June 22, 2021

Next Exit: Future The tale of an Erasmus+ Project in Portsmouth

Portsmouth is located in the county of Hampshire, on the southern coast of the United Kingdom. It’s a melancholic but not gray city, with an iron will and a sky as intense as a newborn love.

A two-hour bus ride from London, Portsmouth represents a fair compromise for those who love introspection but on Saturday do not disdain a cozy chat at the pub: between a wife waiting and a toast to the health of the ancient sailors (its harbour, the Historic Dockyard, is one of the most important of the Royal Navy and houses 800 years of British naval history) the euphoria soon becomes a romantic nostalgia that here, never rhymes with regret but turns into a quiet stroll home.

It’s Monday morning and with a headache in my pocket, I take the bus to Earnst Road where I will meet Giovanni, a student from Hospitality Institute in Florence.

He is 17 years old and he is based in Portsmouth thanks to the Erasmus+ project.

Together with his young colleagues, he will do a 3-week internship at the King’s Theater, one of Portsmouth’s oldest and most glorious theaters.

His role? Receptionist with a license to learn and deepen English and people.

After a brief embarrassment and a loooooong coffee with donuts, he starts talking about his experience, from the carefree start despite it was his first time on a plane to the first days of training. The words overlap, in a mixture of enthusiasm and surprise and he tortured his beard while he describes his first days in England.

He shows me his Instagram profile: the photo in front of Dickens’s house at 393 Old Commercial Road, shot for his father, a literature teacher; the journey by plane and the world from a porthole, the funny faces with his peers and even the anxiety of the teacher, all in one picture.

He likes Portsmouth, gentle and human, cold but not glacial.

There are no balconies and he loves terraced houses, all tidy with useful entrance to shake off the remains of the day just passed; and then the churches and the tree-lined avenue to go to Kings’Theater.

He is fascinated by the inhabitants’ accent and their kindness in front of his initial doubts about the “real English”, the one spoken on the street and by the barber, what allows you to understand when a fight is about to break out and it’s time to go home, the one spoken by your colleague who tells you about his busy days.

On the weekend, when he is not  in London to distribute “wow” and collect “like” (a picture in front of the National Gallery is worth at least 30 likes) he takes a taxi and goes to the harbour, where he imagines being the protagonist of Heart of Darkness.

Then a tour of the shops to compare prices and existences, imagine stories and turn instants into snapshots.

No, no homesickness, because in a week it will be Florence and “daily routine” again while here everything rhymes with wonder.

At King’s Theater he has made friends with Julia, the Scottish colleague at the box office. She looks like his best friend; here, most people remind him of someone he knows, as if his brain used this trick to make it easier for him to adapt.

During the lunch breaks, Julia corrects his pronunciation, in return Giovanni teaches her some sentences in Italian. “We are only friends”, he assures me while looking away, also because “MMy suitcase is full and love would not fit”. I smile and, while I order another coffee, I secretly envy him for the bravado.

We’ve been here for two hours and it’s time to say goodbye.
Together with him I wait for the bus that arrives with the usual admirable British precision.

We shake hands with a convinced “see you later”, then a final nod as I see him disappear between the doors of the double decker bus, last stop King’s Theater, next exit: FUTURE

Related Posts

Teachers from public primary school in the Zawierzbie in training in Spain

October 23, 2019

October 23, 2019

A group of teachers from the Public Primary School The Home Army in Zawierzbie as part of the “European School@...

Bòna zurnèda ma tót! – Adam, Marcin and their Erasmus + in the magical and dreamlike Rimini

March 23, 2019

March 23, 2019

Rimini, March 23rd. The 19 degrees of this early spring allow me not to shiver while sitting on the stairs...

What’s the color of the rain? In Cork you will find the answer

March 7, 2019

March 7, 2019

Thursday 7 March, 8 degrees and in Cork there is no hint of spring. “Spring is here again” for nothing...

5 things you should know about Rimini

July 5, 2016

July 5, 2016

Rimini is not only the city of beaches and great fun. Here’s a list of 5 things you should know about the Emilia-Romagna city: 1) Not only Riviera....

The beauty of Andalucia.

February 21, 2020

February 21, 2020

New Year and new groups are coming to Tribeka training lab. One of them is VENTSPILS VOCATIONAL SCHOOL from Latvia....

A new theatre in Malaga

November 28, 2019

November 28, 2019

15th of November in Soho district was an amazing opening of new theatre. There was a lot of famous people...

5 things to know about Portsmouth

June 15, 2016

June 15, 2016

You will shortly be in Portsmouth and we are sure you know everything about the Spinnaker Tower, Dickens’ house and the beautiful and celebrated Isle of Wight. But there...

His heart will remain in Malaga: Jakub and his internship at Tribeka

April 17, 2019

April 17, 2019

The song “Malaga” by Fred Bongusto has been buzzing in my head since this morning and this is exactly where...

An amazing week in Malaga, a city full of art, music and joy of life

November 14, 2019

November 14, 2019

Once upon a time … the way I should start this article. An amazing week with 6 teachers from Tartu...

Berlin: the European capital of future, innovation and human progress

September 20, 2018

September 20, 2018

An Italian PON student, Diego Briganti, sent us this article about his experience in Berlin at Berlink. Enjoy it! Berlin is the European capital of future, innovation and human...

Ireland in the heart and a clover on the wrist: 8 good reasons to visit Cork

February 13, 2020

February 13, 2020

You have Ireland in your heart, a clover on your wrist and an agenda full of places to visit. There’s...

Let’s go to Poland!

July 10, 2018

July 10, 2018

I used to think Poland was sad!

Discovering Malaga

July 19, 2016

July 19, 2016

6 things you should know about the Spanish city

Movie shows in Malaga

October 18, 2019

October 18, 2019

Would you like to go to the cinema? Ayuntamiento de Malaga and Festival de Malaga suggest take a break from...

Sofia is a “come on” place

June 1, 2016

June 1, 2016

5 things you should know about Sofia

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Newsletter