Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Dante watches football:

All the English teachers are thinking about Christmas. It’s sneaked up rather quickly, a combination of the November days whizzing by in a flurry of teaching and, as I said yesterday, the absense of any public sign that three bearded shepards are about to follow a star to a dirty stable and give gifts to a smelly baby. Mind you, put like that, you wouldn’t make a big deal of out it, would you?

I suspect that, once back from England, June will come quickly (and no, that isn’t a boast about my sexual prowess and some tart called June). Routines are settling, friendships are solidifying and bars are becoming local hangouts. It’s an exciting time: ski season is starting, football teams are being formed and I’m just beginning to realise the potential of this central European location. We’re all looking forward to friends, family and mistletoe but, just as much, what will follow when we return to Italy.

I think this is connected to some thoughts I’ve been having over the past few days: that although previously I’ve been thinking that I’ll only be here one year but I’ve now started taking the two-year option seriously. It takes time to settle, make proper friendships, master the language and get to know a place. It’s no surprise that I’m not in touch with anybody from my time in La Paz: I wasn’t there long enough.

A friend emailed me a couple of days ago and said that I was sounding confused. I know what she means: compare the entries of last Thursday (“I feel shit”) and Sunday (“I knew it would be a good evening...”). But maybe that’s a sign of the pleasant thought process I’m describing; that my relationship with Verona is evolved from a fling to something more serious. That just shows me that objectivity – “This Byzantine bureacracy is no way to run a country” – has little bearing on how one feels about a (even medium-term) home: it may not (yet) be where my heart is but my human nature means I want to make this relationship work. So: lets do it; lets fall in love.

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