Study-holiday in London
On the 29th of August I left for London to spend two weeks on a school holiday with my classmates. There were thirty-five of us: twenty-five girls were from my school, seven boys from another nearby town and three English teachers.
The flight from Bologna to Heathrow lasted two hours and then a coach took us to Beckenham where there was the English school we would be attending and the families that would lodge us.
My family was made of three components: Kaye and Jeff and their five year old daughter, Catherine. Kaye was a thirty-five, tall and thin, helpful and very kind woman. Her husband was as tall as her, but he was full around the belly and was almost never around. Catherine was adorable when I could understand what she was saying and she had a fluffy black rabbit named Rosy that she didn’t let in their garden alone for fear of the foxes. Being there was easy, I felt welcomed and at home.
We had 28 hours of lesson each week. The first day of school we sit through a test and depending on how we performed they divided us in different classes. I was put in the advanced group and felt proud of myself. At first there were other seven Italian girls of our group in my class, but since they were of another year they had a different holiday plan and they had to leave at the end of the first week. I was the only Italian left in the class after their departure and I was very shy at first. For two days I barely answered direct questions but then I opened up and discovered that being the only Italian present was the best way to learn the most. The teachers were really great and had different approaches. They organized various activities to train us in conversation, comprehension, grammar and so on. My English improved day by day.
Trips to London were scheduled three days a week and we usually went by train. We visited some museums, feasted at the Carnival and had a very tiring, but fulfilling, sightseeing tour of the city centre. On foot, not by bus. We did some shopping in Oxford Street and some more in Carnaby Street and Camden Town. We had a lot of fun and were lucky with the weather too: it never rained and I think it is sort of a record.
Only the evenings were sort of a problem. The boys from the other town were already of age so they could enter pubs or go clubbing, while we weren’t allowed and that was a shame because the group had to split up of few occasions. Only once the teachers managed to sneak us in a pub. We were appointed a long wooden table in the veranda, we were served alcohol free drinks and it was very cold, but we had a blast.
There was only one very bad moment, and it was the day we took the flight back home.