Okay I thought they were kidding – two to six months to get ADSL installed! Impossible! But in Italy it appears the impossible is possible.
We have now been here for six weeks and we still don’t have an internet connection at home – nor will we for at least another two weeks. The process has been worthy of a Goldoni comedy without the masks – though I am now aware that sales and service people here all wear masks of one type or another.
A company called Mercurious has been offering to handle all our telecommunication needs here in Italy. Having been told of the horrors of dealing with Telecom Italia we decided that one stop shopping would be the best solution. Sergio – twentyish, compact, cutish and told by his mother since birth that he was the most wonderful boy in the world – assured us that in his hands we would experience only the finest in service. And would that mother’s son ever lie to us?
Let’s just say that Sergio sometime gets fact and fairy story confused.
Fact 1: There are four companies each offering six or seven plans depending on our needs.
Fairy Story 1: Fastweb (our choice) had a connection to our building and fiber optics was not a problem.
Fact 2: Decision made, unfortunately there was Ferragosto, when as much as he would like to take action our Sergio could not as everything was closed.
Fact 3: First week of September Sergio and the installer show up and thump walls and examine conduits then shake their head sadly.
Fact 4 and Fairy Story 2: The line into the apartment was owned by Telecom Italia and, Scuzi, but they would never allow an intrusion by a company dedicated to the destruction of one of Italy’s most beloved and efficient government services. I’ll let you decide where the fairy story is in that sentence.
Fairy Story 3: It could not be done that day because it would take three men to run the new line into the apartment.
Fact 5: Second week of September Sergio and another installer show up – giving lie to the three men story from the week before. Again much thumping of walls, unscrewing of conduit covers but, Gratia Deo, now some cable has appeared. Then they both disappear for 10 minutes. The installer returns and I desperately try and understand his explanation as to why it is not possible this time.
At this point Facts and Fairy Stories become intertwined and too numerous to count: Sergio returns and explains that there are only 10 connection boxes in the building and they are all in use. And there is no way to introduce fiber optics into the building in any case. And the line is registered to the Embassy and cannot be altered in any way. And, despite their status as a beloved and efficient government service, it will take Telecom Italia at least a year to run in another line. At that point mama’s wonderful boy is extremely lucky that I did not muss up his carefully arranged hair and mention why they say Roman boys drive big, fast cars – a fate almost worst than being forced out of your mother's house!
At this moment a colleague of Laurent’s is trying to separate fact from fairy story and it looks like there just might be a solution. However I won’t count on anything until I do my first posting from home base – that six month figure looks like it may be a fact not a fairy story.
7 Settembre – Santa Regina