Monday, August 20, 2007

Welcome Back!

I succeeded in updating the address associated with my codice fiscale today after a 1.5 hour wait and a brief argument with the clerk. The clerk, a woman with long fingernails painted red and dotted with rhinestones, a woman with eyeshadow the colors of the aurora borealis, was actually fairly nice given that I was her last customer and her helping me was biting into her lunch hour. I wanted a copy of my codice fiscale for my carta di soggiorno file and I wanted to update my address. I mistakenly made latter request after asking for the copy, really tickin her off. She said, "You made me think you wanted a duplicate copy! Now you want to change your address and I can't do that now!" I asked, "Why not?" She replied, "Because the system won't let me now." I asked, "Why? Because it's after hours?" She answered, "No! Because I just did an operation and it won't let me do another one. Fine, fine, let's see if it will let me." And, of course, it did because computers are like that, they let people do an operation after the last operation. They don't punish people for making them have to work after they are supposed to be having a panino. I wanted to tell the woman that making up bogus arguments was actually delaying her break time even more, that efficiency was the key to a leisurely post-pranzo fag, but I said nothing more than, "Grazie tante. Gentilissima."

La Bimba and I were delayed three hours in Milan and she took it like a champ. She practiced walking, she talked to babies and doggies, she made a friend, Carolina, 7, she rested, she snacked, and then she slept on the plane. Do they make a better baby than that? I don't think so.

Everyone was annoyed at the gate, but no one complained much. I am used to at least one person shouting and shaking a fist in the face of the gate agent, we Americans can get pretty fussy when expected timetables and assumed conveniences get disrupted. The Italians are so used to things not working efficiently that they take delays and such irritations in stride. One older woman in a blouse and cardigan did say at one point, "They don't even turn up the air conditioning. Non ce la faccio piĆ¹," but she said it to her husband and only I overheard it, so it could hardly be called an outburst.

So, we are back in Naples where it is blissfully breezy and most folks are still on vacation, so the streets are less crowded, the traffic less hideous. Switzerland is already a receding memory, an increasingly blurry and ever more wistful memory of cool, green valley relaxation. I really relaxified there, that is, I relaxed myself into a sort of calcified state of relaxation. I am trying to maintain the sensation. And I am trying to forget that the Divine Miss M. said to her mommy after seeing me after a shower, "Her nipples are like yours except more downer."


Marmite Breath said...

OMG, kids can be so cruel, can't they? I mean, come on! That kids nipples will touch the floor one day too. :)

Anonymous said...

Easy now, that's my kid you're making dire predictions about. Rompipalle has nothing to worry about regarding personal appearance--she's gorgeous!