Goodbye camp, hello holiday! On friday I completed my fifth and final ACLE camp until September. Almost all Italians take a holiday during the month of August so I figured I should follow suit...When in Rome!
So far my holiday has consisted of a series of completely random and hilarious adventures. I spent last weekend back in the San Donato (Milan) flat with two tutors from my orientation group, Patrick and Alex, and another tutor who hailed from Kentucky. It was unbearably hot as Milan seems to consistently be, but that didn't deter us from trying to make the most of our weekend.
On Sunday we noticed a sign in San Donato about a nearby bowling alley. The sign read, "only .2 kilometers" so we thought it would be a cinch to reach by foot. Somehow .2 kilometer turned into 3 kilometers and we were still walking. After an hour on foot without water or sunscreen we reached the bowling alley - closed for lunch.
Dirty, parched and sunburnt, we shifted focus from bowling to water. Luckily we stumbled upon a Romanian family at the nearby gas station who offered to take us on a round trip jaunt to the nearest town for some cold water (random). We arrived back at the bowling alley hydrated and ready for some serious competition. Thanks to the bowling alley manager I sported some neon pink knee highs with my velcro bowling shoes, and every time my name came up on the screen it read "Couptrey". Despite looking seriously geeky and being repeatedly teased about my new alias, I managed to get two strikes and a spare in my first game. Sadly, in the end I was not victorious but I drowned my losses in some above average bowling alley spumante as the other tutors and I discussed our return journey to San Donato.
Walking home was out of the question and the bus schedule on Sunday was practicly non-existent, which left only one option, hitch hiking. With thumbs out, big smiles and a few bats of the eyelashes we managed to hail down a rather dingy white van in less than 10 minutes. Two slightly dingier looking men sat up front and said they wouldn't mind driving us but had little room in the back of the van. They slid open the door all I could see were stacks and stacks of Yellow Pages phone books wrapped in plastic. Kentucky was noticeably hesitant but Patrick dove head first into the van, just clearing the tallest stack of books. I jumped in next and found a rather comfortable thrown-like formation of books to sit on. Kentucky reluctantly followed, the driver shut the door and we were off. With no windows and inferno-like heat it was easy to think the worst. But instead we snapped some sweaty photos and before we knew it, voilà, home sweet home! We even got our very own Yellow Pages as a parting gift.
The night before our bowling escapades on yet another random adventure, we had spent two hours following the haphazard directions of Patrick on a quest for a bar he had visited on his last trip to Milan. Without a map, telephone number or address we did not find the bar (much to Patrick's dismay). In an ironic twist of fate we discovered the address of the mysterious bar in our brand new Yellow Pages book and later that night we happily toasted to the wacky start of our holiday.