Thursday, 27 September 2012

If you liked School, you'll love Work

Early Wednesday morning. Well, earlier than I've been used to for quite a while. I stop off at one of my regular newspaper stands, stick my copy of Repubblica into my laptop case, and walk to the Rialto vaporetto stop. It's quiet, hardly anyone on the bridge yet, but the vaporetti are starting to fill up and I end up sitting amongst a group of excited Japanese tourists. I read my paper, and obstinately refuse to look at the view as we make our way down the Grand Canal. This is silly, obviously, but I feel like I'm making a statement - "I can look at this anytime, but right now there's probably something important going on in the world that I need to know about. Because I am not on holiday, oh no, I am going to work, just like any ordinary Venetian."

As I said, a bit silly really.

I was quite pleased at having secured some work (teaching Business English) in Venice itself, although it was slightly deflating when it turned out to be in Tronchetto; a part of the city so resolutely un-magical it even has cars. Still, it's convenient to travel to, so I can't complain. And the job has come so completely out of the blue, it hasn't left me time to be nervous - "Can you take over from another teacher? Great. Can you start on we don't really have anything proper to hand over to you...sorry, but you'll have to wing it for the first lesson or so".

And then - well, the hours pass with no disasters to speak of. Everyone seems pleased and I have to say I've rather enjoyed it. I make my way back to the vaporetto stop, take a coffee in a local bar, and read a bit more of the paper. I stop off at the Rialto market on the way back and pick up four seppie for tea (a bargain, at just a couple of euros). I notice the water is higher than it's been for a while, and some of the calli near the Rialto are starting to flood; a sign that autumn is on its way.

I hop on the next vaporetto, bag of cuttlefish in one hand, laptop in the other. This time, I look at the view. I know there'll be times in the months to come when I'll be cursing the job but, right now, I feel more than ever that I truly, properly belong here.


  1. Congratulations on the job, Phil! I have been following your blog for a while now, discovered through Caroline's posts on Fodor's.

    We will be in Venice in just over three weeks and staying for three months in an apartment not too far from the Rialto market. A drink when we get settled?

    1. We'd be delighted to, Mr (or should that be Ms.?) Travel!

  2. Phil....congrats on the job!! I'm sure you are a great teacher...full of wit!

    Let me get this it seppie tea....a new flavor? or WITH your tea??

    As you can gather....instead of starting at the beginning...I'm backtracking!! Sorta like the backstroke...only slower!!

    I'm also a Venetian it so much I started a blog....

    1. Ah, this is "tea" in the very English sense of "dinner"! Welcome to the blog Bailey, and thank you for the kind words. I hope you enjoy it.


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