I've posted this photo of the statues on top of San Giovanni in Laterano seen from outside the Walls, just to remind myself that I am living in a beautiful city.
Before coming on posting I attended an orientation day at Foreign Affairs. Much of the information was technical or old stuff but the session on adjusting to living at Post was invaluable. We talked about our fears, our concerns and a bit about the patterns that have emerged over the years. There are steps in that adjustment that I recall from my time in Warsaw.
- The anticipation - I'm going to (France! Italy! Burkina Faso?) fill in the blank
- The honeymoon - I'm in (France! Italy! Burkina Faso?)
- The frustration - Why am I in (France? Italy? Burkina Faso?)
- The depression - I'm in (France! Italy! Burkina Faso!)
- The decision - I'm in (France. Italy. Burkina Faso.) so might as well get use to it
- Numbers 2-5 can be repeated several times during a 4 year period
This week I think we both hit phase 4 with a resounding thud! As well as Reesie being ill - he couldn't tell us what was wrong, we had trouble telling the vets what was wrong - we had our first Roman fender bender as we pulled into our own driveway - we've only been driving here for three weeks - and one of our neighbours was less than welcoming and frankly abusive*. Plus Laurent is at the end of a four week language course which I know from experience is a draining and frustrating experience. Put it all together with the other little things - traffic, noise, crowds, language - and you've hit stage 4. Sadly some people never leave that stage and either spend the next 4 years cocooned from the world around them or go home before their time is up.
We have no intention of doing either. Laurent is off tomorrow on a walking tour of the Foro Romano, I'm off to the opera on Sunday - Wozzeck, which Laurent wouldn't go to if I paid him to - and we're heading to Parma next weekend for the Verdi Festival. We're in Italy (filled in the blank) and we are going to get use to and make use of it.
*Our neighbour from the second floor - Italian, 65-70ish, probably an unrepentent member of the Children of the She Wolf - has not been very friendly at the best of times. We were coming in from the vets the other evening and met him in the parking lot. He almost closed the lobby door in our face then when we went to get into the elevator with him, he push his way out and rudely told us that polite people waited outside until it was their turn to use the elevator. Wither his problem is that we are "straneri" (outsiders) "affittutario" (renters) or "omosessuale" (need I translate... thought not) or perhaps all three, we're not really sure. But for some reason it triggered this whole depression thing in us both.19 ottobre - Santa Laura