Notes from Puzzle Palace

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

More of life in Italy-and a few puzzles too.

This has been a week much like the last one.  We have been going back and forth making appointments to make appointments to finally make an appointment to get an appointment.  I've come to realize that you must know someone here to get anything done.  Our Elena is a wiz at working the system.  She knows people in all of the right places.  Last post was about getting our Permesso di Soggiorno.  Well, we didn't. What we got after all of that run around was a small hope that we can get in early.  Elena knows some one who knows someone and she made some calls and they made some calls, and now our paperwork is going to head to the local questers office where she knows someone who will try to push our paperwork to the head of the queue.  To say thank you, we had to take them to dinner.  That in itself was a comedy of errors.  We tried 4 different places, all closed.  So we ended up in Citta di Pieva (30km from here) and had a great pizza!

We did have some good things happen though.  We bought a car.  Well, we didn't.  Our friend did and he's letting us 'borrow' it until we get our permesso and can buy our own. Then I had to get insurance on it.  Now I have the insurance but don't own the car.  So strange.  This in turn allowed us to return the rental car 2 days early which gave us a €72 refund, but because I didn't fill the tank back up to 100%, I have to pay for the gas, but because I prepaid for the gas, I didn't have to fill the tank, but €72 isn't that much money so the man said he would just keep it.  (My eyes are rolling.)

Our car is a 2001 Ford Mondeo diesel.  Wow.  Oh, and a stick shift.  And a station wagon no less.  It will be ideal for going to puzzle parties and picking up packages that we have waiting for us somewhere in Europe.  Lots of room for boxes.  

George got a new table saw so he has no excuses to not get his exchange puzzle finished.  

We bought some furniture for the castle. A rather large table and chairs/benches set that reminds me of something that belongs in a German brewery.  I got some great chairs for the library and a few others to sprinkle around the castle.  I also found an amazing bar that I just couldn't pass up. This one is from the early 1700's.  I'm still in need of a few more pieces, but for the most part I'm done.  

The kitchen in the castle is as complete as it's going to be.  I'm just waiting on a credenza and a new table.  We ordered 8 sofas and 4 lamps.  4 of the sofas have come in and the lamps?  Who knows where they are. The company couldn't give them to us on the spot, but they also couldn't deliver them.  I guess I'm out another €480.  I'm really not sure why companies think they can just keep the money here.  I also bought 4 bed sheet sets.  I was send duvet covers instead.  Now the seller said I could return them, but he's not sure if he will refund me.  What a racket this is. 

Amazon in the states is great.  Here, not so much. first, a fifty cent pencil case is €19.99 here.  No way.  I guess I'll pass or start to use aliexpress more.  There is no such thing as overnight delivery.  We have to wait for everything.  The fastest I can get something is 2 days.  One really has to plan ahead or learn patience.  Our most ferquently heard phrase is piano piano.  It means slowly.  Everything here is piano piano. I just ordered some lip balm for my poor chapped lips. It will arrive between the 7th and the 14th of July!  My poor lips.  No relief in sight anytime soon.  

We were able to lean out the window of the castle and watch the ascension processional.  It's fun living here, you never know what you will see. 

Oskar sent us a fantastic gift. George had a good time solving it.   I've not laughed so hard in a long time. When I first got it I asked José if it was a pink dildo.  

Oh, and even more good news!  We have had another collection come in.  We purchased Jean Carle's collection and it arrived just fine this past week. The hotel is slowly filling with puzzles.  If only I had shelves to put them on.

We even put a piece on the wall in the living room.  I've had a few Berrocals come in and they are on the mantle until the hotel is finished. 

I have kept a wallet full of currency from all of the countries I've visited over the years.  Usually I return and spend it.  This time I got caught.  I didn't get back to Italy soon enough to spend the Lire we had left so now it makes great bathroom art.  The value is still dropping.

Ah!  And now, a sneak peak at the crystal puzzle room.  It will be filled with antique mirrors.  I've been running around the area to all the used markets and flea markets buying them up. The floor is ugly so I'll need to purchase some nice carpets for there.  The tape represents shelves that will eventually be glued on to them. 

We were invited to a neighbors for a drink and George and Laus ended up assembling a swing for an upcoming 80th birthday party. 
When I was in the Loggia looking at the view, I discovered a second fresco that is on the outside of the building. I can't help wonder how many more are under the paint that has been put up.  I wish there were a way to find out and uncover them.  

We had a lovely little picnic after returning the car.  The aqueducts in the south are amazing.  It's a truly beautiful place we have chosen to live in. It's been a great week.  

Fino alla prossima settimana, arrivaderci e continua a rompicapo. Il lavoro continua.  Piano Piano.

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