Friday, August 24, 2007

Getting To (Re)Know You

Laurent with a LioneLynette was asking if Laurent (I thought I'd include a picture of my Lione with a Lione at Villa Borghese) and I were on our honeymoon here in Rome and as romantic as it would be to say yes, I’m afraid the answer is no.

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.
And it’s that last point that probably is the most demanding – all the rest is inconsequential. There have been no great spats – well okay one… alright two – just that we are both use to living on our own and having things our own way. After all, despite what Laurent says, I’m the one who knows the correct direction to insert the toilet paper roll! And toothpaste tubes where given lids for a purpose.

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


more cowbell said...

Isn't it funny how it's the little things that get in there, the toothpaste lid and the toilet paper. Grrr! Everyone knows the roll should go over, not under...

I'm glad you're adjusting, and I don't blame you for the reticence about driving in Rome. Yikes!

Sailor said...

Seems you are having a good time in Rome. I'm glad about that. Mm, I'm looking forward to seeing you in Rome!

BigAssBelle said...

i can't imagine making the adjustment to living together along with all of the rest.

dump the water??? really????? i guess you just can't vent those ancient buildings?

does it feel like an adventure or is it all just something to be done in order to do the work? from here, it looks so wildly adventurous and exotic and marvelous. but considering the way you've lived, this may just be kind of old hat to you and so it's another task to be done . . . ? i know i was born in the wrong place.

BigAssBelle said...

and that was very cute, "my lione" ;-)