Quite a few months ago I registered for my third Italian language school. After searching numerous options and considering a number of cities, such as Firenze, Sorrento, Siena, Lucca, and Perugia I settled on Firenze for a whole host of reasons. I’ll spare you the internal workings of my decision making process and move along to the main topic of this particular post which is “Italian time”.
Allora, I choose Istituto Michelangelo because . . . well there web site was pleasing and their prices were competitive with the other schools. On a side note, all you businesses out there with web sites, never underestimate the importance of first impressions. Anyway I digress. After receiving confirmation of my online registration, by the way this was April, four and a half months before the language program starts. The school’s registration information declares that the housing accommodation particulars would be sent to me a week prior to the start of the language program. Of course I would like the information sooner, but hey we ARE talking about Italians and I certainly understand waiting until the last minute to commit to hosting a student for three weeks.
Fast forward four and a half months. Yep, you guessed it no information from Istituto Michelangelo. A couple of weeks prior to my departure, I send an email message clarifying whether or not I need to pay in cash for my accommodations. Operating with cash is typical in Italy and it gives me an excuse to gently nudge the Italians. No response to the email . . . hmm it is August after all and most of Italy shuts down during the month. After another email message and a Facebook message my departure is two days out and still not word. I am desperate at this point. Now I am considering plan “B”, “C”, and “D”. Seriously, the night before I am scheduled to get on a plane heading to Italy, I am on the computer enrolling in any language school in Firenze that coordinates students’ housing. Given the nine-hour time difference between the west coast and Italy, my window is shrinking, and at this instant, I am willing to register in any program that will arrange housing for me. I send money to one school, register for two more schools and take a placement test for one of the programs before retiring for the night. For the record, I don’t mind being a “go with the flow” kinda gal but this much uncertainty so close to my departure is ridiculous even for me.
Some how I manage to actually get some sleep in spite of the ambiguity and undetermined enrollment status. At 6:00 am I get up, it is now 3:00 pm in Italy and I have heard from three schools. One I have already sent money to, another tells me they think they have found appropriate housing for me and another that says after I send a deposit they will secure my housing. I send money via PayPal, get enrolled and send the payment verification to the school in order to secure my housing. With all these emails going back and forth with similar names to the language programs, I get confused. As I attempt to sort through all the messages about enrollment, deposits, possible housing, and placement test results, I realize I sent my payment verification to the wrong school. AND on top of all that, I need to contact my credit card company to stop payment on another of the schools because they do not have a class beginning on the day needed.
So I get on the plane, heading to Salt Lake City, knowing only that I am in fact enrolled in a language program and they will find accommodations for me. The next post I will fill you in on what happened in Paris.