I am a little late in starting to document my travels as I have now been in Bari for 2 months. This is my 8th week. I’m well over the half way period and in just over 3 weeks I’ll be home for Christmas! I cannot believe how fast it has all gone. You almost adopt a new pair of eyes when you travel somewhere and things that were seemingly normal before become enhanced. Buildings and parks that you wouldn’t bat an eyelid at become landmarks or captured on camera as a staple point of your new home. I live in Poggiofranco which is just outside of Bari in a nice little area where everyone has designer coats and well-kept dogs. I live with Dave, the other teacher and fellow newbie and Francesco, a former student of the school who has been letting out rooms in his flat for about 10 years to us expat teachers. I have been spoilt with kindness from every possible angle since arriving here. The thing that has amazed me more than the place itself is the sheer friendliness and warmth from the people here. Granted their hospitality doesn’t stretch to the roads where you’re in danger of being ran over at a zebra crossing or blocked in by their double, triple crazy parking.
I feel at home for now, which after 8 weeks I’m taking as a massive victory. My job is fantastic. I couldn’t speak more highly of it. I have classes I love and classes that absolutely break my balls from start to finish but I am happy. The fact that time has flown since my arrival in October is living proof of this.
Maybe the reason I am so happy is that I have my two greatest needs fulfilled, I sleep well and eat like Henry 8th on a fat day. The food here in Puglia is an absolute DREAM. Forgive me if the blog takes on a foodie focus but let me just say one word
Pizza, made with either minced meat and mozzarella, or ham and tomatoes. FOLDED then DEEP FRIED.
Panzerotti Frite. if the Scottish thought they won the war of fried foods with the deep-fried mars bar they were severely mistaken. Anyone who has not fried a pizza has never lived. Dave and I went out with some students for Panzerotti and Peroni last week and it was immense. After chipping in our cents, we received what looked like a tonne of friend goods from the takeaway, we used a random car bonnet as our table and dished out the stash.
To eat a Panzerotto is a challenge in itself. When you take your first bite you realise the steam will burn your face off. This is inevitable. Deal with it.
….The stance…Now depending on your choice of footwear, it is very important how you stand during a Panzerotti session, the Mozzarella and juices WILL seep through the dough and they WILL spill out the bottom. To avoid scalding your feet you should stand with your feet apart. To avoid stains of your clothes push your bum out, lean forward, shoulders rounded forward. This is maximum damage control and part of the enjoyment.
Another reason food is good here: PANZEROTTI ARE THOUGHT OF AS A SNACK. A standard size pizza, deep fried…a snack!
Other foods which are fantastic here: Mozzarella, especially di Bufala, marron glace, Sweet Canneloni, HOT CHOCOLATE, Coffee, Foccacia and anything made with sugar.
I have been on a few trips now, which tell me I will wet myself during the warmer months at the beaches that are near here. I went to POLIGNANO A MARE a few weeks ago and I’m counting the days until the weather changes and we can head to beach, jump in the sea and swim in the grottoes. Polignano looks like Amalfi except the houses and buildings are just one colour rather than a mix of pinks, yellows and pastels. It is insanely beautiful and the old town, a maze of winding streets and courtyards, small coffee shops and restaurants look like they’ve never changed since the beginning of time. Just a slice of what’s on offer here.
Life is Good!