So Much To Do, So Little Time!
And So The Adventures Begin!
On arrival at the station, I went looking for information - and snacks! Occasionally someone would approach me, asking if they could help me. It took a few minutes to dawn on me that their motives weren’t entirely selfless. For, once they’d taken me to where they thought I needed to go (even if it really wasn’t!), a hand shot straight out under my nose, demanding money for their efforts.
From then on, I vowed to avoid these apparently ‘helpful’ Italians. It felt cruel, but I didn’t feel entirely comfortable being hounded for money in return for the kind of information that I, myself, am accustomed to giving freely!
I passed several other equally majestic fountains around the city and visited the Colosseum, St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon and the Piazza Navona with its three – count ‘em, three! – fountains.
In At The Deep End!
As I went about my adventures, I would overhear little bits of spoken Italian here, on the radio, on the television, or conversations between people in queues in front of me. At first it was just noise, but soon I began to understand snippets of what was being said.
Settling In, Sinking In
Just days later, on my unexpectedly premature return to the airport, I had somehow progressed to the point being able to have a whole conversation with the taxi driver about a photograph of his grandson that he showed me on his mobile!
I really do think there is a lot to be said for visiting somewhere new and taking the plunge: throwing yourself in at the deep end and trying to pick up as much of the new language as you can, in the country in which it is spoken.
After all, the real fun lies not in speaking a new language perfectly from the outset, but rather in having lots of fun whilst trying!