Saturday, January 13, 2018

B is for bureaucracy
Today I took my friend who is both an English student of mine and whose son is T’s classmate and studies English with F, to come meet the families from our group. And as luck would have it, she is also a law professor and a judge. Ain’t I a stinker? I knew she would fall in love with Peace. She would have fallen in love with Wisdom, but he was fast asleep. She crooned after his 10 month old friend Stevie instead. 

Just the other day Tina had a scare. The mail carrier bring her four registered letters to sign for. She did not understand what they were or who they were from because she doesn’t read Italian. The mail carrier would only tell her that they were from Lucca. She lives in another province, so that in itself is strange. When she called me about it, I almost had a heart attack because I thought that somehow in trying to ger her legal help, I might have accidentally gotten her in trouble. Then I realized that it could not have been anything I did because Peace’s father also was the recepient of two of the letters and they are not married, so nothing I might have done would implicate him. Nevertheless, we are troubled. It could be some fines they received for not having their identity documents on their person one day or for being identified as people who have once begged for money or it could be some kind of threat from their landlord, even though they are not behind, by some miracle, in their rent payments. At any rate, bringing an important friend by was a good move. Plus she seemed to enjoy herself. 

We also filled out renewal kits for Jennifer and for Paul. We brought donated clothing to both of the families, and my friend, Brunella, also bought them a bag of groceries each. She also said she would have her assistant try to accompany us the day that Tina has to renew her permesso at the police station, which would be a really baller move. 

I have had even less sleep than usual because it turns out that one wall of our house that is not from the 1500s and thick as can be is in the livingroom. It is thin as paper and (surprise!) we share it with a till now uninhabited  downstairs apartment that a couple has bought and is having refurbished. Their house is a walk up and only the entrance way is downstairs. Who knew! Anyway, I can hear every breath they and their construction crew take. And they can hear us. It is embarrassing and annoying. Even though we don’t want to stay here more than another six months, it will be a long six months. Their geometra/architect guy is coming to look at the lay out of our house, and he already knows that I want him to convince the couple to put insulation in that wall. They live in Zambia, although the woman is Italian, and are only going to use this place as a vacation home. Nevertheless, she has blasted music every time she has come here and failed to warn us about the construction she was having done. The construction team seems to be in some whistling competition and are training themselves by whistling for hours at a time in a tuneless kind of assault of my nerves.

F bought me some noise cancelling headphones, but the seal of the earbuds on my inner ear caused me to get sick. I absolutely can’t wear them. 

I live in fear of these mysterious letters and the police appointment for Peace’s mother. Meanwhile, T has a bunch of American college interviews she has to do on skype. Her professors still haven’t gotten around to filling in the recommendations she needs for the universities in Holland, and one of the the deadlines a few short weeks away. But today went really well. Check it out!