For the next three months I will be Au Pairing in Italy. An Au Pair (defined by google) “is a young foreign person, typically a woman, who helps with housework or childcare in exchange for food, a room, and some pocket money”.
I am always trying to find ways to travel with minimal money and the most cultural exchange so I was excited to find out about Au Pairing. I chose to be an Au Pair because I wanted to learn the culture of another country by living with a local. I also love that I have an opportunity to learn another language and can provide help to a busy family and give back to the community.
My first full day in Italy was pleasant and filled with culture shock of course. I got a key to the house which looks like something out of a story book with all its different cuts and long shape. I actually had trouble unlocking the door a couple times because rather than twisting the knob like I am used to you have to turn the key while pulling the door towards yourself. One thing I found fascinating is that the locks on the doors are triple bolted. No wonder the doors have to be opened in a a certain way!
For lunch I got a prosciutto piadina which is like a crepe but with thicker bread. The piadina was quite small but I was expecting it to be. Especially since I am accustomed to meals in America that are too big to eat in one sitting. None the less it was a perfect amount of food to fill me up which was only 4 Euros. Of course I had to have dessert which naturally was Gelato. I had strawberry and a mystery flavor that I chose based on looks since I didn't know any other names of the flavors in Italian. Yes it definitely as good as they say!
When I picked up the kids from school (with the help of their grandmother) a cultural difference that I noticed is that the primary school children wear a special button up that go over their clothing as a form of uniform. They also change into special shoes that they wear just for school which they keep in their cubbies.
The day ended with dinner of spinach ravioli, with no sauce (different I know), and vegetables tossed in olive oil and a nice looong deep sleep.