Friday, 28 October 2005

Italian Exams

I just finished my mid term exam (had only 1 for Innovation and Technology Management) and am now blessedly free and will soon be heading to Prague, Vienna and Bratislava for the rest of the break. I've come to understand why Italian students can still afford to party hard when exams are just around the corner...they cheat. I don't mean sneaky cheat, but rather openly take their friend's paper and copy it or discuss the answers or copy from a cheat sheet. They do it right in front of the examiners too! The examiners know that they cheat but they don't do anything about it. In one exam (unfortunately not the one I took), the professor told the class “Just don't cheat too much”!! Or if the professors do anything it would just be to shush the class from time to time. For the “stricter” ones, they'd give students who were cheating too obviously a verbal warning once and if they caught them again, they merely take 1 or 2 points off their grade. Like Hello? This is a university exam counting towards your final grade right? What's 1 or 2 points out of 30 if you can get 30 by cheating?!! Us exchange students are completely astounded by this Italian way of doing things. I mean all of us have discussed the issue several times and the consensus is that never would you find a university where cheating in exams is so widely accepted except in Italy!! It's insane!! Anyhow, people didn’t cheat too much in my exam...coz my professor is Swiss, rather than Italian, so it'll probably be more fair considering that they moderate results according to a Normal curve.

Saturday, 15 October 2005

Note on travelling blogs

For those who have noticed, my travelling blogs tend to be somewhat backdated...unfortunately I've been travelling more frequently than I blog. Lol In my backlog of travel blogs there's still Pisa, Siena & Bologna and later Portofino coz I'm leaving for Portofino tomorrow. I wonder if I'll ever catch up with the travelling...

Friday, 14 October 2005

Intellectual Stimulation

My date was a really nice guy and very different from other Italians…intelligent and philosophical too. While I don’t think anything of romantic nature is gonna happen between us, I think he’d make a great friend. We talked a lot the whole time about different cultures and about food, music, life etc. It turned out to be great despite my initial apprehension, unlike the last Italian guy I went out with (who seemed nice at first but turned out to be real sticky). Perhaps this guy turned out to be decent coz I met him when I was completely sober…lol…the sticky guys I’ve met were after I had a buzz in my head. Or maybe it’s coz he’s older (well 1 year older than the last guy who was 25) and so more mature?

Anyway, it was an intellectually stimulating conversation and we’re gonna meet up again sometime next week or the week after. He suggested cooking for me coz he likes cooking…so well, see how it goes. Got back from the date and I ended up having another intellectually stimulating conversation….very intellectually stimulating (involving poetry and history and politics) with the night-shift security guard for about 2 hours. Honestly, I really don’t get why he’s just working as a security guard because he’s very widely-read and very intelligent. He’s my favourite security guard and we have good conversations every time, although since he doesn’t speak English very well, our conversation is a mix of English and Italian and his dictionary. Still, I’ve learnt much from him and I was really flattered when he said he learnt much from me too…coz he’s really way more knowledgeable than I am (also partly due to the fact that he’s over 50) 8)

Wednesday, 12 October 2005

Settling Down…Am I?

I think I’m probably at the end of my wild phase. I don’t go out much at night anymore (or rather I don’t go out every single night) and I’m drinking less…plus I’m not making out with random guys. Lol Not since the last one I made out with had smoked something disgusting and I nearly puked when he kissed me…had to brush my teeth twice afterwards!! (Yes and he was Italian) Going out at night on weeknights for me is now restricted to aperitivo with a couple of good friends where you go to a nice bar sit down, have a yummy cocktail and help yourself to the free buffet. There’s a really nice one down the Naviglio Grande with a wonderful buffet and their cocktails aren’t so bad either, although all Italian cocktails are pretty strong.

As I said, I’m being a good girl…or maybe I’m looking for more intellectual company rather than some dodgy guy who likely just wants to get laid. I still meet lotsa guys whenever I go out with friends to the club. They just come up to you and start talking to you…but I’ve not met many who are “decent”. Which is pretty reasonable coz how often do you meet a “decent” guy in a club? Last Friday I went with a friend to this club that was located in a rather isolated area (we got lost and walked around for hours trying to find it and we didn’t have a map) and then she hooked up with some Dutch guys and they were all speaking Dutch so I was pretty much on my own…which isn’t so bad really coz there are guys who constantly approach you to talk. So I ended up meeting this whole bunch of Spanish guys on exchange from Barcelona but they were studying at another university in Milano. It was fun talking to them though there was only one guy out of the group who struck me as more of the decent type. Unfortunately, they had to leave early so I didn’t get to talk to him much.

I did meet a decent guy though later when I was sitting in the foyer of the club waiting for my friend who went to the bathroom. Basically this guy comes up to me and says, “You’re too beautiful to be sitting alone.” Nice pick-up line but flattery doesn’t work on me…much lol. Turns out the guy is Italian, but he spoke good English coz he worked in the US for awhile and he’s an engineer but he’s currently doing an MBA. We actually had a good conversation….something you don’t usually get with an Italian guy you meet at a club. He was sober too. What gave him many points in my book was that unlike other Italian guys, he wasn’t sticky. He gave me his number but said he wouldn’t get mine so the choice as to whether we’d meet up again was left to me. Definitely different from other Italian guys and I must admit, I liked it. So I contacted him a few days later (although after the last Italian guy I kinda told myself I’d keep away from Italians) and we’re meeting up tomorrow…although occasionally I’m wondering what the hell I’m doing, but I’m gonna see how it goes tomorrow and reserve further judgement. Lol