This past week I’ve had several reminders why I’m such an unwilling expat. Random encounters with rude and ignorant people who in their defensiveness are hurtful.
Living in small town Sicily every time I open my mouth it is painfully obvious that I am a foreigner ( here they don’t say, what a lovely accent, it’s oh you’re a foreigner, as if they are saying a dirty word) and quite frankly I’m tired of it.
After years of speaking Italian I have a certain level of fluency, I think hey I’ve taken the time to learn your language, the least you can do is compliment me for trying, instead of pointing out my difference.
Recently my son has started preschool and I wanted to volunteer some of my time to help out, stupidly following the Australian model. I thought being a mother tongue english speaker would be a wonderful advantage, apparently not.
It became blindingly obvious the teachers simply want you to drop off your child and leave them to do their job. When I said I’d be happy to do some english games with the children I was told a maximum of an hour of english a week for five year olds was all that was foreseen by the law and that all their time was programmed.
When I asked about the younger children, nothing can be programmed for them, they are too little to learn. I was gobsmacked . That’s hardly anything and younger children can learn so much more. I was shown a work book and that was it. From what I see nothing is programmed other than free play, sitting at the tables, and some craft activities. I don’t even see any books, no story time, show and tell, nothing. I only see a little interaction between the children. What bullocks!
Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook know that I’ve been struggling through two lengthy science jargon filled translations over the past week. I sent the first part of the second translation and mentioned my eventual payment details, I was curtly told my translations weren’t any good and my services were no longer needed. So my work was fine until he had to pay me. How insulting . I’m angry at the time I wasted, I could have dedicated my efforts to things I actually enjoy like, writing, blogging and playing with my child.
It’s times like these that make me lose faith in expat life, too much culture shock.