Troubles in Italy

Troubles in Italy

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014


It all started in Chioggio. I had gone there last year and returned for a day trip with the lovely K this year. It was a week day way out of tourist season so when we arrived in the town there were parking spaces everywhere. I saw no signs indicating that we must pay for parking but when we returned from lunch and ready to leave there it was on the windshield – a multa (ticket). I scanned the street and saw nothing until I looked at the other side of the street and sure enough saw a sign indicating payment was required for parking. When I got back to Bologna the rental guy said that I could pay at any tabacchaia (tobacconist) or at the post office. You can pay at the tobacconist but only for a local ticket so I paid up at the post office – about $38. Lesson learned – scan the entire horizon for signs the next time.

Next up – the iPhone. Death and resurrection. In Giulianova I had no wi-fi. I’m so used to constant internet connection that it’s like withdrawal to not have a connection to the net. Fortunately I had the phone which is a little small but workable until I woke up one morning to find the screen nothing but a black line down the middle with shades of gray on either side. The normal shut down did nothing but pressing the two keys at once did finally shut it down but on reboot I got several lines of geek-speak messages indicating “no way Jose”. It seemed to be a problem with flash memory as far as I could tell. OMG! All of my contacts with Italian friends, info on prepaid train trips,etc was in the phone! Thankfully K also has an iPhone so we were not totally cut off from the web but still I was practically hyperventilating. I am so hooked on connectedness. After I started breathing again I finally relaxed a little and decided it could be worse (I could have been hit by a bus or something) then we went off to dinner. After returning while I was in brushing my teeth getting ready for bed I heard a sound that I use for a notification when I get a Whatsapp message on my phone. Karen brought me my phone and miracle of miracles it was fully functional. I have decided to start the church of the iPhone – blessed be the miracle of it rising from the dead.

But no, we’re not done yet. The evening before leaving Giulianova I tripped on the wildly uneven sidewalk near the apartment and sprained my right wrist. The same one that had an operation 9 months before. At first it didn’t seem like such a horrible thing but after an hour or so became more and more painful. I had some pain-killers left over from post operative recovery and took some but still the pain was such that I could not sleep and probably got no more than an hour or two sleep the whole night. I had pretty much come to the conclusion that this time I had actually broken it so I spent the sleepless night considering alternative plans. If the wrist continued as it was there was no way that I could drive the car that we were to pick up in 2 days and that trashed all of the further plans in Puglia. Also if it really was broken I could envision an early departure from Italy and an agonizing 10 hour flight with a broken wrist. Fortunately the pain subsided substantially by the middle of the next morning and we were able to continue on. Now whenever there is a rough sidewalk I walk in the street.


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