4 months ago

Social Insecurities: The Evening Class



Arriving straight – and late – from the office, unprepared for the copious bilingual handouts already on your desk. You double check, this was Italian conversation you signed up for, not international diplomacy?


Have a quick look around and realise Mr Darcy is not among the participants. Wonder if you can get a refund subito, or swap to the life drawing course next door.


Everyone is asked to introduce themselves. The others have prepared in advance. Realise, like networking, this is a skill in which you are not fluent in any language.


Start doodling on your new notebook. Of course you bought a fresh one in Muji, along with some coloured pens: stationery was always the best part of a new term.


The classroom will take the full 90 minutes to defrost from sub-zero temp. The life drawing class would at least have a heater on, for the nudie person.


When the teacher asks what sort of conversations you are interested in, you suggest “How far is the Prada outlet from the city?” Blank looks from the rest of the class.


You are paired up for role play. Your partner is an intense criminal lawyer with a house in Lucca. He corrects your grammar. You clam up and can’t remember if you are the hotelier or the guest asking for a bigger room.


Feel like a belligerent teenager eyeing the clock and wondering when una pausa will be granted.


Contemplating what is in the fridge for supper, should you order now from Camille? By the time you get home it will be 9pm – jab blindly at the app under your desk and realise the driver will be at your door in un quarto d’ora. Merda!


The teacher suggests going for a drink after class in Week 4, apparently a tradition. The reason for joining was to be more social and outgoing. Immediately feel anti-social.


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