I probably won’t be able to post daily whilst I’m in Rome but I’ll do my very best to post regularly each week. Let me start off by telling you about Day 1 – it wasn’t a great start as far as I’m concerned.

My first day in Rome (a Friday) was spent figuring out how the heck to get to the office. The hotel I was staying at (before moving into an apartment) is about a 10-15 minute walk from the office and the instructions from the hotel reception were to “turn left going out of the hotel; turn right at the lights; then turn left”.

Sounds pretty simple right? I thought it was a no-brainer because I’d looked up the address on Google Street View and even seen an image of the office building. The problem though I guess is a cultural thing. The instructions were correct up to a point – the missing bit that should have been said IMHO was: “at the last turn to the left, the street name isn’t the one you’re expecting, but if you walk about 200 metres down this road, you will come to the office building on your right and the street name actually changes half way down”.

If someone had told me this, I wouldn’t have second-guessed everything. Because when I reached that turn to the left, the name of the road was completely different from the road the office was located on. So that made me think I’d walked in the wrong direction.

You are all probably laughing and saying to yourselves “didn’t she have a GPS?”. I would have but I left my universal adaptor in Dubai (I blame jet lag) and so my mobile phone and laptop were just about out of juice.

I accosted a few people on the street, no doubt scaring them when they realised I speak not a word of Italian. One very stylish old lady, out walking her two fluffy dogs, took a look at the address written on the piece of paper I had with me and launched into a detailed explanation of how to get there – all in Italian. But you know what? I figured it out due to her hand movements. She was pointing left, then right and made a curving movement with her arms. That triggered the notion that the road I thought was wrong might just curve around into the right road – and indeed that was the explanation.

So on my very first day of work, I showed up about 40 minutes late. My new colleagues were very kind and said they’d been worried about me. I am their very first e-recruitment, meaning that recruiting me was done entirely virtually. The Italian chap who was working on issuing my e-ticket stayed up until 1.00am the night before it was issued because he was so worried the ticket wouldn’t reach me before the scheduled flight (me too!).

We all enjoyed a good cappuccino in the café in the foyer of the office building and they marvelled at my ability to pack for 2.5 months and have a suitcase that weighs less than 20kgs. Me too: I’m amazed. But I went for the colour coordination thing – a lot of my clothes are black and white, with the red handbag for accent.

And speaking of the cafe: I must do a blog post and show the whole complex to you. Not only is there a cafe but there’s a dining hall where staff go for lunch. You can choose from salads, pasta, hot meals, desserts and it’s all pretty inexpensive by Italian standards.

The cafe on the ground floor of the office building.

 

 

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