Move-In Day

I’ve made my Bologna-IKEA (ee-kay-uh) trip, stuffed all my unfolded clothes into my bag, and am about to roll my suitcase over 950m of cobblestone streets to my new apartment. That’s right, I found one. And my coinquillini (roommates) like me. They really like me! Well, they probably like me less now that I’ve asked them 1,000 times if they are really ready for me to come over, but succede (it happens).

When I visited them last Sunday, the big-city feel of the area or the small size of the apartment didn’t impress me. However, the two girls and one guy who live in the three-bedroom apartment charmed me with their willingness to answer my vague questions (“How would you describe yourself?” to which Paolo answered: “Sono esuberante!” or “I am exuberant!”), and their penchant for gioco da tavolo (board games). Unlike the other apartments that I had seen, the roommates here sent me a text within two hours, telling me that they wanted me to live there. Although two other apartments also offered me a spot, I chose this one because I felt most comfortable with the people, and they seemed the most excited for me to live with them.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I will meet with the landlady, sign my contratto, and bring over the rest of my things. Because it is an official contract, I needed to get a “codici fiscale” which is similar to a social security number and necessary for tax purposes. To get it, two other girls from BCSP and I took the bus twenty minutes out of the city to an agency as slow and soulless as the DMV. We waited over an hour for our numbers to flash on a screen. Fortunately, the process of filing the papers took less than five minutes.

Though this process was frustrating and time consuming, it highlighted an interesting Italian phenomenon. Not only do many people own dogs in Bologna, the dogs are allowed everywhere. Welcomed into clothing shops, hotels, and post offices alike, there was even a Westie waiting with its owner at the Agencia delle Entrate office. I was in southern Italy five years ago, and there are a lot of stray dogs running around but I haven’t noticed any stray dogs here. Apparently, only very pampered dogs live in Bologna—most owners dress their dogs in coats (often puffy, human-style monstrosities) to go out in the 30-40 degree weather.

Finally a few notes on pronunciation: my American friends like to call me “Grah-che” because that is how Grace would be pronounced in Italian. So that’s my Italian nickname (that hopefully never follows me to the States). Also, my new street is called “Via Lame” which no, does not mean it is an extremely boring street hated by the hipster streets. It is pronounced Lah-may. So no wisecracks.

1 thought on “Move-In Day”

  1. Dear Grache,

    More! More! Love the local color. Do Bologna dogs wear Prada?
    Weather here unusual, 60° on Tuesday. All here great- think of you often and
    wish you wonderful stuff.
    . . Love, Gr and Gr McD


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