n i g h t i n g a l e s h i r a z / blog
what fine marble you have ruined...

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listening to suzanne tell me her name is luka.
otherwise known as "lawyer-rant".

i am wondering if she's right, that you just don't argue any more.
these people are bringing me close, closer than i have ever been, in the last eleven months, to feeling like giving up.  now.  now when i am closer, than i have ever been, in the last eleven months, to being okay.
why do they waste your time?  why can't they tell me up front, whether they can help me, or not.  it's not a hard question.  and i am fine paying you for it.  but just tell me quickly.  don't tell me after you've kept me waiting for two weeks.  just tell me.  just tell me if you can help me.  because if you can't, i'll go to the next guy damn it.  i don't have a lot of time...
i don't have time.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[mercoledi 17 dicembre 2003 ore 17:43:06] []


it has been over six months since i moved to this often-bitch of a country; dropped my requisite transatlantic-two-suitcases at her doorstep and started struggling with her bureaucracy in earnest.
i am still struggling -- with the Questura, with the lawyers (and they are supposed to be on *my* side), with quota mysteries and CoCoCo documents and "domani, domani, ci vuole pazienza" brickwalls.  no wonder so many people just marry into Italian citizenship...
i watch the line for the Sportello di Studio at the Questura.  there are several Japanese students, there are Brazilians, there are Albanians.  there is even an Iranian girl.  i look around, and yes i am frustrated and irritated at having to be in this smutty room again and knowing that my life is ancora unresolved.  but i look around at the mothers with screaming babies -- screaming in their arms and in their heads and even in that secret space they used to be able to think quietly in.  and i know it could be much, much worse, and that i should be grateful.
but still.  these days i am angry.  i am occasionally, frighteningly, despondent, but most of the time just angry.  about why.  why, when i am doing things right.  when i am qualified and smart and deserve to be here, and am doing everything to make sure that i go about it the right way.  why am i being punished for it?  when every job interview i have ever been on, people tell me that my skills and background are needed here, that *i* am needed here.  why isn't that enough?

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[mercoledi 17 dicembre 2003 ore 17:41:50] []


this past weekend, i learned that if you lean way, way over.  you can just about see the sunset over the valley, from my window.  it was monday -- a national holiday for the Immaculate Conception.  (who knew -- before coming to Italy, of course, about that one?  for the longest time, i could not for the life of me understand how, if Christ was born on Christmas day, the Immaculate Conception could have occurred in August.  Son of God and all yes, but if you do the math, four months premature is quite a miracle.  and it was only much later, when i dared to voice this somewhat potentially blasphemous but nonetheless flummoxing question to an Italian, that i was informed that Mary herself was born "free from sin", and the celebration in August is of *her* Immaculate Conception, in the womb of Anne.)
anyway, the point is it was a national holiday, and a long weekend, and so i got to have Ciro come up to Cortona (instead of legging it to Florence, which is never a bad thing, actually).  when we looked out towards evening-time, and saw the orangeness plunging lazily, but steadily below the valleyfloor, we scuttled out whooping (only not for long because it is *cold* up here these days!) and watched for all of five minutes before choosing heat and our wineglasses over the "experience of it all".
but at least i learned, that even if it's that cold, i can lean way, way over and catch the view.  if i can work up the courage to open a window...

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[mercoledi 10 dicembre 2003 ore 11:05:44] []

living in Italy.

every time i think i may actually be able to do this, i find that there is a part that i have forgotten.  or a part that is even more complicated, than it already was.  i spend six months looking desperately for a job, and i finally find one.  i find one where, not only do they actually want to hire me, not only do they want to pay me more than 1 euro 25 centesimi for building technology solutions (amazing huh, Giulio?) -- they are happy to help in whatever way they can with getting my visa and permesso papers in order.  and they don't except me to clean their swimming pool on the weekend...  great, right?  i seem to have gotten through the hardest part, right?
somewhere, an Italian bureaucrat is laughing.  or maybe not.  this system is not even consistent enough to have truly been designed with the idea of keeping people like me out of this country.  there is no doubt there is acknowledgement -- at the government level, at the corporate level, at a personal level -- that the country is in need of skilled technology workers.  but so many of these laws -- old, new and dinosaury -- run at cross-purposes to each other, and change direction every year, every six months, in different ways -- i don't think there is an Italian bureaucrat anywhere, who could have planned all this...

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[mercoledi 10 dicembre 2003 ore 11:04:27] []

a first wednesday in Cortona.

via san benedetto careens from the main piazza down to my doorstep, before it empties itself over the city walls into waiting Tuscany.  that is, if anything in cortona careens; everything in this town is a little slower, a little softer -- like the every-morning-fog in the valley i can see from my green-shuttered windows...
i don't have time to make coffee this morning.  i could if i wanted to.  in my bialetti mocha.  in my little espresso cups.  good things come in small porcelain.
last night we took a walk through the town, my visiting friend and i.  had dinner at la buccaccia, and house wine in big, big glasses that you can hold with both your hands as you look in and inhale the redness.  they had run out of fragolino, but offered us vin santo on the house.  so i got to introduce another human being to the pleasures of dipped biscotti.
i moved here five days ago.  and i have had people staying with me for four of those days.  harriet says that it's when you start to get visitors, houseguests.  that you know you've truly arrived.
i can feel this new home gathering karma.  and when i think of it, i know with certainty.  i will be happy here.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[mercoledi 3 dicembre 2003 ore 11:15:57] []