Oh my dearest people,

only 7 more meals in Italy, 5 times of brushing my teeth, about 5-6 Litres of Italian water. In simpler terms: Only 2 and a half more days. The past few weeks I have had many times where I only wanted to go home. But ever since I have changed families, I have also had many more moments where I was very happy here and only today has it really caught up to me that I am leaving this family. I won’t cuddle with the kids anymore, I won’t tickle them, make them breakfast, try to convince them to do something, tell them to say „bitte“ and „danke“ (please and thank you), throw my hands up in desperation when they won’t do as I say, braid Bea’s hair, do homework with Gabriele, translate the books I’m reading to Giulio into German while I’m reading them out loud. So naturally, as I only realized today that I’m leaving all of this behind, I was not in the best of moods.

Also, I can’t sleep anymore because of nerves and I’m having stomach aches. My first week back home in Vienna is already pretty full and here I’ve been struggling with finding something to do. Luckily, there was always this funky English girl by my side! As she was also today.

Today we finally went to Pittarello, the three story shoe store! Without any money. Au Pairs have a very peculiar disease called ‚broke‘. In the early stages, the Au Pair moans about how little money she has, yet still ends up spending the little money she has left. In the more advanced stage, the Au Pair just can’t afford anything anymore. Erin is further advanced than me, but I’m still a victim of this disease and hope to find the cure back home in Vienna, where I make more money in less time. Though the adventure of living abroad, speaking a different language and finding new friends everyday is payment enough. At least until it ends. Well, so there we were, two broke Au Pairs in a big shoe store. It seemed very huge from outside, but to be honest, I was a little disappointed. It was smaller than it looked.

We then ended up in the same place as Monday. Piazza Dante, where people walk past way too close. We sat in the sun until my stomach announced that it was time for an afternoon snack. Today my stomach is in charge. First it gives me nerves, then it suddenly demands food…

On our way to the Panzerotti (Fast Food from Puglia, see Day 53), we made a detour to the public library in town. Ci abbiamo fermato We stayed quite a bit in the English book section, where I read parts of a very interesting novel about a father, who gave his newborn daughter away to the nurse, because she had downsyndrome and told everyone she had died. The title is the memory keepers‘ daughter, for those interested.

Before we actually got ourselves Panzerotti, we got ourselves some cookies from a bakery nearby. I paid one Euro for 4 cookies, but it’s the adventure that counts. Wait, did I mention that the Au Pair disease comes with justifying every purchase with „it’s part of tasting the culture“? The cookies were a mix of Muerbteig and Shortbread, so it tasted wonderful to both the Austrian as well as the English girl. (I’m the Austrian girl, btw.)
Speaking of Shortbread, we actually found a fancy supermarket that sold actual Walkers Shortbread! Erin was in heaven. I was fascinated by the aquarium they had in the store. It was just that fancy!!

Then we hurried home though and I did a little bit of homework with Gabriele. For English, he had to learn some basic questions like „What is your surname?“, „Where are you from?“, „Was is your favourite language?“. Yes, apparently the last one is considered a basic question. I wrote them, one underneath the other, on a piece of paper and let Gabri cut them into stripes. Then we folded the questions up and first he had to pick one and ask me, then after I had answered it was my turn. We played like this a little until Beatrice and Monica (hostmum) joined in. It was quite fun and the kids surprisingly liked it.

After dinner I played with Bea and Giulio some more and I was glad to catch Bea in a good mood, since she was always quite grumpy these days. We joked around, I pretended to be an old cranky granny, which made her laugh really hard.

I have to try to sleep some now. I don’t know how successful I’ll be, but I’m hoping for the best.

Good night, good morning, Mahlzeit (meal time – an Austrian greeting around lunch time)

Sophie

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