Dante and I wanted to go to the beach, but at the same time, avoid the crowds at Viareggio. So, after my medical appointment at Camp Darby, we headed north toward Cinque Terra. Dante knew of a little area called Tellaro where he thought there would be fewer people on the beach. Tellaro is a lovely little hill town just south of Cinque Terra. So it’s not so famous, and therefore less crowded. Knowing also that I tend to crisp up like a Freedom Fry, we looked for a place where he could sit in the sun and I in the shade. After parking the car and slathering me up with sunscreen, we walked down towards the water. We soon encountered a woman who was returning from her morning swim. Dante asked her about the lay of the land, and how to access the beaches. She told us that she preferred to sit on the rocks, and showed us the path that she takes. Then she explained in great detail that if we wanted also to go to the sandy beach, it was not very far away and there was a path over and through the rocks so that we could take a little passeggiata. Continue Reading →
This post was supposed to be Burocrazia Intensa II, a little story about Italian taxes, but as often happens, life intervenes and something more immediate comes up. So Burocazia Intensa II will have to wait a bit.
Just after Dante and I started seeing each other, he received a call from the Major Domo at a Villa situated in the Lucca hills that was owned by a Contessa who lived in Rome. She was part of the Royalty that once ruled the diverse kingdoms before Italy was united in 1870. The Villa has acres of olive trees and hundreds of lemon trees. The Major Domo, an acquaintance of Dante, named Giancarlo, lived at the Villa with his wife and their French bouledogue (bulldog), named Babo. (Why the French insist on putting so many unpronounced letters in their words, I’ll never understand). Giancarlo and his wife were the caretakers of the villa and managed the occasional function most often held in the limonaia, a large, sunny room where the lemon trees rested for the winter. Continue Reading →
By my calculations, this event happened during my fourth life, which would be about right because I was 40 years old and for the umpteenth time I was scrambling for money. It was immediately after a disastrous attempt at owning a small restaurant with my friend and partner, Midge. I was completely broke and in debt so I was willing to take any job that came my way.
I took a job as a manager in a small fast food restaurant in Brighton which served Mexican food. “Paco’s Tacos” was not what anyone would think of as even a medium size restaurant. But the owner had big plans in mind. The “Headquarters” (in fact just a hole in the wall with seating for perhaps 20) was located in Brighton. The only other location was at Faneuil Hall Marketplace in downtown Boston. After my 3 week training period, to be conducted at the Headquarters, I was going to take over management of the downtown location. Continue Reading →
Springtime is my absolute favorite time of year. The air is perfumed by the acacia trees which are in full bloom. I’ve planted my window boxes, my lemon and orange trees are just beginning to flower. I love sitting out in my garden for breakfast, sipping my fake coffee (I had to give up the real thing a few years ago), and doing my word puzzles. But the other day my idyll was broken by the Postina (Mail lady) bringing me two pieces of registered mail to sign. Unfortunately, this is not a rare occurrence. She comes by a few times a month bringing multe (tickets). These are normally speeding tickets. They are never mine, but since the cars are registered in my name, the multe come to me. Dante, my speed-loving compagno, has to write that he was driving the car and he has to pay the tickets. It’s annoying to me but it’s really his problem to deal with. Continue Reading →
I would like to preface my story by saying that I really love my adopted country. The people are warm and full of life. Nothing in the following story is meant to give offense. The Italian bureaucracy has a long established, world-wide reputation, and I was not its first nor will I be its last victim.
The following story is true. While I’m sure that these things happen to other people as well as to me, I believe that they happen more often to me. Perhaps that’s a function of trying to learn and do as many things as possible before I die. I have always been in a hurry to experience life. I remember when I was a child, my mother telling me to slow down because there would be nothing left for me to do when I grew up. (She was wrong). This illustrates my first encounter with the ITALIAN BUREAUCRACY (Burocrazia Intensa). This is the saga of Gershwin’s first trip to Italy: Continue Reading →