The two girls from Luigi's office left me with the 2 other girls I'd be sharing the apartment with, and all of a sudden 3 other women materialize. It becomes very clear instantly that all 6 of us were going to spend time together. This is all news to me, and evidently news to the others. Three of them had been in the apartment the night before, so we all walked back to the apartment. Thats when more of the nightmare unravels. A) there are only 2 sets of keys for the apartment, and the other 2 groups have them. no keys for me. b) there are only 2 bedrooms in the place - no bedroom for me. There is a pull out couch in the dining room. Guess where I will be! c) Luigi did not give me any information about the place, and it turns out there are no sheets or towels, or pillow ,and I did not bring any with me. We do find a blanket for me, but no pillow. d) the gas has not been turned on in the place, and won't be turned on until the next day, so we have no hot water and no gas to cook with. This is a complete nightmare. At this point the Girl Scout in me kicks in and I am making do with the situation at hand.
I called Luigi to inform him of the situation and he apologized, and said walk into town to by sheets and to do it right then, cause beginning the next morning I could not leave the place. Thanks, Luigi. Good plan!
After checking out the place, all 6 of us walked to the grocery store, which luckily is very close to the apartment. Since we had no gas, we couldn’t do any cooking. All we were able to buy was prepared foods and salad, and of course essential items like toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap. I looked for sheets and towels in the grocery, but there were none. Later we walked into the center of the town and asked a woman if there was any store that sold sheets and towels. We were in luck, there was one, which we were able to find, and I purchased a set of sheets and the cheapest towel they had in the place. For only 54 Euros I had what I needed.
I stopped for a cup of tea in a small café in the center of town before walking back to the apartment to make up the bed. The “bed” consists of a 1 inch mattress on a pull out little sofa in the dining room. Well, my girl scout experience is coming in very handy. I had to take a nasty plastic wrapping off the mattress- I was definitely not going to sleep on top of that and hear the crinkle noises every time I moved! After getting the bed made up, I unpacked my laptop and said a quick prayer to the Internet Gods that my connection would work here. My prayers were answered, I’m good to go. Being able to work from here was critical, so thank goodness that didn’t fall apart on me. So I have commandeered the dining room as my headquarters, my desk area is set up on the dining room table, I think I can make do with this.
The last task for the night was to put our names on the outside doorbell, mail box and the inside doorbell. The youngsters handled that art project nicely. I let it be a bonding experience for them. I did go out and help hold tape for a little bit, just so they didn’t think I was anti-social. They call me “La Signora”, and I am beginning to like it!
I spent the night cold, with an extra sweater and socks on in the bed, praying for daylight to come fast! The apartment actually is quite nice, small compared to what we have in Venice, but new and nice. Mike would like the six burner stove- if only we had gas!
The other interesting thing about this whole situation is that the 4 of us in here who have applied for residency, and ultimately our citizenship, are not allowed to leave the apartment at all until after 6:30 pm each day. We have to be present whenever the local police come to make their inspection of the apartment, and they do not call ahead to let you know a time. Essentially we are on lockdown. What a nightmare! When I described this whole situation to Mike, he said thank goodness there isn’t an ounce of Princess in me. He knew I wouldn’t be doing any crying or demanding to go instantly to a 5 star hotel. I’m here at “Casa di Cittidanza”, as I call it now, hoping these police have a kind heart and come before Friday!
"Casa di Cittidanza"-- our apartment is on the first floor, right side in this pic.