Monday, February 04, 2008


= "This and that":

1. In order to survive: I paid my annual TV licence fee last week and those of you who have not followed the blog from the beginning may be surprised to learn that the bill is sent out by the Agenzia Entrate [tax office]. In Italy as soon as you have your residenza - permission to reside in a town – it is assumed that you cannot live without a television! [ You can’t get the residenza without the Carta CEE, if you are an EU citizen, ie., permission to remain in the country which you are not supposed to need, or permesso di soggiorno if you are not, and you can’t obtain either of these without your codice fiscale, equivalent to a UK National Insurance number, which is issued by the Agenzia Entrate, who might tell you that they cannot issue it because you don’t yet have the residenza!]

2. Another water saga: The condominio ran out of water yesterday morning. I’d forgotten to order a lorry-load on Thursday so phoned on Friday morning and asked if it would be at all possible to deliver on Saturday. I did not speak to the usual helpful employee and the reply was a stern, “Not before Monday or Tuesday”. But there is a new tenant upstairs and she tells me she has connections with the politici, so I gladly passed on the phone number for water requests to her. About 10 minutes later, just as I was leaving the building to go out for lunch, I heard the welcome sound of the camion trundling up the street. [I'm sure a Sicilian proverb would be appropriate here but I can't think which one it is!]

3. "The working-day world": [I just looked that up, as I’d always thought the quote was “workaday” and had forgotten it is from As You Like It, which you will all know.] Work is tiring but satisfying and my new students are charming. But a timetable?! Forget it, reader, for it changes hourly: some book a 2-hour or 90-minute lesson but then give up after an hour as they are tired; others have priorities such as the latest girlfriend or Carnevale celebrations this week; and then others arrive out of nowhere wanting a one-off lesson because they have an exam or have to give a business presentation in English the next day! It is all unpredictable and interesting and I am beginning to like it that way. By this time of evening , though, I am stanca morta [dead tired] so forgive me if my blog visiting is a little erratic at the moment. [And yes, I do have my new boss’s permission to post on this!]


Leslie: said...

All those permits sound confusing!

Maybe you should ask the new tenant upstairs to take over the business of ordering the water. After all, she seems to have a lot of pull.

I hope you get paid for the full time booked and they don't "stiff" you for the time they choose to take off.

jmb said...

Oh dear, life is hard in Italy!

Maybe that lady would like to be in charge of water from now on since she has connections.

Ah, the working-day world. That seems rather an awkward expression. Rather inconsiderate of those Italians to ask for a two hour lesson then leave after an hour. But then they are Italians. Pazienza

Liz Hinds said...

What it must be to know the right people!

I'm glad you are enjoying your work and the unpredictability of it. As long as you paid, pazienza!

Anonymous said...

Germany demands that EU foreigners have an "erlaubnis" to stay, despite the fact that they dont according to the EU. These need renewing occasionally, but most UK expats forget and start to get loads of official letters about it. I asked one "beamter" what would happen if I didnt get the stupid thing and the reply was I would be deported. Then I could come straight back I think? I asked ... er yes.

The reason we didnt like to bother was that it required attendance in person at an office which was a prolonged waste of time...

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Leslie. The permits are enough to drive you barmy! Well, all the students know they have to complete a set number of hours in order to be able to sit the exams, so eventually they will make up the time. It's just that I don't know when "eventually" will be! Leslie and jmb: I wish the new lady would take over the water ordering, yes. You're right, jmb - I need my pazienza at the moment! Hi, Liz. Yes, especially here! Hi, Mutley. I didn't know they had that in Germany. Here you can't do anything without the NI number - you have to show the little card to carry out the most mundane transactions.

Rowena said...

Ah yes...the tv tax! If only they could air something worthwhile. (I do enjoy L'Eredità for the trivia).

The previous post on Ispettore Simi had me stomping my boots in laughter. Quite the canine girl, she is, and I can only imagine how that whole scenario must have been! Yay Simi!!

Gledwood said...

how much IS an Italian TV licence?

are they that draconian?

we have had reminders literally for years. every couple of months they alter the style of the weekly letter to make it seem even more urgent

I've heard many times that those so-called "detectors" are a con. they have to call at your house and either SEE a tv on through the window or you have to "invite" them in (which means they act like they have the right to come in and you naively aquiesce!)

aparently it IS possible to detect a tv signal and to read text from old style monitors. but in big cities how could they prove exactly whose telly they had detected..?!?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Rowena. Yes, if only!
Hi, Gleds. About 100 euros per year. No idea how efficient they are but I imagine they'd catch up with you eventually. Good point about the detectors.

Crushed said...

If your condominio keeps running out of water in winter, what are the summers like?

100 euros is cheap- I pay about £109 for mine, I think.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Rowena, sorry, I meant also to say I'm glad you liked the Simi post! I'd like to get her a policemna's hat but I don't want her arrested for imitating an Italian policeman! Hi, Crushed. Well, we had dreadful problems the first two summers I was here but last year was better. [At one point in 2006 we were without running water for 6 days in the August heat!] I posted on this in the early days and tomorrow I'll put up a link to those posts. Yes, c. 100 euros is not bad.

Ellee Seymour said...

There's never a dull day in Sicily. How you manage to keep on top of everything, look after Simi too and write your blog on top of your new job amazes me.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Ellee. Well, I think I am adjusting to the change in pace now! I am often up till 4 am trying to blog visit, though. Simi is my no. 1 priority!


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