07 July 2010

The Key to How to Get to Know Your New Neighbors

This would have been a better story if someone didn't intervene and save me, which changes how the story ends.

So today was the big move, but that's another story.

Follow my adventure if you want to get to know your neighbors.  Around 7 p.m. Mabel and I decided to go for a walk.  I decided to leave behind in the house everything I would normally carry with me and left the balcony doors open because we weren't going to be gone long.  In fact, I had plans to meet up with some friends afterwards.  Just as I stepped into the elevator, I had this thought:  What if I dropped the keys down the elevator shaft.  To be careful, I went to put the oversized, old-fashioned Italian keys in my pocket but missed my pocket.  The keys clinked and clanked as they traveled down the elevator shaft, hitting each passing floor. Panic overtook me.

Afraid to close the door to the palazzo (apartment building),  I left it open and sat outside the door trying to figure out how to to get myself out of this pickle. It's only my first day here. Thoughts came to mind:  Where am I going to sleep?  How am I going to get back inside?  How will I pay for help?  I'm going to be the laughingstock of Florence.  The owner is on vacation.  The elevator company is closed since it's after business hours.  I don't have a penny, credit cards, nor ID on me -- nothing.  I have only my cell phone with very little battery charge remaining; so I have to make wise choices about who I will call for help.

Then a man exited the building.  I asked him if he could help. He told me to go to my next door neighbor.  She couldn't help but sent me to lady on the first floor that supposedly has the key to the elevator.  I went and knocked in this octogenarian's door, and she gave me the key to the roof.  It's not like I would know what to do even if I were given the correct key.

I resumed my post outside the palazzo thinking what to do and who to phone.  Made those phone calls.  It was suggested I call the Vigile del Fuoco (fireman, fire department).  While waiting for the number to be sent to me via text message, I started walking back towards my old 'hood where I know many people and started asking for help along the way in my new 'hood.  I called the fire department and returned to my new house to await their arrival.  After a little while, another tenant came home, and I asked him if he lives here and told him my situation.  Turns out Paul is American and is married to an Italian, and he is the hero in today's story.

He retrieved my keys and showed me the trick to opening the elevator and getting below it, though I hope I'll never again have a need for this knowledge.

I phoned the fire department to cancel the call.  The man confirmed who I was, and I had to embarrassingly admit that it was I who phoned.  But I told him if he wants to send the firemen anyhow, I'll be home.  Have you seen Italian firemen? Oh dio mio!

So I've made my presence, and perhaps left some impressions, in my new quartiere (area, zone, quarters) and chose to stay home tonight rather than meet up with my friends.

Tomorrow, chissa'? (who knows, I wonder).

-- Josslyn "Giosalina"
Firenze, Italia


  1. Man, that'd freak me out if I were in your shoes! Glad it turned out OK!

  2. Your blog is wonderful, charming & delightful! And what adventures! Oh My .., you & Mabel, quite a pair.