When last we left our intrepid expatriate, there was a Codice Fiscale, and there were forms that had been filled out. We did go over to the municipal office in Montereale, but found that we needed my actual Permesso, not just the receipt for it from the Post Office. This wasn’t a problem, it’s just a minor delay. My brother had to fill out a form, and his landlady will also have to fill out a form, confirming that I live here. Fortunately, this shouldn’t be a problem. All other things being equal, I should have my Permesso in early January. I’m finding it interesting just how many people around here have never heard of an elective residence visa; they’re very used to seeing visas for people coming to work, but it’s unusual to see someone in these small towns who has come to Italy just to live here. I imagine it’s even more curious to them that someone should come from the US for such a purpose.
I acquired a phone number yesterday, though AT&T still has not unlocked my phone. My brother has loaned me an old one of his, useful for calls and texts, but not really anything else. That’s good enough for what I need right now, as the only person likely to call me is my brother.
After breakfast and phone number acquisition yesterday, we went back to a place we had visited when I was here last summer. In the town of Polcenigo is a place called Gargazzo, which is a deep underwater cave and one of the sources of the Livenza. Last summer, we were there during the lunch hour and the place was packed at the little café there. Yesterday, there was nobody. Most of the area was deserted, as it was cold and everyone was off at work.
It was very peaceful, and there was a floating nativity scene there. I got a couple of photos with my phone, one of which is included here, but the phone’s camera wasn’t really up to the task, and the figures in the nativity are very washed out. Deep under the water, though, you can see the wavering figure of the Mary statue down there, wreathed with blue lights.
Lesson one for being in Italy: Be a hoopy frood and always know where your
towel camera is. Phones, even with the improvements in recent years, are not up to some of what I’m likely to encounter and it’s easy enough to stuff the camera in the backpack for unexpected moments.
For dinner last night, we went to Fontanafredda, where there is an Indian restaurant. It was passable, but that was about all I was expecting. At least it wasn’t cloyingly sweet, as the Indian food I’d had in England and Ireland had been. It was good to be in a somewhat familiar environment, with images of Durga here and there on the walls, and Indian music playing in the background. It was a very nice alternative to the surprising amount of American Christmas music that I’ve been hearing in restaurants and public spaces here. It’s not quite as insidious as it was back in the US, but there’s still rather more than I had expected.
My brother took me to a bar called Le Streghe (the witches) after dinner, for a little drink before we headed home. I quite liked it and was tickled by the painted glass on the ceiling and all the various witch figures hanging from the ceiling and displayed on the walls.
After our trip to Maniago the other day, we passed a tiny town named Vajont. It is the place where the survivors of the disaster were relocated. I did some digging around on the internet and found out more of the story; my lack of language skills leads me to unintentional inaccuracies. I try, but don’t always manage, to get things right. Sometimes it takes a little digging beneath what I’m told about the situation, of course, and I can’t just read the signs here yet to get the information as it’s posted. I’ll write about that some more in my next post. I find that I am often confused and frequently wrong, but I’m willing to learn.