05 June 2010

Moving Day

Without much choice, it was time to move.  Our lease came to an end, and our apartment had already been rented.  Since my return, I have looked at dozens and dozens of apartments.  I never imagined the task to be so difficult. In the past, when I've looked for apartments in Italy, I did it from the States in advance of my travels.  But now that I'm looking for more permanent housing and am here, it's been work.  I have seen enough apartments that I think I could work as a housing agent.

Time flies, and I wasn't finding a place to sleep June 1.  Out of all the apartments I found, only one I would  consider living in, but it will not be available until the second week of July.  So with that place in mind, a proposto (proposal) made and a deposit left, I continued to search but didn't anything else acceptable.  Yesterday I met the owner of the one apartment I could live in.  We conversed for over an hour and shook hands, and now I am the proud l'inquillina (female tenant) of a "chic" apartment beginning in a little more than a month from now.  Of course, the transaction was not without fear.  It's scary signing contracts in a foreign language in a foreign country where most things are done differently than what I am accustomed to.  Don't forget also that I have worked with attorneys for a couple decades and have heard all sorts of lawsuits.

Meanwhile, I needed to find a place to sleep in the interim.  A friend told me about a monolocale (studio flat).  I met with the owner in person five times and spoke on the phone with her at least a dozen times.  Thirty-six hours before moving day, we met to exchange money and keys.  She got cold feet, kept mumbling things under her breath and then asking, Mi capisci? (Do you understand me?).  My response was, "No, because I can't hear you."  In the end, she told me repeatedly, Lascia perdere (forget it). Tears welled up, but I didn't cry when she reneged on our agreement.

The last few weeks, I was asking everyone I knew if they knew of apartments for rent.  I had everyone working for me.  People were stopping me on the street, asking if I'd found a place yet and then proceeding to tell me about an apartment they knew about. One such person told me his wife has a friend with a cute, small apartment, and he put me in touch with his wife, who, in turn, put me in touch with the owner, a very kind and gentle man.  We met.  The apartment is one of the nicest apartments I have seen as well as one of the smallest.  I could not envision all my things fitting in this place.  That appointment was an hour before I was to meet the owner and exchange money and keys for the apartment I described in the prior paragraph.  Later in the day I phoned him and explained my plans have since changed and I'd like to take his apartment.  The kindness and ease of dealing with this man and his wife are much appreciated as well as all the kindness and help that has been bestowed upon me by the many people that are either my friends or acquaintances.

I find it interesting that as moving day approached and I had not yet found a place to move and then 36 hours prior to moving I found out I still had no place to go, that I was ridiculously calm about it all, though inside I did have fear and make jokes about which bridge Mabel and I would be sleeping under.  Somehow I have much more faith here in Italy than I ever did in L.A. that things will work out no matter what.  Also, a lesson I had the opportunity to learn once again is that when things don't turn out the way we want, hope, or think they should, we often end up in a much better situation.

But what I wonder is:  How is it possible that I have so much "stuff" when I'm trying to simplify my life.  Yes, those are my things in the Ape (three-wheeled vehicle that doesn't require a driver's license to operate) below the window of my new, temporary digs.

-- Josslyn "Giosalina"
Firenze, Italia

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