Friday, February 11, 2011

Il Postino
T has a lovely smile, but it masks the fact that she inherited too many teeth and too small a jaw from her parents. She had a brilliant orthodontist in NYC who moved things around without much pain and fuss. When she heard that we were moving to Tuscany, she said that one of her favorite students was moving back to Prato near Firenze last May. Dottoressa B is glamorous and fun and speaks perfect English, so the schlep once a month on the train seems worth it. When we were setting up a payment plan with her, I said we could just mail her a check. Immediately she said no no, we had to arrange a bank transfer. It turns out that no one in Italy mails checks, or basically anything else, and for good reason. Of the packages people have sent us, we have gotten roughly half. The half that we have got, each one takes a trip to the main post office with a copy of our passports, codice fiscali, and six other official documents, in order to have the privilege of sending a registered letter to the airport in Milan, where they may or may not send back a receipt and/or eventually the package.

Because the Poste Italiane works so well, they have been entrusted with being the place where you pay all of your bills (which they charge €1,50 per each), as well as offering bank accounts, credit cards, mobile phones, books, and insurance. Go figure.

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