There has just been too much going on over the past few weeks. We’ve been dealing with the following, in no particular order:
- A new dwelling – a very nice apartment in a lovely area but with its problems (more about that in another post.
- A new neighborhood – where do you find what?
- A new currency – those Euro coins are confusing as is any monetary system when you’re not use to it and we really have to stop thinking that 1 Euro = 1 CAD.
- New Kitchen appliances – as silly as it sounds European washers, dryers etc are very different from their North American counterparts. You have to remember to dump the water out of the dryer when a cycle has finished or it will overflow. It takes 2 hours and 30 minutes to dry a small load and it’s often better to hang things out on the balcony to dry in the sun.
- Laurent is trying to adapt to a new work environment – office set-up, colleagues, system, type of cases etc. That has put a great deal of stress on him and he is handling it well but ultimately we are here because of his work.
- A very complex but efficient, public transportation system. We don’t have the car yet – and honestly the thought of driving in Rome has me a bit scared but we’ll leave that for another time. So far we’ve been able to get most places quickly – but then it is Ferragosto.
- Ferragosto! (see almost every previous posting)
- Language – see below
- Only part of our belongings are here – Laurent’s air shipment arrived from Beijing but the two sea shipments (including most of my clothes) won’t be here until some time in late September. However we seem to be able to survive on what we have. I do a bit more laundry than normal but still have a clean shirt every day so I suppose I really don’t need a two-week supply of Land’s End Polo Shirts. And we’ve had people over for dinner twice since we arrived so it is possible to cook without that set of graduated French White casseroles!
- A minor thing but a very different television system – did you know that out of 898 possible channels 1/3 are in Arabic, at least 150 are sex related – including 15 in Arabic! And I must do a post about Italian TV at some point – it’s hilarious.
- We are trying to get to know each other and live with each other after three years apart.
But Odd Couple comedy routines aside it’s the adapting to each other’s rhythm that is creating the greatest challenge. Knowing when a silence simply means there’s nothing to say and when it means there’s a problem. I’ve lost count of the number of times either one of us has said: Everything okay? And got the reply: Yeah, Why? But fortunately those episodes are becoming fewer and fewer as the days go by. We are still able to finish each others sentences and often requests only have to be half-voiced to be met. A few more weeks and we should be into the same routine as any old married couple.
As for a honeymoon, well we have two long weekends coming up – Labour Day in September and Canadian Thanksgiving in October – and maybe a weekend at an inn in Tuscany may not be a bad idea. We are heading to Parma for the Verdi Festival at the end of October. We’re planning to stay at an Inn run by the great – now retired – tenor Carlo Bergonzi and his son. Word has it that it is comfortable and has an extremely good restaurant. So we can mix music, food and a chance to see the countryside around Parma.
22 agosto – Santa Maria Regina