Friday, October 19, 2007

Mi Sento Giu (Feeling Low)

San Giovanni from outside the Walls
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.
  1. The anticipation - I'm going to (France! Italy! Burkina Faso?) fill in the blank
  2. The honeymoon - I'm in (France! Italy! Burkina Faso?)
  3. The frustration - Why am I in (France? Italy? Burkina Faso?)
  4. The depression - I'm in (France! Italy! Burkina Faso!)
  5. The decision - I'm in (France. Italy. Burkina Faso.) so might as well get use to it
  6. 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


Bev said...

Remembering Warsaw, it would be nice to be able to share a wonderful dinner somewhere with you both. Although I don't know if I'd let Laurent and Kevin loose on the caviar and vodka again :) Nevertheless, the only depression the next day for Kevin was that of overindulgence. It'll get better, of that I'm sure. See you soon, insha'allah. PS. Perhaps I can help to further aggravate the neighbour ... I am used to Taliban, you know!

more cowbell said...

Sorry to hear spirits are flagging. Being aware of what's going on though, is a big plus. To go through those stages without realizing what's happening ... I think that's how folks get stuck in #4, which is a real shame. I'm sure the Verdi festival will work wonders! As for your neighbor, may his underwear pinch and bind mercilessly. Good thoughts everyone.

evilganome said...

I hope you get back to stage 2 quickly. You boys have had a lot going on with Reese, your own acclimation and acquiring new language skills.

As for your charming new neighbors, Cowbell is too nice, I am hoping he is struck down with a crippling case of hemorrhoids!

Tater said...

Sorry to hear about the flagging state of affairs. I am so glad that Reesie is doing better! As for the neighbor? Kill him with kindness. Even if he is a major ass, he has to respond to kindness in some fashion. If that doesn't work over time, nothing will. Then it's okay to have an old Italian Grandma place a curse on him. Something along the lines of Tony's special wish...