Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Parliamo Inglese!

My job on the beach teaching children how to play group games in english (stressful stuff) starts this Monday, and Maurizio, the boss, called me two days back saying that he was still looking for another native English speaker. He sounded desperate. Corrie and I considered the options.

Weekdays, three hours a day on the beach, playing endless rounds of "Marco Polo." 550 Euros. Corrie was convinced. "I'll do it," she said. "And we can still make ravioli in the mornings on Saturdays." What a life.

Today, we went to meet with Maurizio at his office, amid piles of junk and paper on his desk and groups of Italians sitting around like patients at the doctor's office. Corrie and I entered and were quickly shuffled out again, since Maurizio was busy still meeting with other potential camp counselors longing to play beach volleyball or Sharks and Minnows. Finally he asked me back in, introduced me to the Future Camp Counselors of Macerata, and explained very little (which, in three meetings with him, is about as far as I've gotten in terms of what exactly my job is. All he really ever mentions is "550 Euros. Va bene?"). Corrie followed me in, said "I don't know what's going on," and I shrugged in agreement. This was the job. English on the beach. No plans. No explanations. Just 550 Euros. Starting Monday.

Finally someone pulled Corrie aside and explained that she should wait at the garden at 8 in the morning on Monday and bring a swim cap. When she asked "but what will I be DOING?" the assistant said "oh you know. English games. Involving handkerchiefs." We looked at each other and shrugged.

Finally, we signed some papers, explained that we weren't sure if we were really legally allowed to be working in Italy, were told that it was no big deal and we shouldn't worry ("Non e' niente. Non ti preoccupare! Tutto a posto!"--Italians say this about everything from exploding televisions to work visas, I've learned), and waved goodbye to Maurizio.

"A Lunedi'," we told them. We'll see you Monday. Swim caps and all.



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