This week’s been fairly sedate – a welcome breather!
I’m on a roll with bureaucracy at the moment. Before I can get a piece of paper to say that I live here, the Comune require proof that I do indeed live here. Who’s best equipped for this task you ask? Well let me tell you: The Fire Service. Yup. So they sent the “Vigili del Fuoco” around, literally translated as “watchers of fire” (the name doesn’t give me comfort. I think they need rebranding as “extinguishers of fire”). I must say, I was a bit disappointed. Expectations of a home visit from a uniformed fireman were dashed by a normal guy wearing jeans and a t-shirt. All went smoothly however and I look forward to receiving my piece of paper soon.
I’ve joined the library! I only went in there to ascertain that I probably wouldn’t be able to join, or at least, not join without exhaustive and unobtainable documentation. However, within a mere 15 minutes, I had a library card and 3 books. So, I’m pleased about that. Alas, I have the Italian reading age of toddler and I can’t find books at my level without them being made of card and with a touchy-feely component. I’ve gone for some early teen books instead but it’s going to take me ages. Library joining day was a success all round because I managed to locate a Snicker’s bar as well. Mmm.
I’ve been doing some painting this week – I’ll post some photo’s up of them at some point.
Thursday I did a pasta making course with the school. We’ve been positively overrun with students this week – 17 Austrian teenagers… It was the first pasta making course that the school has run. I think doing that course with teenagers that had absolutely no interest in learning how to make pasta was probably a challenge. In the end it worked out well, at least in terms of the pasta being more than edible despite my strong reservations at the beginning.
On Friday I had a dinner with the other students. Marco got his guitar out and we had a group sing-song. Apart from one song that the others didn’t know so well and then it became just a Sue sing-song and ugh, I don’t want to think about it. I keep having flashbacks. Thankfully, I couldn’t have been too horrific as Marco asked if I wanted to be in his band (there’s only one other person in it at the moment and I don’t think it’s actually technically been formed yet). I quite fancy being in a band so I’ll give it a go if it actually materialises. I hope it’s the kind of band that just practice in a garage and don’t perform anywhere.
Yesterday was supposed to be a day of walking in the Sibillini Mountains with “Il Polemico” but despite exceptional planning on my part (the mountains are a bit further away than I thought), it didn’t happen and we went to some closer mountains instead near San Quirico which turned out to be spectacular too. Italy is sadly missing walking guide books. There are maps that are absolutely no help at all and though there are some internet sites which offer some walking routes, they often leave out pesky details like where to start, where to walk and where to finish.
This week some friends are coming out to see me! I say “me” loosely as they decided they wouldn’t come any further south than Milan. I don’t know whether that technically counts as a visit but I appreciate the sentiment 🙂 Anyway, I’m meeting them up there on Thursday and we’re going to spend 4 days around Milan and Cinque Terra. I can’t wait for that. And then, I’m coming home! (No reading into the use of “home” – home is wherever I hang my hat!). And then then, I’ve bought my nan’s car and I’m driving it back to Italy in October. Advice for people buying cars in the UK but using them outside the UK – bear in mind it’s difficult to get car insurance if you’re out of the country for more than 90 days. Also bear in mind that it’s probably best not to pointedly reject one of these specialist insurance companies without having any alternative option, even though they may be rude, obnoxious and should be taught a lesson. If you would like any recommendations on which companies are the rudest, which companies have the most nonsensical instant quote forms or which companies don’t reply to emails then please do get in touch.
What’s a bit odd? It turns out Italian’s play the guitar using the following chords: do, ray, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do, rather than C,D,E,F,G,A,B. I don’t think I’d ever be able to play anything without it all turning into the song from the Sound of Music – “doe, a deer, a female deer……”. I’m going to bring my guitar back from the UK and I might see if Marco will give me some refresher lessons. The other what’s a bit odd but probably says more about me… For months, I’ve been confused about how the Italian’s refer to Bologna. Bologna is a city in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. When I ask Italians where they’ve travelled, the conversation often goes something like: France, Germany, Ireland (curiously) and Bologna. Now, I don’t wish to belittle Bologna, I’ve heard good things about it but I just don’t think it’s up there with, you know, countries. I pulled someone up about it this week. They’ve been saying Pologne. Poland! People have been visiting Poland….All becomes clear!
Right, onwards and upwards. Naps don’t take themselves. Buona giornata!
My commune sent a policeman to make sure I lived in my house prior to granting me residency. Mrs Sensible made us spend 24 hours making sure the house was clean, mopped and tidy (even the bedroom!!!). I made sure all the paraphernalia to make an Italian coffee was ready; and then I sat and waited, I wondered if he would question me…. When the door bell went, I opened the door and beckoned him in, before the door was fully open he asked if I was Pecora Nera, Si I replied. He ticked his piece of paper and walked away. Despite my calls of ” vuoi un caffè… grappa….? He just kept walking.
But don’t worry, any other paperwork you need to sort in Italy will turn your hair grey…