I’ve been a little overwhelmed in the last couple of weeks with getting things organized here and dealing with the unexpected.
I now have a bed and a computer desk and actual internet that I’m not paying by the gig for. I have a printer set up beside my desk. My external hard drive is plugged in and all my systems are updated and safely backed up. My landlady has loaned me a couple of storage cabinets and a china hutch from her attic that were delivered by her brother and a nephew. She’s been incredibly kind. The storage cabinets needed new locks, as the key had been lost sometime over the years, so a locksmith has the old mechanisms and will get them back here and install them sometime over the next week or two. It’s not a priority, as I haven’t actually got anything to store in the cabinets yet.
The internet was expected, but the furniture wasn’t. I’d been waiting (am still waiting) for my Permesso to arrive so that I could get my Carta d’Identita, which would allow me to actually apply for store credit for the stuff I’d put a deposit on. Someone in a dank office somewhere decided that I actually wanted the things cash on delivery and had them sent to me. I had no idea what was going on. When the delivery guys arrived, my brother talked to someone in the office. The desk was paid for already, the bed had only a deposit on it. The person at the office was apparently treating my brother like it was his fault that the delivery had been made before the credit was granted. Thankfully, he had some room on his credit card to pay for it, because I didn’t have enough for everything. At any rate, I’m no longer sleeping on the floor, and I will be paying my brother a couple of hundred euro a month until I’ve paid him back for it. It isn’t what either of us would have chosen, but so it goes.
The delivery of my library and other things is scheduled for sometime between March 11 and 13, and the delivery company said we have to get a parking permit for their truck, which will need to be done when my brother is here early next week.
It will be good to have everything here, as my brain is going into writing space again and I really want to get started on the next book. I need my reference library to deal with that. I’ve done about 5,500 words on another project, and written a poem for the anthology my friend Slippery Elm is doing, so progress is being made despite not having the library here yet. Last week I also received the PDF galley of a book I was interviewed for, so I’ve been going over that and feeling good about having another project I’ll be able to put on my list of books I’ve contributed to when it comes out in May.
I’ve had my third Italian lesson and feel like I’m making at least a little progress, though I’m still having a hard time actually talking to people. There’s another student in the class now, a young man about 18 who is here for a few months with his parents before he returns to the US to go back to college. I have a phone number for a doctor who speaks English but haven’t called the office yet.
I have the desk and my computer set up in the window of my office, overlooking Piazza della Libertà. The amount of light is fantastic. Even with my reading glasses on, I have a pretty clear view of the treetops and the buildings in the square. It’s a bit blurry but recognizable, which is all I can ask for, given the wonderful sunlight that makes up for damned near anything else.
After spending almost ten years in what amounted to a cave with a north exposure and no real natural light, this is like a miracle. Even on rainy days, I don’t need to turn lights on until nearly dusk. My little sound system is set up in the window behind the computer, and I am feeling much more like myself. I’d been working from the kitchen, which is on the north side of the apartment and very dim. I had to have lights on in there constantly, just like I had back in Everett. It’s hard to express just how much of a difference this relocation to the office (I have an office!) has made for me emotionally.
I did a little volunteer work this week for the American Library in Piazza Sant’Antonio Nuovo. They needed someone to pull a stack of books from the database and enter another stack, so I spent a couple of hours there on Tuesday poking at their computer system. It was nice to have something to do outside of the house that didn’t involve walking for a change. The center also had their TGIF last Friday, with food from Senegal in honor of African-American History Month. I met a really nice Italian woman there who is going to be presenting at WorldCon in London this year on Italian translations of Fantasy and SF literature. She was very excited by it, and I was thrilled for her. I’m sure it’ll be a fantastic time and a wonderful adventure.
Carnivale is supposed to be happening this weekend in Trieste and Muggia. I’m going to see if I can find someone to go with me to Muggia, as I’m not sure where the ferries are or how to deal with the buses here yet. It’ll be nice to have someone along, if I can get company.