Wednesday, February 25, 2015

In search of Italian heffalumps
 
Pooh and piglet walking in circles and wrongly assuming that their own footsteps belong to the great and mythical heffalump.

Let's see. Here's where we left off: Chapter three hundred and two in which K goes in circles and finds out that there is no place like home. Well, put Winnie-the-Pooh in Oz and you have a rough idea of what it is like to be me most days.

We are all sad because T's friend Natasha is moving out of Lucca this summer. She will come back on weekends, but we won't get to see her as much. This had a domino effect which caused all expats in the area to want to move away and question what the hell we are doing here. After I realized that international schools in Italy cost 20,000 euros a year and don't offer scholarships, I had a brief moment where I explored the idea of moving to Amsterdam and F had a brief moment where he exercised an impressive amount of control over his facial muscles and pretended he was game. Then all his little facial twitches eased up as and I came to realize that in order for us to change countries it would take more work than even a team of professionals, international diplomats, medical specialists, bureaucratic bad asses and Neil Patrick Harris singing in his tightie whities could pull off on their best day. Plus also I don't like bicycles, winter, kroket, hukspot, herring, boats, canals, big cities, pot, or tulips. Well, I don't hate tulips, except the kind that give you the muchies and make you paranoid, but you get the drift. So I don't know what I was smoking, but I hate to see my girl down in the dumps.

I discovered that Estroblock, the only supplement to ever cure my cystic acne and balance my hormones is loaded with vitamin e. Vitamin e is not water soluble so it builds up in your fat over time and is the reason why I have been nauseous for four months straight and puking my guts out. Remember when I told you my tea had been poisoned? Yeah, I was wrong. Even if Dorothy's witch and Eeyore got together and deliberately poisoned my tea, it wouldn't still make me nauseous a month after I stopped drinking it. It may take weeks or months to get it out of my system and in the meantime I have the complexion of a sweaty fourteen year old boy with bad hygiene.

The other day there was a construction cone in front of my house. If you are in New York you are already bored by this, or to cold to care, but if you were in Lucca you would understand that all hell was about to break loose. The aforementioned cone was sitting on a pulled up section of pavement that was making an ominous whistling sound. I told F that I wouldn't be surprised if we ran out of water soon. Of course, that didn't stop me from washing my hair. When my head was dripping with hair dye and conditioner,  the water stopped completely. F poured freezing cold water over my head from the fountain and the shock to my system caused my back to go out.

I hoped the water would magically come back on its own. I will happily do a lot of magical heffalump level hoping if it will get me out of calling an Italian emergency hotline/numero verde. Until they come up with a number which will send Alex Belli to the home of despairing expats with filthy hair and little hope, I resist.

alex hotline belli
But I did call the water company hotline and the male hotline operator was not nasty to me which was a nice surprise. I was so surprised and comforted by the fact that he didn't make fun of F's impossible to spell last name that I forgot to ask when, if ever, I could expect a work team to show up. I hate to say this but the female operators are usually the nasty ones. He said he would send someone over. In the meantime, I went to Massimo Pretty Hair after months of no blow outs and do-it-yourself/fai da te hair to get the gloop rinsed out.  While I went over to park a squat next to my friend and ex-hairstylist Federica who was having a cigarette break in the parking lot in piazza magione, I saw two of our neighbors who told me to make sure that the city water people who had been by to deal with a leak in the restaurant hadn't simply forgotten to turn the water back on. No, I chuckled, they wouldn't do that. That's when I remembered where we lived. I asked the workman who has been making an insane amount of hammering on the apartment next door to our house what he knew about the situtation. He very gallantly agreed to take a look at our building faucet thing-a-majiggy and flicked his wrist and got us back into the flush of things. His name is Rado and he wouldn't take a cent for this act of kindness. I called back the water company and got a nasty female operator who told me that she would cancel our appointment, but that she wouldn't take my complaint because that was done over fax. I think she knew, mannaggia me, that I would have no energy to take any further measures and would settle for being able to flush my own toilet.

I was just about to publish this post when there was a bunch of noise in the stairway. I thought it might be some uncancelled water company workers, but it turned out to be my frazzled new downstairs neighbor who is moving in today, as it so happens, without any preavviso, and is having all of her furniture moved in via crane through the window underneath me.

What Italian for AARRGGGGGH???

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