March 06, 2008

Palazzo Journal - Day 2

Day 2, 7.2.

We wake up early. Our son has slept through the night without any coughing! This is amazing since we were afraid of a croup attack after he had started that familiar sealion barking cough on the plane. The fresh humid air in Calabria seems to clean our lungs and bronchi from Chinese pollution.

I look outside the window. Didn't the weather forecast said sunshine in the morning and rain in the afternoon? The sea is rough, it is pouring and windy. I feel cold and I realize that our cold bedroom is the warmest spot in the house. Meanwhile coffee is ready and everybody gathers in the kitchen. The thermometer shows 16 degree Celsius – in the kitchen. Angelo claims it’s broken. I think it is about how cold it feels.

We need to hurry as we have appointments at our palazzo with il elettricista, the electrician at 9.00 and with il idraulico, the plumber at 10.00. I am so excited and can’t wait to see all the work that has been done since the start of the renovation about three months ago in November.

Angelo, CC and I arrive at the house in Pizzo a bit earlier to have a quick look around. It worth coming allover from China to get a feeling for the new opened living space and the added bathrooms. At 9.00 sharp the electricians arrive and we have to tell where we want plugs, switches, lights, TV, Internet, intercom system, fridge, oven … – to start with – under the roof.
As soon as we point somewhere they spray their signs on the walls. I feel unprepared and wonder why. I have a big file under my arm. They rush and we have done half of the second floor when il idraulico drops in. It is only 9.30. So someone continues discussing with the electricians and someone starts to talk to the plumber. While the electricians make a new appointment for the afternoon and greet, another craftsman comes by. He needs to be briefed for the eaves gutter. But this should be in present of il architetto. This is when I realize that P, the architect is still missing.

P shows up just a little later and salutes us like old friends, kisses on the cheeks. We ask him about the thick supporting wall in the tiny overhanging loo that he wanted to modify for the installation of a small shower. The plumber just had said we can’t touch that wall. I am a bit confused. Not much about the differences, but about who is saying what. We accept the plumber’s suggestion to install the shower in the opposite corner. That means the sink has to move below the window. Aah, how nice, my son will be brushing teeth with sea view! Over a tiny sink though, but who cares, it’s fantastic!

Together we continue with the plumber and mark where we need radiators. This is the best weather for radiator salesmen. I agree right away in every room on every radiator. I remember me saying: ‘This is the South of Italy, why should we install heater?’ - I don’t like radiators. They are not pretty, steal space and collect dust. - But who wants to shiver inside the house covered with blankets like an Indian tribal chief?

At 12.30 it is time for the apperitivo at the bar "Belvedere". Instead of a drink or coffee, my husband and I share una Torta Belvedere. It is a calorie bomb of ice cream. But after all, we deserve it! Later, back home at Vibo Marina - where luckily my mother-in-law is taking care of our son, shopping and cooking - we eat lunch with the electrical heater right behind me. In summer, after pranzo, lunch, we usually do a pisolino, a nap. But today nobody of us three Beijingers can sleep.

In the afternoon, the electrician calls and cancels the appointment. But we still go to see the house again around 17.00. L wants to see ‘his house’. We do not stay that long and go straight to the bar Belvedere. It is again raining slightly, so we sit inside. I am having a hot chocolate. I had forgotten how good it tastes in Italy. It is a thick, dark and tasty, almost chocolate sauce! We talk to the iceman of the third generation – the gelateria is in the hands of the forth generation – about the latest rumors in the village. On the way back to the car, we pay a short visit to our real estate agent for a small talk. And as Italians can't walk by someone's house without knocking, we next knock at the architect’s office. He opens the door and we have a quick look at the lungomare project, the new seaside of Pizzo, he is in charge of. If it will be realized like in the picture he is showing us, it will be the attraction of Pizzo! They plan to widen up the little fisherboat port at the Seggiola and let the water come in until the grotta - just below our house. I fell like in a dream, un sogno. Maybe we should move here for ever.

Shortly after dinner we go to bed. Very early, very healthy. We sleep all three together under several blankets and warm each others back and feet. I feel like we have traveled back in time. It is a nice feeling.

To be continued ...
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  1. It all sounds so wonderful. I love following the progress.
    Your son's croup will leave him at 5 years. My 2 eldest had it, a frightening sound I have to admit.

  2. I smiled at the part about you all sleeping together. I can still remember being little and getting to sleep with my parents on occasion, usually on vacation or something, and how warm and wonderful and happy it all was.

  3. Di, I hope you are right. It seems that the winter is over and so are the croup attacks.

    Erica, you are right. It was wonderful. And I am glad that you did not misunderstood my words, because it does not say clearly how many people I ment by saying 'we'. It was not we all five, but only CC, me and our son, the three of us.