Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Italian Bus Incident #67

Well, I have had rather a mess to deal with: my wallet was pinched out of my purse Monday afternoon around 2pm. For whatever idiotic reason I went to inquire about a job opening for which I was totally unqualified since I DON'T SPEAK ITALIAN! (in my defense, they asked only about madre lingua English which of course, I am/have/can/do/whatever.) So I was on my way home on the #6 bus and it was really jammed and well, you know. But I was in a hurry because I had an appointment with a plumber to fix my caldaia because it shut off on Friday afternoon - when it snowed 2 inches - so I was without heat or hot water all weekend so I slept on Janie's couch rather than brave the 12 degrees in the apartment. I was out of cash and had no money for the plumber so I hurried to the bancomat and that's when I discovered the theft. I screamed and swore and attracted undue attention (screaming old lady, nothing to see here, move along). And the fucker cancelled anyway! So I called Sonia (la proprietaria) who was not pleased because I have had to call her 4 times about this and she thinks I'm an idiot because it is usually just the pressure has gotten low (except none of the people I know have this problem with their heating equipment) so she called the tecnico but said he had "un sacco di chiamate" because of the minus one cold so I lose hope. But when I get home the first plumber calls and says he's arriving so I call Nikkie to translate and front the cash. He comes, pushes one little button (WHICH I PUSHED!! ah, but not long enough) and voila, hot water and heat. Curses. I am an idiot. And then we wait until Nikkie arrives with the cash and translates my million questions while I'm making a list of who to call to cancel all the cards and get info about a new passport. And then the OTHER guy calls twice but my phone is dead and the charger is at Janie's but she's waiting in line at the quaestura in -1 degrees (the twit!) because she just HAS TO HAVE her permisso di soggiorno, and I can't get my charger. And then the tecnico actually arrives and we have this awkward two plumbers dance until Nikkie learns that the second guy is really a caldaia specialist so plumber number 1 (P#1) gets 20E and goes away and the other guy tears the boiler apart for an hour and Nikkie goes home leaving a dinner invitation for later. Eventually plumber number 2 (KB: "Tutto bene?" P#2: "Speriamo!" = let's hope) goes away planning to mail a bill (WHICH SONIA WILL MOST DEFINITELY PAY!) and I spend the next three hours calling everyone I need to to keep from having my credit ruined and a billion bad charges on my cards. So I eat with Luca and Nikkie and regale them with the Karma of Kimberly stories and they lend me 50E so I am not totally green. Yesterday at 8 am I went to the consulate (Ma signora, aperto alle nove) with filled in forms and documents of all kinds (thank dog I had copied all the cards in my wallet before we went to Poland) but am sent home to make an appointment online for today, which I do. And then in the afternoon I went to UniCredit to cancel the bancomat card and get 300E out of my Italian bank so I can feel normal and buy coffee. Almost. I still don't have any ATM or credit cards. Today I hit the consulate at 9, am nearly stripped naked, relieved of anything sharp or shiny to stand in line while hapless Italo-Americans plead for succor over lost/stolen/incomplete/forgotten/whatsits. Eventually I submit my supremely efficient materials and learn that I will get a fully valid passport which will save me at least $850 because I won't have to change flights or shovel out cash for an expedited passport which is fundamental to the whole stupid reason I'm going back. And this adventure only cost me $100. Today I went to see the Carabineri to make a "denuncia" (sounds like some Emile Zola j'accuse! thing requiring black balls and pointing). I managed the whole thing in Italian without sounding too stupid, (well except for getting ripped off on the bus for god's sake) Great.
As for Christmas: I am invited to dinner with Nikkie, Luca at Gabriele's who is squatting at the home of Birgitta (she's in Burkino Faso. Burkina Faso?!!?) We will have traditional Christmas Eve fare: tortelloni in brodo. On Christmas Day I will have The First Annual Orphans' Christmas Feast and Gift Exchange. If they all leave on time, I am invited to Fawn's for family Christmas that evening at her Mother-in-law's and I will have a party on 31st here. I am grateful for my friends and hoping to see the ones in Berkeley when I get back. Can I camp at your place occasionally?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

What to say...:-)? Merry Christmas!