26 May 2010

Doors and windows

Italy is a country where who you know makes a big difference. It is a land of face to face relationships; not Facebook, Twitter or some other social network. It is not to say that these aren’t also popular but if you want to get things done, advance a career or develop a friendship then it is accomplished based on face to face contact.

This has affected us with our house purchase in both negative and positive ways. If not for face to face contact and our knowledge of the language (mainly Valerie) then we would never have found the house we now own. This has also allowed us to arrange for some work on the house while we live in Virginia. Through a series of emails and some phone calls we were able to arrange to have a couple of old doors and windows replaced and their openings repaired.

This requires a carpenter to make the doors and windows as “standard size” is not the norm, some stone and marble work is also required at the openings. We are fortunate to have a friend in Lucanella who has been making these arrangements for us. We have read the stories and heard expatriates talk about how their building projects turned into money pits and nothing but endless frustrations, fortunately for us the work we require is minimal compared to many other projects others have taken on.

A few weeks ago Valerie saw a posting about an airfare sale and she did a quick search and found a very good price for a direct flight from Dulles to Rome. Booked! She left last week and arrived in Lucanella a few days ago. She has been checking on the door and window project and will also be making arrangements so that for our next trip we can stay in our own house. A few things need to be done before that is more than a “camping” experience but she has jumped at the task.

Doors, windows and a few other items and our place in Italy will be a home.

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