Parla il Toscano

La Toscana is a fascinating place, as the people here speak a crazy dialect!  Last night, a few of us set off for Vodaphone to get some sim cards, it’s nice to feel attached to normal society again with a working phone.  The guy behind the counter was THE best advocate of the Tuscan dialect.  ALL of his ‘c’ (/k/) sounds, were h’s.  So ricaricare, to recharge, came out as reharihare.  Even his g’s, which are usually sounded as /dz/, sounded like the French /z/.  Wow, my brain hurt so much after the 20 minute consultation.  The other girls I was with left the speaking to me as I have a new profound confidence which is not at all in line with my abilities to speak the language.  But, oh well, better to try!  By the end, I was so tired as his dialect was so crazy, that when he complemented my on my Italian skills, I responded with ‘scusa?’  Yes, how embarrasing for me.

During the day, we went to the local high school in Prato, Liceo Scientifico Copernico.  In Italy, students choose a type of specialist high school either focusing on Science, Classics, Linguistic, or some areas have art and music schools.  All schools focus on humanities however, and at Copernico, all of the studens studied English and had a choice between French and German.  They’re very smart and focused kids!  Sadly, during the global financial crisis, many factories in the area closed down and many of students parents are out of work.  What used to be a rich city in the 90’s, now has a high unemployment rate.  Prato was once a high manufacturer of textiles.

I also spoke, for the very first time, about politics in Italian today.  It’s hard, but all it takes is the first attempt and hopefully I can start creating more developed opinions from here on in.  It was very exciting!

Some crazy events so far:

  1. Night time mob search for gelati.  Found at 10.30pm after a 2hr search.
  2. Teacher ‘gosting’ a man in the piazza.
  3. Left my coat in Australia… it’s winter here.
  4. Lunch costs no more than 1€50, loving panini!  (How could you not…)

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