Wednesday, 22 January 2014


Despite the fact I'm moving to Vietnam in a little over a months time, tonight I am taking my first lesson in Italian.

"Italian?!" I hear you cry.

Yes, dear reader.

You see, whilst I will have little use for Italian in Vietnam, (though I have been assured there is at least one Italian restaurant in the Mekong Delta) learning Italian is something I have wanted to do ever since I first visited Rome and began my love affair with the country in 2010. And believe it or not, I think now is actually the BEST time for me to start. Here's why:

1. I am about to start a new life an a teacher of English as a foreign language. I have almost no knowledge of Italian beyond the menu in Pizza Express and the phrase "bel far niente" which I learnt reading Eat Pray Love. With this in mind, I think it will be a great experience to be in the shoes of the student right before I become the teacher, refreshing my memory of the complex world of language and learning.

2. My husband and I would love to be able to end our time travelling by spending as long as we can in Italy. When we visited a Tuscan vineyard for a few days in 2012 we managed to squeeze seeing Sienna, San Gimignano and Pisa into one day en route to the airport in our hire car. It was one crazy day, but it gave us a taste of the Italian countryside, and left us hungry for more. With our TEFL qualification and some experience we might even be able to find work as teachers! I bet the Italian language classes will be useful then.

3. Why not? I am in the full swing of operation-pack-up and I will very soon run out of things to do. I've already worked out how many cups of tea I need to drink to get through this pack! Having something new and fun to learn will help me relax. I don't want to be waiting and planning things my entire life and this is one thing I can do now.

So there it is. I'm a British girl, moving to Vietnam, starting to learn Italian. (I am also learning Vietnamese too; Chào actually means hello in Vietnamese; Ciao is the Italian.)

Now, watch this amazing clip from the IT Crowd, which I think pretty accurately shows what I'll be like trying to use my Italian skills!