A Moving Experience: 6 Days
The day started out with my realizing there were books and files tucked away behind unfilled cartons that I hadn’t noticed. Since today, Thursday, is the only day of the week that the only charitable organization in town accepting books (and clothes) will take them. I scrambled to toss the files (don’t look! Lot’s wife!) into the garbage and set the books in cartons to bring down to the car and thence to the church in the afternoon.
The other day I had sifted through conflicting opinions about the tampone (COVID test) needed for entry into the US. Having established that the antigenico rapido (the fast antigen test) was acceptable for Uncle Sam (although it is not accepted in many European countries), I made an appointment for one with our nearby pharmacy for June 16, the day before my flight.
Then I turned toward the disdette (contract cancellations) for phone, Internet, mobile, gas, and electricity. The first three are all together and in my name. I had given the disdetta online a month ago but, in the light of Murphy’s Law, I thought it prudent to check the status. Turns out it hadn’t been registered and the company knew nothing. When I cut through the robot-cued menu (15 minutes) and get a live person on the phone, I encountered the usual name game problem. The contracts were in my married name, but my carta d’identità is in my maiden name, so the system didn’t want to accept me. A more-on-the-ball-than-the-usual-call-center-rep could propose a solution to the problem eventually, but it took time and these days the clock is ticking at hyper-speed.
The next step was to print out a document and send it by registered mail (raccommandata) to the communications company. The printer was working again, thanks to €40 worth of new ink cartridges bought yesterday, so that went smoothly. The post office was strangely unpopulated at noon, so I didn’t face a long wait in line, as had been the case all winter and spring.
The gas and electricity contracts are with the same company, but one is in my name and the other in my husband’s name. So they had to be handled separately. The gas contract was easy to end: give us a date and €53 ($65) and your obligations end. Electricity was more complicated because our landlord wants to volturare (transfer) that account to her name so there will be light and current for the workmen she is hiring to address the major problems in the apartment before she puts it up for sale. This works to our advantage because we don’t have to pay a termination penalty, but it means the contract ending is not as clear-cut.
More paper tossing and carton filling. Then it was time to figure out how much in weight and space can be packed into my one checked bag. If I didn’t have to deal with Giada’s huge cage, I’d take a second bag and bring more docs, shoes, and pasta. But that enormous carrier!
À propos of which, the pet transport company sent me another set of marching orders, including a request that I take and send pictures of the carrier fully assembled with my dog next to it AND inside. I hadn’t been able to persuade my pet to get anywhere near the structure with top and bottom when it first arrived, but maybe she is comfortable enough that I can oblige the company tomorrow.
The friend who will be hosting us for several days next week stopped by, so I prepared a gift basket of goodies for her. Canned food, boxed cookies, household cleaning products, swag, t-shirts, even doggy bones for her pet. When the basket filled, I looked around for an unfilled carton. When that too filled, I grabbed a large supermarket bag. We managed to stagger down to her car with the bounty.
At four pm I drove to the church with books and clothes. The volunteers at the door took the clothing without a second look, but they remembered my load of books from last week and started going through the piles volume by volume. “Ci dispiace signora (we are sorry, madame) but we can’t take these donations. There is no interest in English-language books here.”
Not all of them are in English, I protested.
“Our market has different tastes. We are looking for light fiction, not Karl Marx.”
I wound up bringing everything home and feeling thwarted and frustrated. But no time to dwell on that; a friend was coming by to say arrevederci. At the same time, she was looking for small useful items for her daughter’s new flat. She left loaded with pillows, cushions, curtains, and candles.
Then another friend, a psychologist, stopped over. We would have talked about the implications of this move emotionally and psychologically, but she scanned the war zone and said, “You obviously have no time to think about THAT right now.”
By the time she left, mosquitoes were out in full force. This was a sign that I shouldn’t keep the lights on. Better to start fresh tomorrow with the sun.