Sunday, October 05, 2008

Belated post IV: Practicalities

I got some sort of internet connection although I'll have to ask a few questions at the Vodafone place since the connection counter shows something in contrary to what I was told at the shop, shoud've had 300 hours of connection/month, not 50 and I didn't hear a single word on data limit. Better than nothing, though.

I cleaned this place. The kitchen lacked basic things, such as a knife worth its name – the best and only one was the one I left here three years ago, now it's blunted to useless; the only pot with a lid is the one I left here three years ago, the other pots as well as the pots and various containers reminded me of my grandma's late yard with all sorts of vessels from which the cats and dogs would eat, occasionally tossing them over, chasing them around or otherwise adding patina.

I decided that I need something non-repulsive to use. I know, I know, it may be my subjective feeling but I wasn't going to live with that lamp and those plates. I found out where Ikea was (using their 2006 catalog, atlas of Italy, particularly the higway map of Florence and surroundings and the old bus map of Florence which is still working pretty well) and set out for the shopping trip.

The troubles started at the main station from whose surroundings the 29 and 30 were supposed to go instead of the stop, there was a hole in the ground, as well as in surrounding streets. I went across the whole station to the information booth on which a map of provisional stops was stuck. Obviously, on the other side the stop was so I turned around and fought my way back across the station and two streets further.

Ikea says it is in Sesto Fiorentino but in reality, it's in Osmannoro. One way or another, I soon discovered where the poorer neighbourhoods are. I shared the bus with a stinky black guy and his foldable kiosk of Almost-Gucci sunglasses, several Romanian or Albanian but definitely Gypsy beggars who were off work, though, with a few people who felt a need to listen to loud music (no, I don't like Italian techno, neither I like something that sounded like Turkish pop. I don't like any loud music (where loud is defined as I can hear it but it's not my device making the sound) in pubic transport. Only if the heaven opened and the angelic choirs descended onto the board, I may not be pissed.

Well, the good thing about Ikea is that it's easy to see so with a huge relief, I spotted it, got off the bus, walked half a mile on a non-existent sidewalk along a stinky stream and then among closed-down shops to find out that there's a shuttle bus going to and from the main station. Fair enough, I looked when would it be going back and went to get my kitchen towels (the house provided something that I would use only as a so called Thing carried to the rubbish bin), bowls, silverware, table lamp and whatever may please my soul. The bad thing I discovered was that the silverware is sold not in the logic order of each of a knife, a fork, a spoon and a teaspoon but either by six of each or in sets of 24, six of each four elements. I don't need silverware, I have plenty back in the North, including the silver silverware so I made a fruitless effort to find sticks somewhere there but they are either so popular that they were sold out or Ikea simply has none. I'm bound to use the silverware with plastic handles that screams Disinfection! or rather Rubbish heap! until I find something sorta normal. At least I made the place sorta normal.

I got some tunnbröd (if I cannot eat bread, then I'll at least get the sort I like) and cookies and cloudberry jam enjoyed the absurdity of Ikea full of Italians, Italian language lacking decent names for cranberries, for example (red blueberries, they call them... stupid southern people, even we have a name for cloudberries although they are a polar relict in two or three localities on the mountain tops... but we had those scientists – language maniacs who invented names for things since they wanted to prove that ours is as rich as Latin or German, providing the posterity with interesting synonyms and many poetic possibilities).

When I got back home, I found out that there's no carving board. Damn.

In the evening, the landlord dropped by, to tell me that if there's no hot water in the bathroom, I should turn it on to the fullest in the kitchen so that the heater would work. How ingenuous, to waste water in such a manner. Resources crisis onto them!