I had been warned that my year abroad would include a lot of ups and some downs. However, I didn’t realise I would be experiencing the few downs of moving abroad before even having left England! As I mentioned in my previous post, after a good 2 months of searching I finally found somewhere to live in Martina Franca – a cute little flat in the centre of my town and only a short drive from the school where I’m teaching. I was so happy to have finally found somewhere to live! I thought I would be going without any accommodation and having to find somewhere once I’m there (which a few assistants do) but I really didn’t want to do that so having found a flat before arriving to Italy was really reassuring. The flat was recommended to me by the headteacher at the school I am working at (the landlord is a relative of hers) therefore I knew I could trust him. The flat is a monolocale which basically means everything is in one room the kitchen, bedroom and living space, with the bathroom boxed off in one corner.
I originally wanted to share a house or apartment with some Italian students but I learned that this would very difficult as the town I had been placed is quite small and is an hour and twenty minutes drive from the nearest University (where I’d have more chance of finding a student flat to rent). However, I am starting to feel like living alone might be more beneficial for me as I will be forced to go out and find people to talk to (which is something I find quite intimidating) and this will do lots for my confidence instead of having everything handed to me on a plate.
Everything was not so perfect when I first started sorting this whole accommodation business. I first got in contact with the landlord a couple of weeks ago to inquire about the flat. After a couple of days I heard back from him, he told me that he had the perfect place for me but if I was interested in renting it I had to tell him immediately as there was quite a lot of people interested in it also. After looking at the photos and details of the flat, I was satisfied this was the place for me and I emailed him immediately telling him I was definitely interested in renting it. A couple of days passed without any reply. I started to worry that maybe he had already given the flat to someone else when he emailed me again, asking me to tell him if I wanted to rent his flat or he’d rent it to someone else that day. What?! I’d already replied to him and told him I wanted to the flat! Had he not received my emails? I emailed him a few more times, but there was no answer. Panicking I would lose the flat, I decided to do the most dreaded thing I could think of doing…phoning him. It wasn’t as scary as I thought and I was surprised that I could actually understand him. This way I managed to secure my apartment, I was soo proud!
So in order to officially secure my flat before arriving to Italy I also had to pay my landlord a deposit of 3 months rent in advance – ouch to my bank balance! Having worked for some time whilst at uni I had saved enough money to pay him the deposit. After about 2 weeks of making the payment I heard back from my landlord, and he informed me that my deposit for the flat had not been received. WHAT?! How can this happen, after having paid it nearly 2 weeks ago and being assured by my bank that it would arrive within 2-4 working days of course I started worrying. Where could the money have gone? I left it a couple of days when I finally decided to go to the bank to see what had happened. The night before going however I received the email I had been waiting for almost 2 weeks… “tutto ok per il bonifico…arrivato!”…the payment had finally reached my landlord. SO MUCH RELIEF! Things seemed to finally be going my way! I could finally stop worrying about my year abroad and start to become excited!
So the whole process of organising and preparing myself for my year abroad has had some downs, as well as ups! (especially being able to phone my landlord and realising that I could understand him!)
I can’t wait to see what this year will bring.