An interview with Alessia from Italy: Erasmus experience during the pandemic

 

Alessia

 

Interviewer: Hello everybody, I’m Adrianna and I am on my internship in ESN [UAM] Poznań. Today, I’m going to have a short interview with Alessia. Alessia is from Italy and she was doing her Erasmus in Poznań. Okay, so I will ask you the first question. Imagine you could go back in time. Would you still go on the Erasmus, if you knew that the coronavirus thing would happen?

Alessia: Probably, I would like to go anywhere in any way but with another spirit. With the spirit of rather surviving than actually living an Erasmus experience. As you may know, I have done the first semester in Poznań and it was very different. That’s why I think my Erasmus has been one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever done so I can’t regret coming there. However, obviously this pandemic has had quite a strong effect on everything.

Interviewer: So, we know that you don’t regret coming to Poland but still you decided to come back to your country. Could you tell us more about how your journey home went?

Alessia: Well, me and my other Italian friends from the dorm, who wanted to go home were checking, almost every day the website of the embassy. We were told that the embassy was planning to organise some flights to Italy but actually they didn’t at that time. So, in the end, we decided to move autonomously. We took something like a taxi to Berlin, then from Berlin, we took a train to Munich and from Munich, we took a coach to Bolzano in Italy.

Interviewer: Was it hard to organise it all and to survive this trip?

Alessia: Not so much.  My friend was looking for connections between Italy and Germany whereas I had a task to call all the embassies to understand what we should do to go home. So let’s say we had divided the tasks. However, as for the trip, it lasted something around 18 hours so you can imagine spending so much time with the mask on.

Interviewer: What about food during your trip? Have you prepared it in advance or were you buying something to eat at the train stations?

Alessia: I did everything by myself because I like cooking and preparing food. Home-made food is something I really appreciate.

Interviewer: And I suppose it was much more safe to eat food that you have prepared on your own than to eat something bought in the shops.

Alessia: Yes, definitely. However, I must admit that for example in Munich at the train station there were a lot of small shops and we were actually surprised because everything was open. Luckily, shopping assistants were working very safe with gloves and masks on. Anyway, a couple of days before we left, I had baked biscuits so I didn’t really need to buy anything else.

Interviewer: And in your opinion what was the most difficult part of studying during the lockdown?

Alessia: Obviously I could say the concentration because if you have to stay the whole day in and you only have to study you cannot focus. But actually the thing that was most problematic for me was the fact that we didn’t have the ordinary contact with teachers. Unfortunately, all of my teachers decided not to take online classes but only to send us presentations and materials. It was very different and made learning more difficult.

Interviewer: So you had to find motivation in yourself to do all of the stuff during this period?

Alessia: Yes, of course. But to be honest, my trick to find motivation is that I usually get up very early in the morning like at 6:00 or even 5:30.

Interviewer: You are totally different than me, I cannot find motivation to do anything!

Alessia: Well, I used to be the same. However, I developed this habit this year during Erasmus because of my friend’s suggestion. I find it very useful because I realized I am much more concentrated in the morning and I prefer studying then whereas in the afternoon I basically don’t want to do anything except just chill on the bed and scroll on Instagram or something similar.

Interviewer: At the beginning of this pandemic you were in Poznań, away from your family and kind of alone. What was the thing that made you anxious or insecure when you got the news that coronavirus is a real thing?

Alessia: Well, the thing that was worrying me the most was the safety of my family because, as you may know, in Italy the whole thing started two or three weeks earlier than in Poland. When they told us that in Poland there was just one case I was like “okay that’s going to be like nothing” because in Italy the situation was much worse. My biggest worry was about my grandma and my dad. I was calling them every day and obliging them like “stay home, don’t go out for anything in the world”.

Interviewer: I hope that your whole family feels alright.

Alessia: Yes, they all feel good. Besides, my dad has stolen my grandad’s car because he didn’t want him to go out and my grandad is this type of man who doesn’t really like to chill out on the sofa every day. Anyway, the one that was worrying me the most was my dad because he had to go to work every day. He was the most in danger but luckily he is fine.

Interviewer: We are glad to hear that your whole family is feeling great. And do you have somebody or maybe something that helped you especially during these difficult times?

Alessia: I had a small group of Italian friends in my dorm. When there were some days in which I was really depressed, my friends came to my room and told me something like “let’s get lunch together”, “let’s go out for a walk” or even “let’s go shopping together”. Like you know shopping for food obviously but still shopping. And then a couple of weeks ago when they opened back the parks, we went out for a really long walk to the park. So basically my friends were the ones that helped me a lot.

Interviewer: Did you know each other before going to Poznań or were you just a random group from Italy?

Alessia: We were just a random group. Some of them knew each other but very few, maybe two or three of them. However, I was in Poznań since September, whereas all of them arrived in January/February so I didn’t know anyone of them.

Interviewer: So we can say that the coronavirus brought you all together and in all the downsides we can find at least one positive. Do you think that other students are like your group?  I mean, do you think that they are staying in touch and are as supportive to each other?

Alessia: Well, I suppose that in my group, this pandemic has brought us closer and made us stay together more often. However, I think this is a really common thing. I mean I’ve heard from some of my friends from Poznań that they had the same experience. You cannot go out a lot or meet your other friends because meetings and gatherings are still not permitted so you have to make friends in your own dorm.

Interviewer: And did you find a new hobby or did you develop your old hobby during these days?

Alessia: I can say that I have developed a new hobby. We had a common kitchen in our dorm but it was always very dirty so I didn’t really like going there to cook. As a result, my new hobby was finding every possible way to eat different stuff raw like raw vegetables, raw fruit and so on. Also, I started doing something like a food blog. I started posting photos every day every time I was going to eat which is basically stupid and it is nothing serious but it was a way to waste a lot of time and it was personally interesting to me. Also I think that in my whole life I have never eaten as healthy as in this period.

Interviewer: So again we have a good side of this situation. Actually I have noticed that a lot of people have started to put more attention and effort to what they are eating.

Alessia: Yes, probably. Because you know, for example, before the quarantine I used to go to the gym sometimes or even when I just walk to my university and then go back home it was still a physical activity. When we were locked inside our rooms we didn’t really have anything physical to do. Of course you can work out but it’s boring so it is necessary for you to take care of what you eat. I’m not sure if you know about this, but two months ago in March we suddenly got an e-mail saying that there was a one positive guy in our dorm and we had to stay for two weeks totally locked in our rooms. We could only go outside for maybe 10 minutes to use the kitchens what obviously I didn’t do. I didn’t even put one single finger out of my room because I was too frightened.  During this period you have to find everything to waste some time because personally, I didn’t have a lot of necessary things to do.

Interviewer: It is hard for me to imagine being lockdowned in a dorm and not being permitted to go anywhere.

Alessia: I had been lucky because the day before the lockdown, just by chance, I went shopping for food so I had everything I needed. The problem was that some of my friends didn’t have anything to eat because they were planning to go the day ahead. As a result, they had to try to order online shopping but unluckily it was not available so they were like “let’s call glovo” or something similar but they all didn’t work as well. It was a total mess.

Interviewer: Didn’t they ask other students for help?

Alessia: Some of them did. Some of them had friends living in other parts of Poznań who offered to make some shopping for food for them and then to leave the bags outside the dorm because of course no one could get in the dorm.  They have found very heart-warming people.

Interviewer: We feel very sorry for students in lockdown but it is really nice that they found help. Anyway, you have spent the first semester without any problem and then the second one came hand-in-hand with coronavirus. That means that you have a comparison between the first and second semester. Is there a thing that you missed the most during the second semester?

Alessia: Well, as I told you, the most problematic for me was the lack of physical lessons. I must admit that I am not such a party girl, of course, sometimes I went dancing or went out for a pizza but not very often so that was not the main point. But yeah, the thing I missed the most was the possibility to go to university because I really liked the environment. The type of teachers and students that I have found in Poznań is very different from what I’ve found in Italy. What I mean is that class groups in Poland are very small, restricted to 10 people whereas in Italy there are 80 people in a class. As a result, the relationships that students in Poland can have with the teachers are much different and much more personal than in Italy.

Interviewer: Probably you could have longer conversations with teachers and get more information about the topic of the classes.

Alessia: Yes, that’s true! Also, I have made friends with some teachers and I am still keeping in touch with them. It is very strange and new for me.

Interviewer: Well, when I was doing my second Erasmus in Spain I met an English teacher that has changed my life completely. She was the best teacher I had in my whole life.

Alessia: I also found my best teacher in Poland. He is a mathematics professor  and he invited me to do some researches with him. To be honest I am still cooperating with him from home what is actually kind of a strange thing for me but also very interesting. Another thing that I missed in the second semester was the possibility of some trips. The reason behind this is that one of the best memories I have done during the first semester was a trip that we did with both Erasmus and ESN. That’s where I met Magda of course which I am greeting because I know she is watching! But anyway, we made a trip to Cracow, Zakopane, and Auschwitz. That was really amazing because of course, Cracow is Cracow, a magnificent city, and the Auschwitz concentration camp although was a hard experience it was still the best memory I have ever had. Also, the same guys that organised this trip told me they were going to organise some bicycle trips during the second semester but of course, they didn’t have the opportunity.

Interviewer: I suppose that lockdown must have made it difficult to organise anything else. Anyway, do you think Cracow is very different from Italian cities?

Alessia: I would say yes. However, not only Cracow but also Poznań is very different. They are very different from Milan actually because, well, I live nearby so my concept of a city is related to this particular one. What I found amazing in Poznań and in Cracow was the green areas whereas in Milan it is all buildings, skyscrapers, lots of people and cars. Poznań is also big of course but it is terribly green, terribly in a good sense. When you look outside of the window you see parks, trees, flowers which is awesome because in Milan there are very few green fields. That makes me think that polish concept of a city is very different from ours and I think it is totally appreciable. I have even made thought about one-day coming back to Poland and maybe stay there for some months or even years.

 

 

Interviewer: Poznań will be open for you after the lockdown! What with transportation in Poznań? Was it easy for you to move around the city?

Alessia: I must admit that in the very first days I had some trouble understanding where should I go or which public transportation I should take but my Erasmus Buddy helped me a lot with this. She told me to download the “jakdojade” app which saved my life I don’t know how many times to be honest. Then she taught me how to buy online tickets and where my university was cause I had no idea. However, after some days I understood how the things work in Poznań and I learnt how to move around by myself.

Interviewer: So I suppose that later you didn’t have to use the jakdojade app?

Alessia: No, not really. Also, I went on some trips only by myself. At the end of the first semester, just before the pandemic, I went for a 9-day trip and visited Łódź, Częstochowa and Katowice. I have spent 3 days in each city. I discovered that when you change your location then “jakdojade” will upgrade for the other city and allow you to buy online tickets there. It was very useful.

Interviewer: Did you have any problems with communication in these cities or were you just using English and everybody was helpful?

Alessia: Well, it depends. I found that very often people were not able to speak English but luckily in the first semester I did three or four months of Polish course organised by the university and I have learnt basic phrases. So for example when I went to the supermarket and I didn’t know where something was I was able to go to the girl in the cash desk and ask about this. However, I know just basic things like “cześć, mam na imię Alessia, a ty jak masz na imię?”

Interviewer: Adrianna! Perfect, you are doing this really well. For sure you are speaking better Polish than me Italian.

Alessia: Thank you very much. It is still just basic things but it is very useful.

Interviewer: Did you learn something from this situation? In what way did you develop yourself during this semester?

Alessia: What I really learnt from this situation is to rely on myself. Of course, I could organise my own things before but basically even when I moved to Milan for the university, my family home was nearby so for any problem I could call or just go home. On the contrary, since I have been in Poznań I had to learn to rely only on myself because no one could, for example, come, pick me up and bring me home because it is around 15 hours by car. I think that you can learn a lot of things by living on your own.

Interviewer: So you think you have become more independent. Was it your first time you were living alone without your family close to you?

Alessia: Well, in a sense. I was living in Milan alone but from my house to Milan it’s a one-hour drive. It is not the same thing as living in Poznań - I went home every weekend.

Interviewer: So your family got your back!

Alessia: That’s true. Also, there is one thing I would like to add actually. I would really like to underline the fact that I have visited some European countries like England, Switzerland or Germany but I think that the cosiest place was definitely Poznań. The cosiest in terms of organization of this city, transportation and how people could be friendly even though they didn’t understand English for example.

Question from the audience: Are you planning on going on Erasmus again?

Alessia: Yes, definitely! If only I get the possibility, so probably during my maths degree I would like to go on Erasmus again. I would really like to come back to Poland to be honest.

Interviewer: Would you like to visit Poznań again or another Polish city?

Alessia: Well, probably I would choose Poznań again. Actually Poznań was the only Polish city which my university had places to go on Erasmus but probably anyway I would choose Poznań again. Although I already know this city, there are still a lot of places I would like to see such as the Malta lake. I was planning to go there during the spring but then I just needed to go back to my family and my habits. The fact that I couldn’t go to the university or couldn’t go out made me thought about the reason why was I on the Erasmus. My decision was to come home but I understand all of my friends who decided to stay because Poznań is a very beautiful city and Erasmus is a beautiful experience.

 

 

Interviewer: I agree with you. I would say this is a hard time for all of us so we cannot judge anybody. You decided to go back because you were scared of your family and I understand this and for example, I am still in Portugal and I couldn’t afford myself going back to Poland because the prices went so up that I had to stay.

Alessia: Well, I understand because actually when I planned my trip back to Italy and finally arrived home then I heard that the embassy was organising a flight from Warsaw to Rome but the price of the ticket was more expensive than my whole trip so probably I would not afford it either.

Interviewer: Okay, sorry for interrupting you, but I think we’ve got two more questions. Why did you choose Poznań in the first place? You partly responded to that question before, because you said it was the only city with your field of study, yes?

Alessia: Yeah, Poznań was the only polish city on my university Erasmus list, but let’s say I’ve chosen Poland because basically I’ve never seen Eastern Europe so I was curious. My dad has been in Czech Republic, another friend of mine has been in Romania I think, and they all told me that the eastern part of Europe is very beautiful and it’s very cosy. I was curious about this, so I decided to choose Poland.

Interviewer: Opinion of other people helped you with this decision?

Alessia: Yeah, definitely.

Interviewer: So will you recommend Poznań for Erasmus in Italy?

Alessia: Definitely. If I knew some of my friends would like to go on Erasmus as well, I would definitely recommend Poland for a lot of reasons. First of all, it’s cosy, well-organised and it’s not so expensive. I mean, Italian cities are extremely expensive, as you may know.

Interviewer: Yes, especially Florence and Rome.

Alessia: And Milan, trust me.

Interviewer: I didn’t get there, but I suppose it’s expensive.

Alessia: Yeah, you can trust me. I suppose Milan is one of the most expensive cities, maybe together with Rome. So in Poznań you basically can do whatever you want, you can go out like 3 times a week and still spend less than when you live in Milan, so it’s very comfortable.

Interviewer: You think restaurants are not as expensive?

Alessia: No, definitely not. The only thing that I found was quite expensive in Poland was the rent. I found quite high prices to be honest, I expected to find some lower prices. As for the rest, definitely no. For example, one day I was calling my grandma and I told her that I went to the market in Plac Wielkopolski (probably) and I bought a lot of food and vegetables and I spent like 13 euros, so 50 złoty. In Italy you would have spent 3 times more, so definitely the prices were lower.

Interviewer: You didn’t miss cool coffee places? Because when I was in Italy, there were coffee shops in every corner and in Poznań it’s not so common to have coffee and cornetto for breakfast.

Alessia: Well, I’m not really used to have coffee and cornetto for breakfast to be honest. Luckily, I’m not so addicted to espresso because I don’t really like it, it’s too strong for me. I know, I know my Italian friends are going to insult me, I expect this.

Interviewer: Don’t worry, I will defend you.

Alessia: Yeah, but I know most of my Italian friends actually miss Italian coffee. I think all of us had a moka, which is like a small tool to make coffee, you may know it. All of us brought it from Italy because basically Italian people can’t survive without coffee.

Interviewer: Yeah, they are addicted to coffee.

Alessia: Maybe I’m just one of the few exceptions.

Interviewer: Darka is asking us “do you have a favourite place in Poznań”?

Alessia: Hm, my favourite place in Poznań... Yeah, probably it’s very trivial, very stupid to say, but my favourite place was the park, which was next to my dorm. I’ve lived in Polonez, so Park Cytadela was very close to my dorm and especially in the very last weeks, when we were allowed to go out again, I went there with a couple of friends. It’s been one of my last tours of the park and we found the entire field full of flowers and the smell was amazing. I’m very keen on appreciating very small things like a field full of flowers. For me, it’s better than going to the museum or to the pub or whatever.

Interviewer: And it’s very nice that it’s almost in the city centre.

 

 

Alessia: Yeah, that’s the point. I mean, actually, Poznań is a big city but you can have very beautiful places like a lake, park, zoo, things that you can’t find in Italian big cities. I mean, you find them, but very few.

Interviewer: Okay, I’m trying to read more comments, I’m sorry. I have a new question – were there some polish habits or behaviours of Polish people that were a shock to you or did you experience a cultural shock?

Alessia: Yeah, I did. I know why Magda is asking this. When we went for a trip to Cracow, one evening they offered us dinner at 4 pm and we, as Italian and Spanish people, were like shocked. Basically, in Italy we have dinner at like 8 and in Spain, I suppose they have dinner between 9 and 10 pm so for me it was almost lunch, it’s not a dinner for me. And something else.. Yeah, there definitely was something else that shocked me which was the amount of onions that you, in sense of Polish people, put in like every single dish. I didn’t find one single dish without onions. I don’t like them, so for me, it was hard to find stuff to eat.

Interviewer: And were you triggered with the word “kolacja”? Because “kolacja” is similar to “colazione” in Italian and that means “breakfast”. Did you get tricks with this?

Alessia: Well, yes but not so much. I mean, actually some polish friends tried to explain to me how do you deal with these terms like “dinner”, “lunch”, “kolacja” or whatever, but I didn’t really get it. I mean, because basically from what I understood you eat when you have time, whereas in Italy we make time to eat. So if I had to have lunch at 7, I would stop everything, I would stop the entire world, but I need to have a dinner at 7, so for us, let’s say, Italian people have a very strong food culture. But still, I was not very affected by this, because I maintained my food habits.

Interviewer: Someone said “I was 100% sure you’ll say either Kultowa or Cuba Libre” for your favourite place.

Alessia: Well, I went to Cuba Libre just once, I am sorry to answer this girl about this, but I don’t like very crowded places, so I don’t usually go on disco or to pubs or whatever. I am a bit claustrophobic, so I don’t really like staying in a very crowded places.

Interviewer: Actually I feel you, I get claustrophobic, so bars and pubs are fine but clubs no.

Alessia: Definitely no. I think I went to the disco like maybe 3 times and the first time was during my birthday. I didn’t want to go, I just wanted to have a dinner with some friends, because we organized it too and then I just wanted to go back to my room and sleep or chillout or whatever. But they actually took me and we went to this new disco club under Polonez, which is “n36” probably. It’s a new place anyway.

Interviewer: Okay, I don’t know, I wasn’t there.

Alessia: It’s nothing special, but it was appreciable. Actually, I must admit that I was hating my friends for forcing me to go dancing, but in the end it was an amazing evening, probably the best birthday I’ve ever had in my life.

Interviewer: It’s always like this. If you don’t feel like partying, it’s going to be the best party.

Alessia: Yeah, probably. They also offered me Pinacolada. I’ve never tried it before and I must admit it was amazing, so I can’t complain about the evening.

Interviewer: It’s lovely when you can try new stuff in your life.

Alessia: Yeah, definitely.

Interviewer: Have you tried tatar?

Alessia: Tatar?

Interviewer: It’s a raw meat with an egg, onion, sour cucumber and you have to mix it all.

Alessia: I don’t know. I ate raw meat actually, but I’m not sure I’ve tried it. Of course I’ve tried pierogi, lots of different things. I also tried chocolate pierogi which was like shocking for me, but they were amazing. And then I fell in love with Soplica. I’m not a regular drinker, because I definitely never used to drink in my life but as a souvenir from Poland I brought home one big bottle of Hazelnut Soplica, which is the best one.

Interviewer: Did you drink it with milk?

Alessia: Of course. When I went home and I opened my luggage, my dad saw the bottle of Soplica and he was like “what the hell, why?”. I also saw a comment about “pączek”. Yeah, we tried them and they are fantastic.

Interviewer: With marmolada or rose.

Alessia: Yes, yes. Well actually, in Italy we have similar things which are called like “bombolone”. There are different names, it depends on the region, but they are full of egg cream, whereas in Poland I found them with jam. Basically they are really similar, but I think with jam they are better.

Interviewer: When I was doing my first Erasmus in Italy, it was in Spoleto in Umbria, we had problems with bread. In the historic times this region couldn’t afford buying salt, so according to their tradition salt was a very valuable good, so they didn’t add salt to the bread and we had to eat almost sweet bread. Imagine eating sweet bread with ham and cheese, it was something weird for me.

Alessia: But for us it’s quite normal. I mean, we are not very used to savoury bread and this is actually a very big difference, I found out that when I arrived to Poznań. I had a friend in Italy who did Erasmus in Germany and he kept telling me that in this part of Europe (so Germany, Poland and close countries) the bread is very good, so he told me that I have to try it.

Interviewer: Almost all different kinds of bread – like sweet, salty, crunchy, crispy.

Alessia: Yeah, I was sceptical actually, but I’ve decided to try it. I bought a loaf of integral bread with cereals and whatever. I was like “wow, this is a heavenly thing definitely” and so I think one of the things that I am going to miss the most about Poland is bread. Now I came back to Italy of course so I need to eat Italian bread but it’s not the same, so I can actually understand you.

Interviewer: Yeah, it was a big struggle for me. Have you tried St. Martin's croissant?

Alessia: Yeah, terrible.

Interviewer: Why?

Alessia: Okay, let me explain. We tried this croissant when we were in the bus to Cracow, because actually the trip was between the 8th and 11th of November, so we haven’t had the possibility to try them on the 11th, so the guys who organised the trip decided to buy some and bring them to Cracow. Basically it’s fine, in taste it’s very good, but the problem is that it’s so heavy. I ate like a half of the croissant at 10 in the morning and it remained in my stomach for like a couple of days. I mean, the taste is fantastic, I really appreciate the taste, but…

Interviewer: Poppyseeds, yes?

Alessia: Yeah, it’s definitely something strange for us. And of course a lot of my Italian friends that were with me on the trip refused to eat them. Basically most of them gave them to Elia, who is reading, he ate something like 3 or maybe 4 croissants, because everyone were giving them to him. But I didn’t, I kept mine.

Interviewer: So he ate almost all the croissants in the bus.

Alessia: Yes, definitely.

Interviewer: Please Elia, you can text now that it was awesome.

Alessia: He did, he did.

Interviewer: Have you tried polish pizza? Polish “Italian” pizza?

Alessia: Yeah, yeah and I was terribly sceptical, but I’ve been pleasingly surprised. I’ve been trying 2 different places to buy pizza. The first one was a Neapolitan pizza so with the very high crust and everything, which was a bit expensive but absolutely amazing. It was something like Gourmet Pizza or something similar. I must admit I was impressed.

Interviewer: It wasn’t as bad as you were expecting.

Alessia: No, it was even better. Another one was like 40cm so it was enormous and I didn’t finish it but still, it was amazing. I must be sincere, I found it was at least as good as Italian pizza, so I was really impressed. What I didn’t find good in Poznań.. Let me think… All biscuits, I didn’t like polish biscuits. I didn’t know why. Basically, I found a lot of digested biscuits or American style cookies, whereas I didn’t find normal biscuits, cookies.

Interviewer: Yeah, they are too dry, American style, yeah.

Alessia: Yeah, but it was not such a big deal to be honest, so I managed.

Interviewer: I’m wondering if our friends on chat have more questions.

Alessia: I don’t know, I wasn’t reading, sorry.

Interviewer: I’m trying to read this now, but feel free guys, feel free. We are not biting, at least on the internet.

Alessia: No, definitely I can’t.

Interviewer: Okay, so I don’t think there’s somebody brave enough to ask a question. Do you have something that you would like to share more with people? How was Easter?

Alessia: Oh well, kind of strange. I used to spend my whole Easter with my family or my family’s friends, so this year I was actually planning to go back to Italy for Easter, but of course, we couldn’t because of this pandemic. I have a friend, who is the same girl who is asking the question, so I must share this.

Interview: She knows what she’s doing.

Alessia: She knows what she’s doing. Actually, I proposed just to her to make biscuits for everyone, because I love baking, so that was not such a deal for me. So we, let’s say, decided to meet on Saturday, just the day before Easter, at 9 in the morning to go down to the kitchen and make the biscuits. And she arrived 20 minutes late. I was about to kill her of course, but then after that, we baked these biscuits, we went back to my room and we packed all of them in the oven paper and some tape, very simple but they were nice actually. They seemed like enormous candies or something like that. We also prepared notes with “Happy Easter” and the ingredients of the biscuits, then we pinned them on the packages. During the Easter Day, like half past 10 in the morning, me and Valeria, who is this friend of mine, started going to our friends’ rooms and knock to the doors until they opened. You may not even imagine their faces. One of them started insulting us definitely because he was still sleeping.

Interviewer: Oh noo.

Alessia: They were all still sleeping, to be honest. I think we found just one person already awake, all the others were still sleeping. We gave the packs to each one of them and it was a nice day after all.

Interviewer: Recompensated the early wake up.

Alessia: Yeah, definitely. But it was actually funny. In the end, the biscuits were fine, so...

Interviewer: Did you have the Wet Monday? Because in Poland there’s a tradition that on the first Monday after Easter usually guys were pouring water on girls.

Interviewer: No, we don’t really have this tradition. But the day before Easter there is sort of a tradition in which people basically gather with friends and other people, which is called “pasquetta”, as Valeria said, and people eat together, especially grilled meat, fish and very sophisticated things let’s say. Of course, we couldn’t so some of us were actually complaining about this. But still... In my family we don’t really have this habit, so for me, it wasn’t such a problem.

Interviewer: Okay, thank you. Do you have more questions? Guys, last minutes for questions. Okay, I don’t think maybe they have. I finished all my questions for you.

Alessia: Okay.

Interviewer: You’re very very nice and really grazie mille per tutto.

Alessia: Prego, or as you would say, proszę bardzo.

Interviewer: Dziękuję bardzo! It was very nice to talk to you. I hope it was also nice for other people to listen to us.

Alessia: Yeah and thank you very much for inviting me and thank you Magda for inviting me for this small interview, which I must admit I was very stressed about, but it’s been nice after all. I hope one day I will come back to Poznań and meet you all.

Interview: I hope to meet you too in Poznań for more of your Erasmus experience.

Alessia: After this pandemic.

Interview: Yes, so in the name of ESN, I want to wish you, all your family and all the people that were listening to us the best wishes. Keep it safe and healthy, okay?

Alessia: Thank you and to you of course. Have a nice Erasmus, goodbye!

Interviewer: Grazie mille, arrivederci. Bye-bye!

 

Alessia

 

[brackets added during proof-reading]

We have presented to you an adapted version of the interview

 

Interviewer: 

Adrianna Dominiak

 

Photos:

Alessia

 

Transcription and proof-reading: 

Kinga Misterkiewicz and Marysia Strongowska