Friday, August 15, 2008

Siamo in Ferie/We're on Vacation!

Well actually I'm staying in Rome but zee blog like the rest of Italy is on "vacation" until the end of August.

While all my friends (except one who is in production) are gone I will be writing away. I might take a day trip on my birthday. Once I finish this draft I'll take a weekend trip (thanks Mom and Dad for the b-day gift). I'm finally getting a TV and DVD player later this month (thanks siblings for the b-day gift) so hopefully hearing more Italian will help me communicate better.

I had to order something over the phone yesterday. It was high comedy. Then later I was trying to explain to my landlord that one of the light fixtures wasn't working. She speaks some English (her reading and writing are stronger) but is fluent in Italian and French. She's still trying to understand why I have a French passport yet speak no French. sigh.

One big goal for this fall is to really get up to speed with my Italian. All my Italian friends speak English well so that is what we speak when we're together. I get that they don't want me to feel left out of conversations. I'm going to ask them to speak Italian. Slowly per favore.

At first I thought about taking a class. I took the online test for one of the schools and it placed me in Advanced Italian, which was the level I was in when I moved. I already have the grammar foundation. The problem is my verbal skills. I just need to speak and hear Italian more. I work/write all day in English, speak with friends in English, so while this might sound crazy, my Italian has gotten worse since I moved to Italy. Boh!

When I was in L.A. I was taking classes and had homework. So after I finish work, I'm going to start reviewing my textbooks, watching movies, the news etc.

I don't know why tourists would visit Rome now. Everything except for the touristy places is closed. I know I will get used to it but to my American eyes it's a trip to walk around my neighborhood to find every single store is closed! I think it's great. I went six years without a vacation and thought that was normal. It's not. Once back in L.A., I was having lunch with an exec who told me his boss bragged about how many scripts he read while in St. Barths with his family. You know what? That's stupid. Human beings are not built to work 24/7. We're not freaking robots. If I went away with my husband, who I never saw and he sat in a cabana on a gorgeous island reading scripts during our entire vacation instead of spending time with me and our children, I would be ticked off. Then again this producer's wife might not care as long as she can still shop.

These signs are everywhere.


Unfortunately the stupid bars that cater to drunk American exchange students are still open. Personally I'd rather have my local bakery be open than "Sloppy Sams" but that's just me. ha

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their summer. See you in September!

33 comments:

KimB said...

Arlene -- hope you have a great, productive rest of 'agosto.' Sounds like your family has showed you with perfect birthday gifts. Hang in there with the Italian - if only you could meet the right Paolo or Vicenzo or Roberto . . .you get the idea!!! : )

Same here in Paris with everything closed. I took a picture of the market street yesterday so I can take one again in September when everyone's back for the rentrée to show the difference.

Bon ferragosto!

Delina said...

Have a great rest of August and a great birthday too!

Jess said...

Things are closing up here in St. Maarten as well, though it gets spread out over the next few months. Have a wonderful August and fun birthday!

Tracey said...

that all sounds so great! I can't imagine places shutting down like that - no wonder Americans are so burnt out & crazy! (LOL!) Happy birthday, happy writing & just... happy everything! :-D

Tina said...

Happy Birthday, Happy Holiday, and wish me lots of work since most of my clients are in italia!

Besos!
Tina

erin :: the olive notes said...

Amen about not working on vacation...life is much more than our career. Happy vacation to you - and have a great weekend getaway :)

Maria from Philly said...

Well they don't call it Ferr'agosto for nothing :-) Enjoy!

Sherry said...

Enjoy your summer. I hope it a eye-opening, creative and productive one. Ciao for now...

ninety9 said...

Sigh, won't have your blog to read but I'm glad you're going on vacation. Yes, I've been in St. Maarten in the summer and it really was a surprise to see places close up shop. I think we should adopt a similar "thing" in the U.S. HA! Won't hold my breath. Have a wonderful birthday!

Italianissima said...

Enjoy your time off - I will miss reading your blog with my cafe every morning :)

Have you tried the Rosetta Stone language series? My husband is using it to learn Italian and it is a very cool and (I think) effective language learning too. You should check it out...if you know someone who works for the US gov they can prob get it for you for free.

Ciao and buona vacanza!

Rose in Cali said...

Enjoy your vacation! And happy happy birthday to you! I will miss your posts. :D

glamah16 said...

Enjoy your break. The new television will help you so much in languages. Thats how Certain Someone picks it up Especially using the close caption to read it as you hear it.

Anonymous said...

Buon Compleanno. What day is your B-day? Mine's the 20th.

You should start watching Rai click on your computer like I do.

"un posto al sole" is my numero uno show.

Carole

Claudia said...

buone vacanze!

gibber said...

Boo. I check your blog everymorning. Now what am I gonna do?

Happy birthday early sis. You're quite welcome! After all, you are my favorite sister.

BigCNYC said...

Enjoy your Roman Holiday and b-day, but I'm going to use this month long siesta to catch on your adventures. Ciao!

Nancy - Girl in Giro said...

Enjoy!

As for Italian, I would suggest watching movies in Italian with Italian subtitles and start reading. I started with simple, mindless books (Yes, shamefully I read a couple of the Shopaholic series in Italian). They are simple to read and help you to see how the language works. I don't know if that would still be too hard-- if reading a book is too difficult thre is no point-- just take a weekend trip to some teeny tiny little town where noone speaks English!!

City Girl said...

I rediscovered your blog recently via Bleeding Espresso, but remember reading it a while ago when you were still in LA and Italy was not yet so close on the horizon. Love your writing. Have a wonderful vacation :D

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Have a lovely vacation and a Happy Birthday!

Once you get your TV, I left mine on ALL the time when I was in Russia and it really helped. (It was also very annoying, but my language came much more quickly up to speed).

I hope your trip is wonderful, too!

Enjoy, enjoy!

browngal said...

WOW! I don't know where to begin....I have only read maybe two blogs before and certainly never left a comment. A friend suggested I read yours as I have recently left my LA home of 20+ years (over 29 year old actress...eek!) and found my soul in Colorado. I am also born in the year of the rat but I'm a Leo...close to VIrgo...the 19th. I dare say...the blog is inspirational. Have a great vacation, happy birthday and I look forward to reading more. ciao bella!

Camille Acey said...

As soon as I got here, my Gregor informed me that when we went out no one was going to be accomodating me by speaking English, since it would change the whole group dynamic. My forced immersion helped me learn Slovenian very quickly. I have been here less than a year and already speak at a fairly advanced level even though the language is terribly difficult and nothing like any other language I've ever studied. If you really want to learn, just drop the English "cold turkey". It's better when you have no choice!

Di Mackey said...

Work well. Coming from New Zealand this summer vacation thing in Europe takes some getting used to.

2 more weeks and things return to something like normal.

Enjoy Rome and the writing.

Tracie B. said...

you'll get the language..just insist with your friends. have fun in feria!

Italiana Americana said...

ahahah I like that last part! I unfortunately often studied with those americans on the foreign programs--luckily we did things italian style.... and didn't visit sloppy sams! =)buona vacanza!

P.S. I recommend that you listen to italian music, it can really help with picking up the language. You'll fall in love with the songs and want to know what they are saying! Thats how i pretty much learned italian -in addition to chat rooms ! ciao

Laura said...

Enjoy the time off! Quiet here in Rome isn't it? I'm always glad when everyone leaves and then DYING for them to come back. Love your blog! Have been lurking for a while.

sdg1844 said...

Have a good Summer and see you in September.

michelle of bleeding espresso said...

Enjoy ferie! And you know that my advice on learning Italian...find an Italian luvah ;)

Diana said...

You are so right about vacation. I know all about those alpha hard shoe types who think it is cool to count how many emails come in on their Blackberrys and want to say -- when they are putting you underground in a wooden box who is gonna get your emails, darling? Enjoy your Italian ferie and I look forward to your continuing adventures....

Los Angelista said...

What wonderful presents for your birthday! Hope it's a marvelous one, and oh my goodness, I want to move there so I can get a vacation like that! WOW!

And you are so right about it being totally wack how some Americans are sooo work, work, work all the time. If I was the wife of that guy reading scripts, I'd find something "else" to distract myself! ;)

Lucia said...

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!Will you be coming to Toronto for the Film Festival in September?

erin :: the olive notes said...

hey! I can't find your email (not sure if I ever had it)...but email me erin@chrisanderinlewis.com. I wanted to tell you about my time in Rome :)

michelle of bleeding espresso said...

Happy Birthday!!!!!! I believe I'm a bit late, but the wish is just as great :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

ciao tutti...thanks everyone for the birthday wishes.