Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Well, this is Italian
So, the real estate agent had her wisdom tooth removed. She was in so much pain that she told me that the house we were about to sign for was noisier and less ideal than the first house I talked about in the last post —our second choice. After I grilled her for details, she said that everything but the living room is basically quiet as could be in the other apartment, but that the one we were about to sign for had been restructured in such a way that the floors and ceilings would let in a lot of noise from our neighbors. She went on to say that while the landlords were very meticulous and responsible in this apartment, they had to be because it was a lot to manage. I did not understand what she was trying to say until five seconds later when a crazy woman marched up to her and almost attacked her. This woman had the most surgically enhanced lips that I have ever seen in real life and it was impossible to look at anything but the protruding center of her face. She started shrieking at the agent and demanding to talk to her immediately. The agent refused. The lady, the same one who was blasting her music when we arrived last time and who we were told would be moving out next month, became irate. The agent admitted that this lovely neighbor-of-ours-to-be had not paid her rent in a year and that she didn’t really know when she would be moving out. Americans are prized tenants in Italy because we have this reputation of always paying on time. That tooth surgery was like truth serum, I tell you. 

Cue to us returning to the other apartment, located on the top floor, where we negotiated down the price, met our lovely seeming new neighbors who are both doctors, and found out that this apartment comes with a storage space in the cantina and a garage space, and that the notary office downstairs is both quiet and closed on the weekends. In the end, we made a proposal and cut a check, but we still have to sign the contracts with the owners who will most likely travel down from Milano for the meeting, if they accept our proposal. 

Oh, and I would also like to mention that while designing a kitchen sounds like a good idea, dealing with the Ikea design team in Italian is not unlike having a wisdom tooth removed if you have absolutely zero dental insurance. Luckily, the apartment we chose comes with a fully new and modern kitchen and we basically only have to buy beds and mattresses at Ikea. 

This past weekend we were reminded how rough the renovation process can be, when we pitched in to give our friends Fabio and Francesca a hand in painting their new home. Please remind me that I should not break the rule about not doing this kind of stuff after I turned forty, as it is one of the main positive things of being older and wiser, and yet, I didn’t take full advantage of it. After four hours my back was about to go out, so I was able to get Gabry a job substituting for me with F. He just needs to afford yellow paint to make his taxi dreams a reality and swears that he will never come back to Lucca again to beg. We had to pay for his work, but only because we pretended to our friends that he owed us a favor because we didn’t want to make them have to pay, and it is for a good cause. 


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