After 3 uneventful flights, (though a slightly eventful layover in Rome where we switched airlines) Lizzy (Kinder teacher from Williamsburg) and I landed in Trieste around 7:30. We were met at the airport and whisked away to our respective apartments and almost immediately off to dinner, where I ate the first of several pizzas so far and met about 20 people who I instantly forgot.
Saturday, we met up to reintroduce ourselves to each other and get Italian phones. Since I left my unlocked UK phone in the US, I had to get a new one in addition to the new SIM card, but this one plugs into an Italian outlet, which my British one would not have. From there my roommate and I went to get pillows, as sleeping on a rolled up towel the night before had not been terribly pleasant. Back to our (giant, very modern, very white) apartment to finally start to unpack. After a short nap, we joined some of the group at a pub to watch a soccer game, then went out to a dance club at the beach. They had strobe lights, so I didn't enjoy the club much, but we got to see some of the countryside on the ride there, including road signs pointing the way to Slovenia and Croatia. We're really quite close.
Fortunately we got to sleep in on Sunday before a trip out to the Barcola. It's not quite a beach, but it's where land meets water and people go there to lay in the sun and swim. I suppose it's basically a beach without sand. Instead, there's big rocks with stairs that go over into the water. I got a Doener Kebab, which is an originally Turkish food that migrated to Germans street food stands then throughout Europe, if I'm remembering correctly. We learned about them in high school German, so I was excited to try one- it was pretty good, if a bit large and messy to eat. Later, before getting on the bus to go back into the main part of the city, we stopped at a Gelataria, where I got a mint chocolate chip scoop.
Monday and Tuesday have been mostly paperwork and meetings at the school, which is useful and necessary, but not terribly interesting to write about. We learned that pretty much everyone in the area has controlled this strip of land at some point, from Austria to Russia, Italy of course, and even the US, briefly after WWII. We learned all about the school's accreditation process and recent curriculum re-write, and how our insurance works. Thrilling, really. Sprinkled among have been fun things like the views from the tram ride up to the school (a long but beautiful commute) and visiting another associate teacher apartment to hang out on their balcony. We also went grocery shopping yesterday, which had been difficult because we kept having free time during siesta, when all the stores are closed. The regular grocery store was still closed, so we had to do the more old-fashioned, European style, where we visited a deli-type shop for meat and cheese (and Nutella) and another shop for fruits and vegetables.
The next couple of days will be more paperwork and meetings, which means lots of hurry up and wait time. I've already finished one of the two books I brought, so during the waiting today I found the school library. It should keep me busy for a while; I just can't finish my current book before the librarian gets settled. We met him today, but he just got in, so it's not really fair to try to check out books already!
Almost time for a shower and bed- post again later!