Wednesday, February 28, 2018

My Oscar please
Things have reached a certain point of craziness here. Italy is on the verge of getting themselves Trumped in the upcoming election, and I mean that in the crudest and most negative way possible. Six African immigrants were shot in Macerata this month by a failed candidate for city council who went on a killing spree and the anti immigrant rhetoric has reached a very feverish pitch. 

What went down today was that I impersonated a rich American lady in search of real estate possiblities in Montecatini. Two days ago I made an appointment with a certain shady real estate agent who took 2,400 euros off Wisdom’s mother Jennifer. To be fair, Jennifer gave her the money as a show of good faith because she had helped her find her last house and because she was afraid she would blow the money on other things like food and electricity. On the other hand, even asking for the 500 euros that the agent usually requests, is shady when you haven’t even found a house for the client. I had a hard time keeping a straight face, as this agent justified the practice of taking  a pre-deposit deposit so that she doesn’t have to run around finding houses for people for nothing. I couldn’t really be bothered to explain that finding people houses for nothing is her exact job description. 

Anyway, I made F wear a suit and a tie and I put on a faux fur scarf and a bunch of jewelry. As soon as we walked through the door with Jennifer and Wisdom, the agent was flummoxed. My story was that I got her phone number through Jennifer, but that I didn’t want to do business with her until she returned the money to Jennifer, half of which is actually money we gave to Jennifer for a new house. She bought it. I told her that she had a week before she would hear from our lawyers. I then made a big act of pretending to be angry at Jennifer and yelling at her in English for giving my money over to a stranger, just to make the thing more believable. 

In the end, she said that she had shown Jennifer some houses that were either above her budget or too small or whose owners refused to have Black tenants. Ten minutes later we were in the car, and, by some miracle, she had found them an apartment. It is pretty perfect for them, but Jennifer will have to get an Italian friend to sign for her because the owner will not do business with Black people. I don’t know what will happen next because I don’t want anything else to do with the whole transaction. 

Cool is back from Denmark, where he discovered Africans can work off the books for 10 euros an hour for four hours a day, which is better than Malta where you can work twice as many hours for 5 euros an hour. We gave him money to get the autonomous work certificate so he can sell umbrellas or batteries with a permit instead of begging, and which may help him to get a long term residence permit. We will do the same for Job and then I think we will conclude our work. 

Today we dropped off books and shirts for Wisdom from my teacher friend Elisabetta. Funnily enough, one of the sweatshirts had a very apropos saying on it.

It is very likely that Peace would not have been born if we did not meet the group, and so I am glad that we were able to bring some Peace to the world.

*Footnote: I later received a call from Jennifer saying that her Italian friend who would have guanteed for her with the racist apartment owner is currently unemployed and, thus,  ineligible. We are not going to guarantee unemployed people’s rent for years to come because that is just not smart, and I had to explain to Jennifer that it was nothing personal. I do hope she finds someone who can do it for her.