redrover: (One does not simply walk into Hogwarts)
For those of you still following my very sporadic journal entries, here's the update I've been meaning to make for some time now:

I am finally - finally - leaving Italy. My husband has been relocated to the United Kingdom as of Saturday. So, I will either be there or in the US. Do you sense a story coming on?

And here we go: )

Now, allow me to abridge that teal deer for everyone:

- My residency permit and my tourist visa expired.

- I went to the UK as a tourist so I could return to Italy and renew my tourist visa so I could successfully apply for a resident visa to the UK.

- The UK wanted no part in my loophole-raping shenanigans and turned me around at Customs.

- They also called the Polizia di Stato on me.

- Who took me to Customs and gave me the tourist visa.

...I don't know whether to feel proud or dismayed that I managed to accidentally succeed at this.

Also, I feel my icon is so ridiculously appropriate.
redrover: (Please Knock or Fuck Off)
I am completely moved in to my new house.

As for the old house, I spent two weeks trying to pack and clean it, and even had help from the Translator's wife, who, in six hours, cleaned the entire second floor until it looked like new. I got video of this, and now know why Italian homes have tile.

Water. Everywhere.

She was particularly distrustful of Windex.

So anyway, we get to the 15th, all moved out, and our old landlord claims we only paid 2/3 of what we actually paid on the deposit...and said they were keeping half of that for repairs. Yes, we have the lease to show what we paid, but it's in Italian and no one can make out what the old landlords wrote in the "paid" bit. FUNNY.

By this point, I'd had enough of that house. We just threw up our hands and said "fuck it". The Translator, however, is looking into legal action. I'll be very amused if he succeeds.

So we move in here and we're all settled in for a week, when from next door comes REPETITIVE BOOMING ITALIAN FOOTBALL MUSIC. Shit was rattling in the cupboards. My couch was bouncing.

Now, I can deal with babies crying, men snoring, sex noises, televisions, or all of the above. I can not deal with having my internal organs vibrated. I was a bit worried that this new development from the neighboring house was something that would go on indefinitely. Well, it turns out, it was a saint's holiday of some sort, and things went like this for three days:

- REPETITIVE BOOMING ITALIAN FOOTBALL MUSIC for three hours.
- Fireworks.
- Shouting. Cheering.
- Fireworks.
- Everyone hikes up the mountain and people start cutting down trees.
- Fireworks.
- Everyone attaches chains to the trees and pulls them down to the main street at the bottom of the mountain.
- Fireworks.
- Everyone goes door-to-door and asks for bottles of wine. Like trick-or-treating. FOR WINE.
- Fireworks.
- REPETITIVE BOOMING ITALIAN FOOTBALL MUSIC for three hours.
- Fireworks.
- Shouting. Cheering.
- Fireworks.
- Drunkenness.
- Fireworks.
- Everyone TAKES OFF THEIR SHOES and pulls the trees back up the mountain. Barefoot.
- Fireworks.

And with that, the festival is over.

This is definitely one of the singers playing, but I can't find the song. Enjoy.

Let me pause for a moment to address the fireworks thing. You can purchase M-80s here on the side of the road before any holiday. They have the sort of fireworks that Disney World sets off every night at 8:00, and Italians buy them just for shits and giggles. They set them off for everything, and it doesn't matter if it's 1 in the morning or 3 in the afternoon. There are fireworks going off somewhere in my neighborhood.

Right. Fucking. Now.

Anyway.

Since then, it's been rather quiet. Even more so since Mike and I decided that, if they're going to be noisy, we're going to be noisier.

With sex.

On another topic, I had my hair done purple again and the guy I go to has taken to calling me "Allsorts". I suppose it's easier than trying to pronounce my name.

I have found my name (Kristina) is damn near impossible for Italians to pronounce. They either give up and assign me a diminutive (Kri) or try every other fucking variation they can possibly come up with (Kristian, Kristiana, Kirsti, and Kristia as of yesterday).

I'm still making out better than Mike, who is "Michelle" to the general populace.

There's a ton more going on, but most of it's annoying stuff to do with the house fixtures and the telephone company. Also, vacation coming up on the fourth!
redrover: (One does not simply walk into Hogwarts)
The new house over in Baiano came with a Translator. The Translator's name is Philip, or possibly Fillip, or something along those lines. Because I can't figure out how to spell his name (and don't actually know for certain whether his name really is Philip/Phillip/Filip or something more traditionally Italian like Filippo or Francesco), I will refer to him as the Translator.

Cut for length. )
redrover: (Outrun YOU)
This morning at 5 AM, we awoke to find there was no water. After an extensive investigation, it came down to a cold snap and one frozen pipe outside.

As I am from Florida, I have never had to deal with this. Frozen pipes are not my forte. Hurricanes, great. Too much water is better than none. So Mike and I panicked and he went to shower at the new house, traitor that he is. He took the keys.

I got the landlord involved like this:

Me: Carlo, l'aqua non funzo.

Him: Funziona. L'aqua non funziona.

After several attempts, I could not pronounce this word around my chattering teeth, and so instead said an expletive with the same first consonant. I then proceeded to panic MORE.

Me: THE WATER IS NOT WORKIIIIING.

Him, after laughing at me: I call my father; he will fix.

His solution two hours later to this mysterious problem was to take a 1 litre bottle of hot water and pour it over the frozen outside pipe.

Just. 1 litre. Of hot water.

In appropriate "me" fashion, I forgot the rest of my Italian. However, my landlord knows some basic English, so we muddle through when I panic. (For example, the bat incident, which I'll recount another time.) The remaining conversation went like this:

Me: Your water is working?

Him: Si. Mine is okay. I have all the pipes in my house.

Me: *flat look* Okay.

Him, showing me the insulating piece of fabric around the pipe in question: This pipe have this. It help.

...

[Insert some faffing around with the foliage around the pipe.]

...

Me: So does this happen often in Italy?

Him: ...Che?

Me: This. Frozen pipes. In Italia.

Him: Si, in Italia.

Me: The pipes freeze?

Him: Ohhh, no, no. Never. :|

Me: ...So it's just me.

Him: Yes, it just you. :|

...

...

Me: Okay, I have a blow dryer for my hair. Will that work on the pipe?

Him: No. We use the hot water. It will work.

Me: Okay.

Him, after finishing with the hot water in the 1 litre bottle on the pipe.: Okay. Now, we will waiting. Correct? We will waiting?

Me: Sure. I will wait.

Him, seriously: Okay. Wait. I hope for you.

Me: O.o

Despite my reservations about the effectiveness of a 1 litre bottle of semi-hot water, the sinks are now providing a stream, however sluggish, of water.

One more month in this house. One more month.

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Evie

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