We’ve finally arrived in Pistoia where we’ll be the next four weeks. Unfortunately, the main reason for renting the house was the view. It is HIGH HIGH up in the Apennines Mountains. Today we’ve been under a MASSIVE fog bank. All we can see is the back of our hands.
The ride to this house, 2 km, winding and straight up. It was the longest ride of our lives. There is only room for one car. When Jim asked what happens if another car comes from the opposite direction. The man who rented us the house just shrugged. “One of you moves over.” Jim replied there was nowhere to move over to. He just shrugged again. “It works out.”
You may not have noticed but I’m a bit neurotic. It REALLY comes out when I travel. So in every new place, my mother visits and together we go through the following:
Why are you paying more for this when the place in France (or fill in blank) was nicer?
Why are you spending money at all, you should be home making working/making money not spending it.
I bet there’s a better place. Probably cheaper, too.
We should’ve stayed in France (or fill in the blank) What if the view we paid for never reveals itself because it stays foggy all month?
There’s more but it’s predictable and boring.
The house we rented was a tower built centuries ago. Several hundred years later, a family moved in. But during WW2, the Germans occupied the house. Goodbye family. The Germans built an underground bunker to avoid allied bombing. The original stone trench which they passed through to get from their lookout point in the house to the bomb shelter still exists. When when the Germans left, the fuckers burned it, of course. Damaged parts were rebuilt. The house is built on stone, sasso.
What do you think our main concerns were? If this doesn’t tell you how fucking Americanized we are nothing will. Jim first question – how does the TV work and it do they get the BBC? Mine was is there internet and what’s the password? Actually they have internet, which translates to one room of the house has it sporadically and they don’t have a password, so it’s not a secure connection. When I expressed my concern, they looked at me like I said “are there any children nearby, I’d like to eat them.”
Every time we come to Italy and rent a house we have road issues. Several times the roads getting to rental were so treacherous we couldn’t stay because we were too afraid to drive in and out. This road isn’t in that territory but it is major hassle. The 2 km takes 10-15 minutes, bumpy winding minutes. It’s lucky we spent as much time living in Laurel Canyon as we did. These roads put you under huge psychological and physical! And we also understand the rewards. We haven’t gotten to the reward part of this ride but I’m NOT complaining. More like looking forward to the part when all of Italy opens itself up to us.
I remember being in Italy in 2000 and everybody was texting and using cell phones. Barely anybody in the states used them and had NO idea what a text even was. Since they’ve always been so far ahead of us technologically, I’ve always been befuddled by the ongoing internet issues. Then it dawned on me. We’re either in hill towns or in buildings where the walls are so thick they’re the size of an entire block of houses in LA. They didn’t know from dry wall in the 7th century. So if spotty or even shitty internet is the worst thing I have to deal with, I’ll shut the fuck up.
I always wonder what Kukla and Tootsie make out of all this moving around. I will say they are better this time than last, although they were perfectly fine then. But they’ve been so unsettled since we moved them from the only home they ever really knew, Laurel Canyon, (put away the violins) and now keep one eye permantly glued to us even when they sleep. Literally, Tootsie is asleep right now with one open. Jim is taking a shower and Kukla is in there, sitting on the tile, waiting for him to come out.
Yesterday we went to see the city of Pistoia vs. the region, although its in the region, too. This shit is so confusing. Anyway, it was a lovely city and the closest city. We’re going to go back tonight for dinner. There’s also a major music festival that opens in the plaza tonight for the next month. And we’ve run of dog food. It always gets back to the mutts. Or as our old friend, Mary Phyl dubbed them, the Menendez Twins. I get such a laugh out of that!