Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Blacking out, not in a fun way
This is starting off to be such a weird new year. I probably should have a policy that if students cancel with less than a day's notice they have to pay for the lesson because I just sit around like a jilted prom date for half my life waiting for people and checking my phone. On the other hand, I don't really have the palle to enforce the policy and demand the double pay when everyone here is hard up for cash. And, honestly, who are we kidding, many times teacher needs an extra hour to chillax (look it up) anyway. Nevertheless, my earning power is a bit pathetic in 2016.

The new school we started teaching for is also a bummer. Their communication skills are poor. Irony! And when we don't go to lessons that have been canceled without our knowing it, we are getting condescending lectures about bureaucratic mistakes about paperwork taht we are allegedly mishandling based on regulations that were never really explained to us in the first place. I'm letting F handle that mess because my burning bridges ability is legendary. Ask any gym in Lucca and let the torrents of gossip wash over you!
None of my socialwork "clients" returned my calls either. They both didn't have phone credit and have fevers. One lady told me she had been in the hospital with malaria, but I can't figure out if that is true or if it is her way of saying she has the flu. In any case, that newsflash caused F to have to bring me a paperbag to hyperventilate into. I tried to get them a fast track to health cards by means of a meeting with someone at the ASL health office of Lucca who said she would let me email their documents directly to her so that they didn't have to wait on line for hours.

Unfortunately, most of them have to pay for fake addresses that are farther away and, therefore, my contact will not be of as much help. It is all frustrating. I had hoped to get them health cards before they all got the flu, which I was afraid would happen if they didn't avail themselves of the vaccine. Just because every Italian we know doesn't believe in vaccines, including my contact at the ASL who has three kids, doesn't mean it isn't free and their right to have it. The one guy who I finally did track down who desperately wanted a health card turned out to have one but to not know what it was because he can't read Italian. Then my meeting with the job training agency was canceled and I had already promised to bring everybody information this week.

The other night we had a blackout in Lucca. I assume that the strong winds knocked over a tree into a powerline, but I can't be certain. After half an hour of annoying the crap out of T with Little House and the Prarie and The Waltons humor, I called my friend Patrizia. She told me what the procedure should be including finding a power switch called a salvavita that we have never even heard of and don't know where to locate.

Then she lauged her ass off when I asked her if she could turn on the news and tell me what was happening. I should mention that she lives outside the city walls and her lights were on so she had no idea about the blackout. She responded that I wasn't in Kansas anymore, Dorothy, and that the only news was that from the last 24 hour news cycle. I guess NYOne does not have a Lucca equivalent afterall? While we were on the phone and she was rapid firing off what I needed to do, including calling the electric company because she believes that you can't expect the rest of the city to call for you, the lights came on. Menomale. Otherwise, F was going to have to talk me out of mooning our neighbors and their giant flashlight faces in the window across the way.

Also the Campomaggi bag that I bought T bled all over all of her shirts and jackets. This was sad not just because  we paid a lot of money for the bag before T pointed out that it was not in line with my vegetarian world view, but because we just assumed for a week that she was a total slob.

The worst part is when my Italian skills let me down and I came across as a douche to the people in the leather store, although I did manage to get them to create an interim strap, give me free color fix spray, that didn't work, and to order a new strap. Those are not year one results and yet when I think of my image I prefer more Grace Kelley and less, you know, douche.

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