Saturday, October 13, 2012

Here We (All) Go

"We are going to move to Avellino!". This is the thought I keep telling myself over and over again as I sit in my hotel room in Lago Patria. We have been here since June and have still not settled into a home. Oh, we have come close to many, but not actually moved in yet. It's probably going to be a three-part blog on the military housing process here in Naples when we do move, but for now, just laugh with me about our situation! :)

Looooooooooong story short, we are waiting for THE house in Avellino. But the waiting is getting frustrating and I am commuting my kids to school one hour each way in the meantime. So as I do after a while, I start to get frustrated and try to look for other options.

While my hubby and I were sojourning in Avellino while the kids were in school, we decided to drop in on local friends for lunch. I called to invite ourselves over and she told me another new family was also coming who wanted to live in Avellino before their appointment to see a house.

We went over and met this great family and had a beautiful lunch by the way. Then they invited us along to go to the showing! I was honored they would let us go with them as we had not seen this property before.

We decide to go and we're late already (darn last cup of espresso!) and after a brief discussion to carpool we each decided to take our own cars. Our mutual friends were going with their kids to translate, the family to see the appointment with their kids and us because after the appointment we have to pick up our kids.

Three cars of people to see one house.

So we all get into our respective cars and drive. Then we notice we are completely out of gas. We call our Italian friends and tell them and ask where we are going assume we could meet them. I'm talking to the wife. Meanwhile the husband is on the phone with the real estate agent who says, "My car is broken down and I need a ride. Come get me and we will drive together to the place.". Our car's warning panel reads, "-- MILES TO EMPTY TANK" My friend tells me the agent just won't tell him where we are going. We are passing a Q8 gas station close to their house and are so tempted to pull in but we know we'd get separated so we press on.

After passing three more gas stations we stop in Mercogliano, the next town over, and pick up the real estate agent. There is an Agip gas station in sight... (they honor the NATO gas coupons we use) but the caravan is turning around! Ugh. So now, we are driving back the same way we came, back to Avellino, and back to the very same Q8 gas station we wanted to pull into! We decide whatever we are doing here, WE are stopping for gas. Hubby pits in 10 liters and I get out to find out why we are looking at a gas station instead of a house. At this time, we are already 30 minutes past the original appointment time.

She explains to me that we are here to meet the landlord of the house! The agent didn't know how to get there. So now we are four cars into the caravan. When we finally all arrive at the house, we are four cars, an hour late and less than a mile from our friends home.

But this is so typical! In a place where gas is the equivalent of about $9 US per gallon, everyone does this crazy car tango instead of the agent providing the client information up front so that we could all plan ahead!

I know I'd be wondering, "Well? Was it worth it?" I have seen about 80-90 homes in Italy since we got here. This one stood out in the charm category. This landlord designed the home and it had a bit of whimsy, like we would be renting a wing of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. It had lots of striped wallpaper, art deco style doors, split level floors, staircases to hidden closet doors and some very sloped ceilings. The kids would have loved it! Downside, it reeked of smoke, you would live on top of the landlord, you had to share the garden (yard) and no garage. He told our friends translating that if he liked us, he would let us use the garage but basically we'd have to earn it. And the back patio was off limits! Too many restrictions for us!!!

Oh well. Va bene! We will just continue to be patient!

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