04 September, 2013

Back to school ...

Throughout the northern hemisphere, people are talking about dealing with the "back to school" issues - whether as parents, having to cope with childcare, expenses, etc, or as non-parents, having to endure the media and personal (eg on FB) blitz about "back to school" which just seems to assume that everyone  has kids, or has had them.  It's not easy, I know.

This year, I'm lucky.  For the first time I'm in the northern hemisphere when it is time to go back to school. Unwittingly, we made plans to shift from northern Italy to southern Italy last weekend.  Yes, the weekend when all the Italians head home after their summer holidays, ready for the kids to go back to school, and to start work again on Monday.  We braced ourselves for the three day drive down the Adriatic Coast, on the autostradas.  It was busy, but not bad.  Because, like so often in my life, I was not going on the busy road, but on the road less travelled.  Yes, we were heading south, when everyone else was heading north.  The multi-lane autostradas north were jam-packed with cars, sometimes at a standstill, as we whizzed past at 130 kmph, with plenty of space, heading south into the sun.

And perhaps because I didn't have to deal with friends and colleagues talking about their kids getting back to school, or perhaps it is simply that most of my friends and family have children who have grown (or who are in the southern hemisphere, in the middle of the winter term), I could feel smug about our particular direction.

Sometimes, going in the opposite direction brings freedom, relaxation, wind in our hair (once we got to our destinations), and no queues at the Autogrills on the highway!


  1. How I love your sentence:
    Yes, we were heading south, when everyone else was heading north.

    The next time you are in Autogrill, please have one latte macchiato for me!

    Enjoy la belissima Italia!

  2. ah, going against the traffic jam direction!
    My first job had me do that, and I always felt that the one hour drive seemed shorter because people in the other direction were going slower.
    enjoy the South!

  3. In Indo, school kids only have about a month holiday, so I don't really hear too many people talking about back to school (as I have more Indo friends/ex-school friends in my FB list), except ads in Finnish magazines about that.

    I REALLY love your last paragraph, though. Mmmmmm...I feel relaxed by reading the words he he he...