Domani, domani

It’s all very straightforward. Everything is possible in Italy. Just not the way you might expect it.

Pool

H.’s photo – exclusive use of the pool one morning

We made it to the pool where I met the avuncular Franco who runs the place. After smiles at the bambini and discussions about coffee, I asked if we could have a ‘bliglietta stagionata’ (season pass) for the family. ‘Si, si, possibile’. Great, and what about swimming lessons for the children? ‘Si, si, possibile.’ Superb, so whom do I pay, how much and when are the lessons? ‘Domani, doppo domani….’ Franco fairly led me to the pool side, checking on the way that I had not paid at the entrance gate? No? No, in which case ‘vai tranquille’ – use the pool and we’ll sort it out later. We had a super time. La Principessa is completely kamikaze – perhaps we have an Olympic swimmer or deep sea diver on our hands – she is thoroughly fearless and I am thoroughly relieved that we don’t have the luxury of a pool at the house. It does make me question baby swimming lessons: H. – precious first child – has had swimming lessons since she was four months old, yes she is still nervous around water, relying on her swimming noodle for reassurance.  La Principessa – deprived third child – has encountered water only at bath time, yet she happily slips in and under, comes up for air and throws herself back for more.

IMG_0010

Our drive way: complete with house number and postbox…a slightly superfluous addition given that the postman doesn’t make it up here.

Now, a casella postale is apparently simple to organise, so we slipped into la posta late one morning. La signora took some persuading that I was definitely not on the postal route; I was on the verge of showing her photographic evidence of our rural location when  La Principessa – usually ‘contentissima’ – let out a howling scream, beginning a specta – la signora took photocopies of my passport (a random page – the one with emergency contact details) and the house ‘phone number (this not terribly useful as it appears to be ‘non fonziono’) and I thought we were all systems go for a post box. The softly spoken Signora, whispered a flurry of Italian to me, from which I caught ‘non fonziono’, ‘direttore’ and ‘domani’ and I was ushered out of the door.

IMG_4132

At our house, writing letters to friends in England

Domani came: Posta and Piscina – Take Two.

Franco greeted us with smiles and bacini for the bambina piccola. H. and P. were already in the water as I reached for my purse. Bene, bene, vai, vai, Franco gestured to the pool. But the biglietta? Domani, domani – vai tranquille. I wonder whether the bambini inglesi have charmed Franco and the pool is ours to use or whether a canny Franco is waiting to see how regularly we use the pool and will calculate the price of the biglietto accordingly? Is it a free summer pass or will we be hit with an excessive conto at the end of August?

I wouldn’t say the signora at the post office greeted us warmly, rather, fearing a repeat Outraged Baby scenario she quickly came over and gave us some post, before disappearing behind a screen as I waited and wondered whether this exchange was over. Someone bustled with keys around the post boxes but doggedly refused to engage with me. We waited a little longer.  La Principessa reached for advertising leaflets to rustle and flap. We waited a little longer.  La Principessa grabbed a biro and started to scribble. We waited a little longer.  La Principessa roamed for distractions and, finding none, decided to terminate this visit pronto: the scream began and la signora ushered me out with ‘anocora non fonziono’ and more assurances of all being possible – domani.

And so week two in Toscana draws to a close. I’ve not even attempted registering for the all important ‘codice fiscale’, without which very little is possible – I can’t even buy a SIM for my phone without this Italian equivalent of a National Insurance number. I’m wondering whether  La Principessa will prove a help or a hindrance when I start that process – might Outraged Baby Performance provoke a more speedy response? This is a challenge for week three. In the mean time, the pool is ours to use – at what price, we know not – and la nuova famiglia inglese is beginning to make itself known – and heard – amongst locals.

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3 thoughts on “Domani, domani

  1. pennychampion

    Hi Amy, Lucy and I are enjoying reading about your adventures, summer has arrived here, forecast is 35 for wednesday! Lucy is on her first sixth form induction day today so the house is quiet, but I am enjoying having her at home with me. I hope signora postmistress let you have a post box soon, lots of love to you all. Penny xx

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  2. Renée Labelle

    That pool looks amazing, sound like you aren’t bored very much. Missing you, we have sports day tomorrow in 28 degree heat, bet your really sad you can’t be there….

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