Saturday, July 09, 2011

Not us. But you get the idea . . .
Sweating in style
After last night's visit from our personal angels, Anna Maria & Fabio, we got up bright and early to meet with our commercialista guy who is a lawyer/accountant to ask him about how to open a Bioenergy Center/Center of Relax in Lucca. Basically our friend the erborista/herb specialist  was right: we should start a non profit organization and then pay our salary and the rent based on people's small membership fees. Like everything in Italy, there are lots of documents and lots of months of sweating involved; but never listen to the naysayers in Italy or you won't ever do anything. We want to open it in town so that our friends can come. We found a perfect space that probably won't still be there by the time we are ready, but it was still encouraging.

We kind of traded in a life of cubicles and subways for a life of sweating and hustling, but one in which we can all, hopefully, have lunch together. It is a simpler life with less money in it, but the things that are important to us get top billing: good friends, fresh food, clean air, clean water, feeling free/safe, staying together and not taking any of it for granted.

From the commercialista's office we went to the post office near the questura/police station to file our request to renew our stay permits/permessi di soggiorno. Thanks to Anna Maria whose name I used at the Post Office, where, yet again, everyone is in love with her, things went very smoothly. Even the man who was helping us process the documents seemed pleased. It was all a delightful bureaucratic experience until we had to pay and we realized that we didn't have enough euros on us because we forgot to calculate in an extra mailing fee. F ran to a cash machine while people understandably began to make angry gutteral noises from the line behind me. The man working with us sensed my fear and told me there was a cash machine at the post office! He gestured behind me. I tried to call F, but my phone was dead and I forgot the pin number to get it restarted.  I walked to the back of the room where there was a machine I have never seen before.  It turned out to be the back of the cash machine that you can only access from outside the building. A kindly older gentleman on the line whispered to me that I was trying to put my card in the wrong end, so to speak. I went outside where the machine flashed me a message saying that it was broken, when F appeared huffing and puffing and waving a fifty.

We continued on to the health office where my favorite health office employee was beaming at me, freshly tanned from the beach.  She told me to come back next week because all of the computers were down. So we went to the anagrafe office where our number got called at the same time to go to the same window as four other groups of people who all had thorny issues to resolve and we ended up being the very last of the morning to get dealt with.  Nevertheless we walked away knowing that we did file our declaration of dimora abituale which says that we live in the same place as we did last year so we won't get into legal trouble.  I would have had no idea that we had to file this document except that a few months ago they sent us a letter saying that our permesso had expired (which was not true) and that we had forgotten to fill this out and so we were in big trouble, Buster.  But not all the male viene per nuocere which means every cloud has a silver lining because this time I was prepared.

Then I did a Tracy Anderson work out for three hours and got dressed up to go see Signor Peacock (not his real name) at the testosterone gym (also not it's real name). I had invited half the world (my world = ten people) to come to my demonstration class for Monday night because the gym's computer says that there is an opening on Monday nights at 8:30.  But silly me, I forgot to factor in that the head Peacock probably has not updated that website in five years or so and the information was outdated. So I had to walk all around town in my heels in the hundred degree heat re-inviting everyone to come on Tuesday night.  But there is some holiday on Tuesday, so I had to make the rounds again. Of course the third time around people started getting a bit pissy and I had to go with Thursday night even though then my friend the pharmacist can't come and all of my friends who work in stores have to work until midnight for the sales and there is an Elton John concert.  Peacock dude gave me his home phone number to call today, but I am going to double check with Anna Maria first and then send out seven hundred texts and then worry for the next five days until this first of two auditions for this one gym is over. 

As I was heading out the door, I noticed that my little black dress was filled with white powdery polka dots because the anti-zanzara/ mosquito stuff I bought was not a liquid, but a spray powder that does not come off of clothes. I decked myself out with outfit number two and headed to bar Betty Blue for a CDMAL/Cittadini del Mondo a Lucca/Citiizens of the world in Lucca apertivo/cocktail hour where everyone I met was very friendly and had good stories to tell and didn't mind that I smelled very much like citronella and exhaustion.

Arrivederci Brooklyn, I won't forget you Body Reserve gym in Park Slope!

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