Thursday, June 09, 2016

Control issues
I have 99 issues, and control is one of them. 

I hate not having it. 

So I was pretty bummed that Nadia, the bane of my existence, has still not finished her article about my group for the Il Tirreno newspaper. Number of appointments kept with me: 3. Number of times mi ha dato buca/she stood me up: at least a dozen.

Anna Morelli, the food expert of Tuscany, seems to be the only one coming through for me lately. She did get me a meeting with top chef Iacopo Di Bugno. He is a very down to earth and sweet man so I had no idea until I googled him that he is a really big deal and is famous from his appearances on the RAI Uno cooking show La Prova Del Cuoco. He has a restaurant called Il Punto here in Lucca and the menu looks excellent. He is also about to open a new tappas restaurant that will surely be a bit hit. Unfortunately, he doesn't have any openings in his kitchen, but he promised to call around to his chef-y friends.

Il Punto

menu

I got this off google and I hope it's right.

Iacopo Di Bugno, a chef who seemingly appreciates my kind of crazy.

I called Tina to ask that she send Job around Pescia to bring back some phone numbers for apartment listings so that I can make some calls for them, given the fact that our real estate agent student has not come up with anything for them. We tried to bribe her with a free website, but nothing. Tina then told me that Job was in the hospital, but because they don't speak Italian they are not sure whether he has anemia or an appendicitis. I don't know why they don't ever call me when the shit is actually going down. Needless to say, I am very worried. In fact, Emmanuel called me later in the day to ask me to contact his lawyer for him because he was worried he would miss a call since his phone did not have credit. I asked him how things were going and he said fine. I pointed out things were not fine, since Job was in the hospital and he didn't tell me about it, but he just went on about his lawyer. 

Tina, on her part, wanted to make sure that I didn't help the Italian woman who wants to marry Ezekiel, a Nigerian  man who has no stay permit and was recently in jail for three weeks due to lack of documentation. I was considering helping them with some cash because the woman said she could help Tina find a place to live, but it turned out that, according to Tina, she pocketed the money and never got her a key or a hospitality letter. This was disappointing because they seem like sweet people and F had even gotten her a job interview at an important company in Lucca. 

It seems that Cool is pretty darn miserable in Switzerland and the work he found is spotty. He unloads trucks and the pay depends on how many people rush in to unload with him. This is not how I would like to leave things. Paul brought by his contract for work at the restaurant. He will get paid whatever the minimum wage is for dishwashers. I think my hope that it would be 7 euros at least an hour is completely unfounded. He is still in the trial period, according to what I read, which means the hours and hours of work he has done this far will go unpaid. At least they fed him. The contract calls for only four hours of work a day, but on average he works eight. That is all very Italian and not a problem, depending on what happens IRL. I hope to God that he ends up making more with a legitimate job that he would have made begging, although it is true that begging is no longer an option thanks to the police scare tactics of the nucleo antidegrado which has made it so there are almost no black people in Lucca again.

When I didn't hear from the NYT reporter, I decided to give him a list of all my many contacts and their personal cell phone numbers, not the least of which was Eleanor Bergstein, the powerhouse behind Dirty Dancing. That lady knows how to give a good quote and she knows Lucca and volunteered with Coaliton for the Homeless back in the day. He then got back in touch and said that he might be able to make it to Lucca next week instead. I am leaving for Puglia next week so everything is very down to the wire. 

As I was waiting for my classroom to become available at Odissea cooperative, F noticed an announcement for a caregiver service called Pronto Badante. We got some contact numbers and I found out that all that is necessary is a resume with six months of prior experience, even experience in Nigeria that cannot be fact checked. I am now in the process of preparing/fabricating three completely perfunctory resumes for my group members just in case because, you know, desperate times.


Meanwhile, we are frantically preparing for T's trip to America and her summer program at Harvard. I don't know what I would do without Amazon.com and Amazon.it because bedding, insulin cooling systems, alarm clocks, mini fridges, and room fans don't just materialize on their own apparently. 

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