The Bicycle and other stuff

The Bicycle and other stuff

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

So now I’m back in Bologna. This time for only 6 weeks – the shortest stay here. Why so short? Partly because the lovely K did not come with me this time and I don’t want to leave her alone that long. I’m here partly as a scouting party since we are planning to come here next January for 6 months. That should be interesting but there are lot of hurdles to jump through for such a long stay. If one stays in Europe for 90 days of less there’s absolutely no problem. A longer stay requires a residence permit (permesso di soggiorno). That’s where things get messy. I hope that a personal connection will help me. My friend Vittorio said that perhaps his best friend, in fact the “best man” (testimone) at his wedding, was the head of the department in Bologna that grants these residence permits. So I hope to talk to that guy next week. The process of getting this permit has always been described to me as very onerous but maybe this will smooth the process. One real sticking point is finding an apartment. We stayed in a nice apartment (not perfect, but what place is) last spring that we liked a lot. Well furnished including good kitchen utensils, near the very center of Bologna (really a prestigious neighborhood), relatively inexpensive … I could go on but needless to say we’d like to be there again if possible. Now the bureaucracy kicks in. I believe that to get the permit we need to have a defined residence. In fact a policeman will likely come around at some point to verify that we are actually living there. This could enmesh the owner of the place in an Italian bureaucratic mess. So I’m busily looking for a solution and hope that the guy at the questura (that’s the central police station where the head of approving such permits works) can shed some light on this. Since we’ll be staying only 3 months more than the standard allowable term I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will simply things.

Now with that out of the way there are other developments. First I bought a bicycle. Since we plan to be here all of that time and near the center a bicycle can be very useful. I do volunteer work every time now at the central library (Biblioteca Sala Borsa) and it would be a pleasant ride to go there and also go the gym that I’ve found. By the way, Sala Borsa has nothing to do with the centrality of the library. It was once a financial center (borsa in this case means stock market). So I’m now riding the bicycle some days if the weather is nice and I don’t need to go more than a kilometer or two. Since I don’t regularly ride a bicycle in the U.S. I get the condition called “sore butt” if I ride a long distance. Still it’s good for going grocery shopping, to the gym and to the very center of town. The bike has two “portapacchi” – luggage racks is the best translation. The “copertoni” (tires) are in good shape and my friend Gianluca helped me install a “cestino” (basket) on the front rack.

The bike the day I bought it

The bike the day I bought it – note the lock that I bought used and brought from the U.S.

The basket and seat cushion that I bought

The basket and seat cushion that I bought here

Basket attached in front

Basket attached in front

Backpack and lock in the basket

Backpack and lock in the basket 

In another development I have plans to have dental implant. I started the process in the U.S. and the bad tooth has been pulled but the future expenses there are rather breathtaking. My oldest friend here is a dentist, an orthodontist to be exact. He doesn’t do this kind of work but referred me to a colleague of of his who does. I went his office (called a studio here) for a consultation. He did an x-ray (which cost nothing!) and said it would not be a problem to do. Then I received an estimate which was less than half! of the estimated cost in the U.S. In my judgment this dentist  has lots of experience in this are and knows what he’s doing so I’m schedule for the procedure on November 3rd. I’ll have to wait 2 or 3 months before the crown (the toothy looking thing) will be made and attached but since I will be here it was a relatively easy decision after I talked more to the dentist and did more research on the web.

Of course one interesting thing is that when I’m here, almost anything that comes up teaches me new words. An estimate, for example, is called a “preventivo”. I already knew that a prescription is called a “ricetta” – the same word for recipe interestingly enough. I already have the ricetta for antibiotics (antibiotici – that one’s easy). There will be an update on the outcome at the end of the first week of November. Wish me luck.

2 Responses to “The Bicycle and other stuff”

  1. Marcia Nance Allen Says:

    Wise decision on the implant. I’m finishing up the bridgework after four implants, and I could have purchased a relatively nice car for the amount we paid in CO.

  2. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the comment Marcia. I go for the implant in 2 days (November 3). Hopefully it’s uneventful.


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