Today is the day that we can move into our apartment in Bra. We’ve been staying at a wonderful Eco Guest House in Pocapaglia about 5 km from Bra. AliseA ( http://www.alisea.cn.it/eng/alisea.htm ) is situated on a hill over looking the valley where the town of Pollenzo, where I’ll be going to school, is nestled. I previously posted a picture of Pollenzo taken from AliseA. The setting and room has been great and the owner is very friendly and helpful and if any of you are traveling out this way we’d recommend it as a place to stay (if our other bedroom is booked 🙂 ). But, today we leave this setting for downtown Bra. That means, of course, moving all of our bags again. The owner of AliseA is going to help move us which is great. We will go and pick up the key and then carry our stuff up two flights of stairs to our apartment where, hopefully, we won’t have to move from again for a while.
There are some things our apartment will be missing. That would include everything except basic furniture. That is…no pots or pans, no dishes, no coffee maker, no bedding, now towels, no…well, you get the picture. Most alarming for me is NO INTERNET! I have been trying to figure out how to get internet connected and while some people have responded that it is not a problem I haven’t yet figured it out. The school recommended using Telecom. Telecom is the major telephone provider in Italy and they have an internet service called Alice. The school pointed me to a shop near our apartment that was a TIM (Telecom) shop. I entered the shop and waited while the clerk helped someone else. While waiting I looked at all the signs and pamphlets advertising internet including Alice. They are all in Italian, of course, so I couldn’t read them but was excited to be so close to getting that set up. My turn. She doesn’t speak English. I don’t speak Italian. Rosetta hasn’t said anything about establishing an internet connection. I got the general idea of what I wanted across and was told something like, “we don’t do internet, only telephones.” I asked where to get internet for an apartment and was told something like, “There was one internet company but they stopped. There is no more internet.” To say this was alarming would be understatement. But…but…”no more internet.” I was so shaken that I didn’t point to the posters and pamphlets and assume a questioning expression on my face. I just left.
To provide me a little slack, I was exhausted. Neither June nor I slept well the night before as we had much to accomplish the following day. We had to meet with the apartment agent and the apartment owner to sign the contract. We had to arrange for utilities to be transferred to us. We had to make more copies needed for our Permesso. We had to go to the office where they help you fill out the form for the Permesso. We then had to go to the post office and file the Permesso. All this had to be done during the hours when businesses are open which are a few in the morning, then a gap from about noon to 3:00 or 3:30 until 5:00 or 6:00. The lack of sleep plus the stress made my internet negociation not go well. That is what I’m hoping. I hope that they haven’t, in fact, discontinued the internet in Bra.
The upshot of this is that the frequency of my blogs could change. We found one cafe where there is free internet available. That was a surprise to our apartment agent. He didn’t think there were any and he’s 1) young and 2) has lived here all his life. It would mean drinking a lot of coffee but, oh well. There is internet at school. There must be a way to get it to our apartment but it may take time discovering how.
So, to summarize…We have an apartment and will be moving in today. We got our utilities connected. We got our Permesso filed within the 8 days required. Those things were huge on our worry list so our stress level is much lower. Our “to do” list now is: 1) open a bank account (that’s how you pay for utilities and rent–direct transfer), 2) buy some basic living things so we can cook, clean up and sleep, and, of course, 3) figure out how to get internet.