Third week and counting

Third week and counting

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

As I wrote in the previous post I was considering joining the SSN (servizio sanitario nationale – Italian health service). Since I’m outside of the european community I have to pay based upon my income. The advantage of that is that it is only based on income and not age as most private insurance is and based upon my research is certainly less expensive. I was pursuing a possibility of a private policy with Marco’s brother but the brother turned out to be quite a flake and never gave me any details about this supposed policy. Time is running short so I went with SSN since I know that will fulfill the health insurance requirement for the permesso di soggiorno. The disadvantage of the SSN is that that one always pays for a “solar” year, i.e. from January 1 to December 31 and it is not prorated. So if I pay now, for instance I pay for a year although the insurance will only be valid for a little over 3 months and that it makes it quite expensive this year but it will cost basically the same next year and will be reasonable.

So I have a piece of paper that shows that I am enrolled in the system. I also have a page attached for my GP (medico di basa) which was selected for me and is quite close to where I live. I hope that he’s good. I asked friends for recommendations, as I would in the U.S., and they all said just get one close to you since they are all good. We’ll see. I plan to go for a visit next week.

The document showing enrollment in the SSN

I also have my new washing machine installed. It’s a nice one since the son of the owner (Lorenzo who lives just upstairs from me) is a sales representative for Whirlpool. The handyman came and installed it last Monday along with another thing that he helped with. Besides the washing machine I didn’t mentioned that the chairs that went with the dining room table were incredibly terrible. They are (well, were) quite uncomfortable and falling apart.

Would you want to sit in this chair? Very uncomfortable.

I knew of a store for used stuff so I went there and found a nice table and 4 chairs and the landlord agreed to pay for them (only 200 euros – cheaper than IKEA) so Monday morning Carlo (the tuttofare “handyman”) met me there with Lorenzo and his little van and moved the chair and table to my house and took the old stuff away.

The new chairs and table. AND the table has leaves, i.e. it’s extendable. One of the chairs is elsewhere.

Things are coming together. There was a microwave on the kitchen counter taking up space better used for food preparation so I found a little stand on Amazon at a reasonable price and bought it. That and a rug to go in the kitchen, a magnetic knife rack and a clock for the living room and I just about have everything organized the way I want it.

The little cart that holds the microwave and a few other items.

The knife rack where the microwave was. A much better arrangement for cooking.

Amazon deliveries are a little more interesting here that they were for me in California. What do you do if you live in an apartment building for an Amazon delivery. Leaving it just outside the door would be insanity because of the likelihood that it would disappear almost immediately. So there have arisen startups here to resolve the problem. There are bars (coffee shops) and tabaccherie (tobacconists) just about everywhere. So these are registered with a startup and for a relatively small fee (3 euros) you can just have a packaged delivered there and they call you to come pick it up. The service is imperfect but seems to work reasonably well and there’s a neighborhood bar very close to where I live.

So life is starting to be more normal. I’ve joined a gym with for an annual membership and started my usual volunteer work at the central library, Biblioteca Salaborsa. And I’ve seen several of my friends; Lia, Liu’, Monica, Marco, Gaudio and Renata, Cesarina and her husband Roberto. I expect to see Paolo, Vincenzo, and Antonella and family before long.

Today I went to a museum of textiles and that will be the subject of another post soon. Stay tuned.


2 Responses to “Third week and counting”

  1. Cynthia Salamy Says:

    Glad to hear you’re settling in. Keep ’em coming, Joe. I enjoy reading them.

  2. Joe Says:

    I’m glad that you are enjoying them. I usually like to include pictures but when mired in the bureaucracy I tend to forget.


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