Starting Week 6 of the lock down (even the blog titles are getting boring)

Starting Week 6 of the lock down (even the blog titles are getting boring)

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

Whooo boy, this is getting old. Thank God for WhatsApp. I talk to friends here and in California with video. I talk to my realtor, who’s becoming more and more of a friend as she steers the house sale through the process. The severe restrictions on movement has now been extended to May 3rd. So my hope of moving to the new house in April are crushed. I’ve talked to the realtor about starting to pay rent at the new place the first of June instead of the first of May and once he talks to the owner (who I think will agree to that) then I need to tell the owner of my current apartment that I will be staying here during May.

And there are additional complications due to the pandemic. Miraculously there is a buyer for my house in California. The price is significantly reduced from what it would probably be in normal conditions (almost 15% lower) but I’m still happy with the deal. My realtor, Judy, is a real trooper. She’s arranged for all of the home inspections, relatively minor repairs and upgrades as well as promoting the house in difficult times. So hopefully all contingencies should be resolved in a week or so and it will be formally in escrow – at least that is what it is called in California. The buyers seem quite committed so I am optimistic that it will conclude successfully. Some things that need to be overcome are on my end. Since I will not be able to return to put pen to paper to sign the final sale documents then I need to designate a trusted person there as a limited power of attorney for only that transaction. I have that document as well as a couple of others that I need to get notarized. On-line notarization is acceptable in 21 states in the U.S. but unfortunately California is not one of them. Bummer. That means that I will need to go to the consulate in Firenze (Florence) of the embassy in Rome (I hope not) to get the documents notarized. Obviously that cannot happen before the severe travel restrictions are lifted. The consulate in Firenze does not allow on-line reservations for notary services but I hope to plead my case via email with the consulate as soon as it seems likely that I will be able to go there. So I’m a bit (well, a lot) concerned about that. The buyers are aware of my predicament and are allowing up to 60 days to conclude the deal but the sooner the better from my point of view.

I think that I’m becoming a bit more Italian every day, a little bit more “furbo”. That is, finding little ways to circumvent some rules. Last Friday, for instance I wanted to go for a fairly long walk which is forbidden unless you have a reasonable excuse. I knew that the hardware stores are now open and knew that the one that I usually go to for various things was (1) about a half kilometer from my house and (2) closed from 12:30 to 3:00. So I went there at 1:30. I figured that if I was questioned I’d be OK because I could say that I didn’t know it was closed at that hour. So the round trip is a kilometer and I took a long way home through minor streets and manage to have a nice walk of over a mile. Yesterday I was even more bold and kept to little traveled streets and managed to walk about 2.5 miles. It’s nice to be outside. I generally don’t walk for pleasure but these are different times and the weather is nice and streets are mostly deserted.

So my current plans are as follows. First order of business, get documents notarized and sent by FedEx or equivalent back to Californi. Second task; visit the new house and make some measurements to plan where to put Laura’s furniture and generally organize things when we move there. Third; move my stuff to the new house. I’ll need to find a mover but my realtor contact here can probably help me with that. It’s a fairly simple move since I have no furniture. Fourth; take the train to Torino to be with Laura for a week or two to help with preparations for her move. Hers will be a lot more complicated because she’s going to bring a bunch of furniture. Adding to the complication is that she has a lot of stuff. Books, kitchen stuff, clothes and SHOES (I counted 90 pairs of shoes and boots). She can’t bring it all so there’s going to be a lot of agonizing about what to bring and what to leave behind.

I’ll certainly be glad when most of the restrictions are lifted and a reasonable facsimile of normal life returns. Until there are effective treatments and a vaccine it’s going to remain a little scary. The effects will linger a long time. Still there is a least a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

I ran across this video on the newspaper La Stampa which is newspaper of Torino. When I searched for it I found that it was in a lot of Italian papers and also, thankfully on YouTube. The range of videos during this period are from very funny to very moving. This is one of the latter. Such a beautiful country. I love living here.

Stay safe. Things are looking better in terms of the rate of increase of infections there but still it’s above 600,000 today and will surely top a million. The captain of the ship is not helping.

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