Sunday, August 13, 2006


[With apologies to The Romaunt of the Rose for the title.]

I didn't want to tempt fate, yesterday afternoon, by telling you that the water was back on. However, fate needed no tempting from me!

In the morning, the male neighbours - as fed-up with the situation as I am - noticed that the cistern appeared to be leaking. They couldn't get right in as - you won't believe this - the capo-condominio [tenant in charge of administration] has gone off nobody-knows-where on holiday and taken the key with her! - Incredible, but this is Italy! By the afternoon, the man upstairs had had enough and when the comune lorry arrived with a third tank of water and we all went down, he appeared carrying a drill and some evil-looking pliers. How he got in I don't know and I didn't ask but he did and reported that one of the pumps was broken. He then called a plumber who, to my amazement, came immediately and took away the damaged pump to repair it ready for Monday. [If he needed a part for it, he'd have been unable to get it yesterday, with the shops not reopening in the afternoon during this maddening period.] He seemed to think the system would function on the one pump and the men assured me it would be OK to use the washing machine and so on.

Back up I came, had a bath and managed to cook a meal last night [I eat late, like the Sicilians, at 10 or 10.30 pm] before - you guessed it - KAPUT once again. One of my commenters said that if you have your health a thing like this isn't a disaster and that is true. But the trouble is I'm quite arthritic and really stiffen up if I can't have a hot bath or shower. Besides, the temperature here is creeping up again and it gets uncomfortable.

So what now? I can feel rising hysteria in myself but there's nothing for it but the old Sicilian pazienza which I don't have much of. Shops other than food stores close on Monday mornings all year round , then there are the siesta hours, so nothing is going to be sorted until late tomorrow afternoon, at least.

My practical friend, Linda, has been marvellous, I must say: she came and ran me round to do my errands yesterday morning so that I'd be back before the lorry arrived or if anything happened. I'd had to go to the pet shop for Simone's treats [this couldn't wait, with the Monday morning and afternoon closure and Tuesday being a holiday], to a supermarket for several packs of mineral water [having to use it for cooking had depleted my supply quickly] and, I have to confess, I needed to buy some new underwear! I'm ashamed to admit that every undergarment I owned and didn't have on was in the washing machine that hadn't finished its cycle! Oh, how I longed for a department store where you can browse the garments on display, rather than being shown them one by one! Still, at least I didn't have to state my size; the assistant guessed it. [It didn't occur to me till Linda suggested it to drain the washing machine and get the stuff out to dry: washing machines to me are things that you switch on and leave and I don't expect to have to do anything other than unload them!]

Linda had also brought me 2 10-litre bidoni [containers] filled with water. Mine were empty except for a half- full 27-litre one, which is no good as I can't shift the thing, even sufficiently to decant some of its contents into smaller receptacles.

I'm feeling panicky, as I said: in a week when Raffaele's is closed, how am I supposed to wash my hair? How am I going to do the myriad other beauty routine things a girl has to do, especially in summer? [I may be 56 but I haven't stopped trying!] I'm already visualising the repaired pump not working or only working for a short while, then the owner of the condominio will have to be contacted regarding a new one and he will be unavailable because of the holidays and the thing will drag on forever! My fellow-tenants are upset, too, but they do seem to be more accepting of the wait than I am. [In Britain it may cost you the earth, but you could get a plumber, who would be able to buy a part, on a Sunday.] Linda has just phoned to ask if I need more bidoni; she pointed out that, as well as the pazienza, I should acquire a bit of the Sicilian rassegnazione!


Maria said...

Hi again... I should tell you I feel like a kid at Christams right now reading your blog. :) How were you able to find an apartment did you visit Sicily before deciding... Oh gosh .. I'm being nosey.. so sorry.. but than again I am reading your journal! Ok.. I am normally not this silly but I am so excited to have found your blog! AGAIN, M :)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi. I'm so glad you like my blog. You're not being nosey at all. I was lucky in that I did have friends here before deciding to move here permanently and I found this apartment through one of them. However, there are lots of agents who will find you an apartment to rent so it's not a problem. You do need to be on the spot, though, as you have to get contracts for all essential services. Do have a dig around in my archive and you will see how I did it. Also be prepared for lots of bureaucracy. [See post entitled "The Bureaucratic Trail". But don't let that put you off!


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