The past week has been crazy busy.
The weather here has been gorgeous, and when I was out walking today I saw that the fountain at Piazza Vittorio Veneto had been turned on. Another was being worked on, so I assume that the city will be turning on the waterworks for the season over the next week or two. I’ll have to get out in the sun and take some photos of the fountains in operation.
I got a call from the Pordenone Questura this week. The woman who makes the determinations about approval or denial of the Permesso di Soggiorno has decided that I can have one. I have to go to Pordenone on Monday morning to sign their integration agreement. Once that’s done, that gets sent to Rome and about a month later I should have the Permesso in hand. It feels like it’s been a long wait, and it’s going to be a bit longer but at least it will finally arrive.
Tuesday my stuff finally arrived! I wrote about the situation in my last post, and there was a lot of subsequent back and forth with the contracting company in the UK. The people who were actually driving it here to my apartment were based out of Sofia, Bulgaria, and the guys who came didn’t really speak either English or Italian. We at least managed to get the “this is your stuff” and “please sign these papers” bits out of the way, though.
I have to say that, despite the communications problem, I’m overall very pleased with the shipping service I got. The post office broke more of my stuff than these shippers. Everything was here, and the only breakage was the glass on two of my large pieces of framed art. The frames themselves were not broken and the art wasn’t damaged. One frame has a corner popped out of shape, but a quick trip to a frame shop for a few minutes with a rubber mallet should literally knock it back into shape. I don’t really need the glass for the pieces, as it’ll just add unnecessary weight to the art when I hang them on the wall.
I spent three days unpacking my stuff and consolidating packing material. The packing debris is all sitting in the library now, waiting for me to get it out to the recycle bins, a little at a time. I’ve got books sorted into private stuff that goes in the bedroom, the bulk of the collection into the library, and the writing, poetry, language, and Celtic books in the office where I can access them quickly. Now I need bookshelves and will probably end up getting them from Ikea, much as I dislike the idea, because it will be relatively cheap.
Lunch with Giulia last week was fun. We spent several really fun hours together at the café, walking around Trieste, and popping into a couple of bookshops. We visited a very nice little tea shop, where they also sell spices (berbere spice mix for Ethiopian food! Garam masala!), and talking about film, science fiction, and writing. One of the bookshops we stopped by, the antiquarian shop formerly owned by Umberto Saba, had a couple of copies of a book she’d written on a Trieste author in the window. Her publisher is a friend of the owner, and he’d got a few copies of work from their press. I had actually picked up a tiny book of poetry by Saba a little earlier in the day that was from the same press. The book is in Italian, and I also picked up a copy of some Emily Dickinson poetry in English and Italian to try to help me with my reading and comprehension. Dickinson’s poetry tends toward short lines and relatively simple language, as well as the poems themselves being fairly short.
Giulia said that she’d come help me get a library card for the Trieste library system so that I can do interlibrary loan for some of the things I need for my research. I was really blessed in Seattle, living so near the University of Washington and their fantastic library system. They allow the public to have library cards when they join the Friends of the Library, for about $100 a year, and I always found it a really good deal, because it can be difficult to get your hands on books about the topics I write on. On the other hand, Dublin is a realistic trip for me now, and they print a lot of the stuff I’m interested there, and in Cork. When I was last in Dublin, I shipped quite a few books home from the bookshops there. Still, journal articles are going to be the big thing, and that’s likely what I’ll mostly be using the system for.
I should be back from Pordenone late Monday or early Tuesday, and will be at the opening of the women’s library/space at the American Corner Trieste on Tuesday evening. My brother might drive me back so that we can stop at the Ikea and pick up bookshelves. It’ll be great to get the books up off the floor.