Well, enough of being tourist. We came here to live like locals – which means going to work, doing laundry, and taking out the trash. All which seem much more exotic (and a little harder) in a foreign country.
All In A Day’s Work
I arranged with my office that I would work a reduced schedule – mainly on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I work until 8 pm on those days so that I can have some regular office hours that overlap with Eastern Standard Time. Tuesday was my first day.
I set up my desk, got logged onto WIFI, and even was able to log into Citrix (our network). I sent emails, worked on some open questions, and re-connected with clients after my medical leave. A great first day! I posted a picture of my new office.
I was all ready to start again today (Thursday). I got my regulations and “to do” list set up and logged on – only to discover no WIFI. We called Lorenzo, who owns our apartment. He explained that the German Chancellor is in town, and her motorcade is scheduled to go right by our apartment. So the security people shut down the WIFI. I’m not sure if this is true, but eventually I gave up and decided to look for an Internet cafe. They were all mobbed (maybe Lorenzo was right), until I finally stumbled upon a Chinese take-out place with a few tables and no one in sight. Perfect. So I spent the afternoon happily having tea and working at probably the only Chinese take-out in Florence. I liked it so much, I may even go back tomorrow.
My other chore today was laundry. We have been a little intimidated by this because the washer is under a tarp on the balcony – and after all, it is January. Plus it has been rainy, so not ideal outdoor washing weather. But since I was going to stay home this morning to work, I decided this was a good time. I took the tarp off, put in an experimental load of mainly underwear (just in case), and hit the only button allowed (the others are taped up). Things seemed fine. Nothing to it.
Four hours later – the laundry STILL wasn’t finished! I thought we may just have to sacrifice this load and never get it back. So I handwashed the rest. Finally, the washer clicked off, and I strung everything on the racks to dry (there are no dryers in Europe). We may look for a laundromat for next time.
Taking Out the Trash
I am happy to report that we were more successful with the trash. We had been searching for the trashcans for 3 days. Florence has a system where residents must separate their trash into 3 categories: Organic (old food), Residual Rubbish (where the picture shows old soccer balls), and Multi-Use. We’re not sure what Residual Rubbish is, so we mainly just use Organic and Mutli-Use.
You have to carry your sorted trash to a community site with very small garbage cans that look kind of like parking meters. Oddly, we have not seen anyone else walking around with garbage except us, so we don’t know if we are the only ones who comply. But we gathered up our bags, marched to our local trash bin, and did our duty. I took a picture to document the occasion.
So we are settling in and learning the ropes of living in Italy.
Buona Notte! (Good Night!)
Christy & Frank