I’m writing from my new apartment in Montepulciano. The fact that I am here is amazing in itself and I keep wanting to pinch myself! (I resist the urge because I bruise easily.) When they loaded Cinder onto the plane three days ago, I was so wracked with guilt and fear that it was hard to visualize the possibilities ahead. But when she bounded out of her crate in Rome after her ten hour ordeal looking no worse for wear, I knew we would be okay.
A lovely man named Roberto drove us the two hours north to our new home. It was grey and rainy, but it didn’t matter. As Roberto explained, it was a good omen for our future. Sounded reasonable to me. We met our new landlady at the apartment and after some negotiation over the price of the deposit, we finally settled on the amount we’d previously agreed to. I felt it was my first Italian triumph that I didn’t give in. I spent the day unpacking suitcases, while Cinder watched me with one eye open. She was torn between the need to sleep and the desire to keep track of me after the trying ordeal of the last weeks. Seeing our New York apartment being torn to bits and all of its contents leaving couldn’t have been easy for her. I ventured out twice to try and find provisions since there was nothing in the kitchen, but everything was closed because it was Sunday.
We awoke to sunshine on our first full day. I was starving since I hadn’t eaten since the plane and trekked out to the grocery story. I stopped at a cafe on the way home and had coffee and a brioche. I felt slightly more human as I made my list of things that needed to be accomplished. I was feeling slightly disconnected without the internet, but took a deep breath and allowed myself to adjust to the slower pace of the paese!
I deposited my few precious dollars at the local bank, and stopped in at some stores where the owners knew me from previous trips. Everyone was extremely welcoming. Of course some were also bewildered as to why I would leave New York for the quiet of Montepulciano. I couldn’t put it into words well with my limited Italian except to say that I wanted room respirare (to breathe).
I signed the lease on the apartment yesterday, and this morning I got my residency application in progress with the local Comune. I noticed while I was waiting outside that the new Twilight sequel is being filmed here and they are currently casting. Loads of teenage regazzi were preening and preparing for their close-ups.
I took Cinder with me today for a trip to see Marco. He runs the local cell phone store and he remembered me from my purchase in February. He like most of the other Italians were a little disconcerted at the sight of my huge dog walking down the street. Most big dogs here are hunting dogs, or home in their yards; they don’t get walked. The more curious have stopped me and commented on Cinder’s lovely color etc. Others are probably just thinking I’m a nutty American. In any event, Marco got me hooked up with the internet which you do with a USB key and it took two minutes.
I’m not sure what I’m doing with the rest of the day, but I know it will include a visit with Laura and her mom. And perhaps I’ll even get started on those boxes…