains you get all night the night before you go to Oakwood. You know the ones- the excitement of going on all the deadly rollercoasters mixed up with the anxiety of having to take the vomit comet to get there.

Get to the airport about 5 and check in my bags and pay my 228 euro overweight fee because I’m a knob and I paid for two cases, which I thought could be 20kgs each, but no, they have to be a combined weight of 20kg. Sneaky fuckers – I’m disappointed in you, AerLingus. In fairness now the lovely woman was apologizing over and over and she undercharged me. In the end though I didn’t mind paying it, it’s just a once-off thing, plus it would have been a giant pain in my ass to have the couriered over. When I’m coming home I’m going to get someone over for a visit and then we can go home together, with one case each. Problem solved.

So I arrived at Milan and gave my hair a quick brush to meet my gawking public as I came through the arrival doors. Grabbed my cases and walked out the door and every eye in the airport immediately went out on a stalk. Head down I walked out the door and went to wait for the bus, where there was an older businessman also waiting. Facing me. Staring at me. For 20 minutes. I was not happy. Mostly because I had Wedgie of the Year 2009, but that’s another story.

I traverse on to Pavia anyway and lug my cases to a taxi and head to my new abode. We are driving up the street it’s on and I’m thinking “yeah this is nice now, nice houses, nice shops etc…” but the road is looooooooooong and suddenly we are passing muslim ghettos etc and the driver pulls up outside a big tower block of flats. I have a Ballymun moment. I struggle up the path with the cases to the porters office to get my keys. He says he is going to lead me to my room and I am thinking “thank god, someone to help me with these suitcases!”, and kind of stand back a bit so as to better facilitate him grabbing the big one for me. And he just walks past me out of the office, leaving me with my mouth hanging open. He walks off, expecting me to do a hop, skip and a jump after him with 40kgs of luggage. I literally couldn’t believe it. I was shocked. Then I remember that’s one of the reasons I can’t stand Italian men. Because they are useless like. They expect you to cook for them and pick up after them when they are literally too thick to actually cop on to do their gentlemanly duties. If you want to be a feminist, be a feminist, but I think a woman should be a woman and a man should be a man. I mean, he left me walk across GRAVEL with those two cases. Now any Irish man, no matter how much of a knacker he was, wouldn’t let you walk across a sun kissed meadow with a bag of bunnies in your hand, never mind across gravel with a year’s worth of your life in two suitcases. Stop now, don’t talk to me.

Got up the room anyway. In essence it’s grand, or at least it will be after 2-4 litres of bleach. And it’s really DUSTY. I felt like I was raiding the lost ark walkin in through the door. Settled down and went for a quick nap….and woke up at 7am the next morning.

Wednesday 7th Oct

Spent most of the day warding off a sudden and intense feeling of loneliness I got after I realized I only knew 1 person in the whole of Italy. Agnieszka – I can’t wait for our recombobulation! Start my studying, then watch several thousand episodes of Six Feet Under to numb the pain in my heart. Mam and Dad ring me and I keep it together until I hang up and then I crumble big style. That’s good, though, get it all out now because by next week there’ll be a statue of me erected in the main square. Until then I’ll soldier on. For now I’ll just dust.

Thursday 8th Oct

Get up early and go down to the accommodation office to get my internet sorted out. Yer wan is just after arriving so she has to switch on the computer to get my username and password. The computer is warming up, and then…BAM! A semi naked picture of George Clooney in a wet pair of boxers comes up on the screen with George written under it. Well if I didn’t piss on myself then I never will! And she an oul wan like. With pink eyeshadow and two black lines drawn in for her eyebrows. Brilliant.

Friday 9th Oct

Ok this is getting weird. By now I was expecting to have made 40 thousand friends from my floor alone. Every time I hear someone shuffling to the kitchen I go out to introduce myself and they are gone! It’s like someone is playing a tape of footsteps just to fuck with me. It’s all a bit Mary Higgins Clarke for my liking. I’m lonely now, no word of a lie. Me nerves are at me. I head down to the supermarket and buy 2 litres of bleach. Return to the room and scrub like there is no tomorrow. My room now smells like a swimming pool nestled deep in the heart of a pine forest. I like it.

Saturday 10th Oct

What the frick? Woke up in a blanket of dust. It’s like fuckin Pompeii in here! Where is it all coming from?

“Ok,” I says to myself, “Tonight I’m going to go watch the Ireland match and make loads of friends tra la la etc. So I went down to the common room and there were three fellas there and I said “well boys, are ye watchin the match tonight etc?” and the three of them were lookin at me like I asked them did they fancy a spit roast.

Went down to the telly room to watch the match and there were three other people there, basically all your common or garden variety of Knob. Then a thought struck me. I don’t want these people to be my friends! FUCK them! This year I’m here for myself and I’m just going to do what I want and fuck everyone else. If I just do what I want, then I’ll just pick up friends along the way. Feeling much better, all traces of loneliness vanished, I snuggled up in bed.

P.s. EPIC FAIL by Given in the last minute.

Sunday 11th Oct

Woke up in the middle of the night so freezing my nipples could have carved my initials into the ceiling. It’s no wonder, all that is on the bed is a sheet and a cover thing the likes of which I had on my bed in 1986. I really have to buy a duvet or something. For the time being I just unfolded two spare towels and lay them out over me. Satisfactory.

Later on I went down to the supermarket to pick up a duvet. Oh here they are, let me just check the price – NINETY EURO. Ninety euro. Now I ask you, is it a hen’s tooth duvet? Cos it better be for ninety euro. Obviously I don’t have ninety euro to be squandering on such frivolties as warmth and safety so I forego the duvet thing for now.

Then I wander around, map in hand, looking for a new running route. I tripped over a tree root and slapped off the ground, like actually ON the ground, lying down, legs akimbo at the back of some apartment block. But noone saw me, so as far as I’m concerned, it didn’t happen.

Well my first week was a week of extremes. At first I really felt miserable. I guess I just wasn’t in the mood to start all over again, but once I copped on to myself I was grand and now I’m feeling good about the year. Anyway I haven’t really given anything away here but I just want to let ye know that I’m up to shit. I will reveal all next week, in what is going to be a pretty interesting entry, if the way the week has already started out is anything to go by. Until then, children!

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