As I told you, I bought some lovely little flowers, pretty yellow things, to put in the window, so the apartment would look more festive. (I moved them onto the outside sill thinking they would enjoy a little fresh air.)
This evening was another "casino" a word we and Italians use all the time. It is a word that means something between a big mess, a big confusion, and what else can you expect?
Ok, so the boys arrive to put in the chandelier in the dining room. The Milanese has recovered himself, and he arrives to translate the putting in of the chandelier. Mani is here because he is very curious to see what the chandelier looks like hanging up. He has never seen one like this before, not a good sign. (Mama called and told him he needed to get home to go to his son's school concert. He was in no big hurry.) In the middle of this casino, we look out the window and there is a policewoman, Francesca at the bottom of the stairs. The Stoic One goes down and returns. He informs us she is jabbering away in Italian, and is very pretty. We all look to him for further information, but there is none. Have I mentioned the Stoic One is a man of few words?
Mani looks over the railing and says, oh no, it is the crabby police lady. The next thing, I hear the policewoman telling Mani that there is a big problem with me having my flowers on the outside windowsill because the flowers could fall off the sill and bonk someone on the head. I must say it is not a bad point. We are, after all, 65 stairs up. While she is jabbering, I quickly removed the offending flowers and put them on the floor. Mani tells us she is a pain in the you know what. Mani and the Milanese are beside themselves laughing. They say they have lived here forever and not had the police at the door. I am here for one week, and already the police are calling. I look a little downhearted, and Mani says not to worry. He said his office worker, Paolo, had gotten 3 traffic tickets in one day from her. Mani said everyone in town says she is crabby because she doesn't have a boyfriend and the whole town is looking for one but it is difficile because she is difficile, if bella. Mani shrugs, what can we do? Put the flowers in the back window he says where she can't see them.
Then we get into a discussion about how to clean the floors. Mani says a mop and a broom, The Milanese says there are water vacs that are much better. (The Milanese has to clean the floors, so he has a vested interest.) Mani thinks his job is to look after us at all times, so he tells the Milanese the mop idea is fine. We don't need to spend the money for a fancy machine. I am on the side of the Milanese on this one. He has lived in the US and understands our preferences, as in living in the 21st century. The discussion continues, The Stoic One is paying attention to Andrea the light installer, watching how it is being installed, and he thinks it is too low. All attention moves to that.
Putting the chandelier up is not going well. First of all it has about 100 different parts. Andrea is doing the work with white gloves. Then he decides he needs to go up into the attic and pull the wires through. For the first time we see the ladder pulled down. Note the drying rack under the stairs. It is not my real dishwasher, and it does not drain over the sink.
Thankfully, the Umbrians are petit little people, and Andrea scampers up the ladder. We wish him well, as he disappears from view. The Milanese can't stand it. He decides to climb up the ladder as well and inspect what it going on. He thinks he is in charge of managing us. (This makes 2 Italians who are sure it is their job to manage us. I haven't mentioned to them that I have extremely low scores on manageability which is why I am a consultant.) The Milanese tells us it is "bello" up there. The Stoic One and I are not curious enough to climb the stairs, and so we watch.
Andrea returns from the attic and says he can't turn the light on because we don't have another button, and he will return tomorrow. I pout. I say I am so "triste" sad not to see the light tonight. Mani shrugs, the Milanese tries to comfort me and says it will be done tomorrow. I keep pouting. Andrea goes up to the attic and the light is turned on.
So, this light has only one small light bulb. It is a technological wonder. I fell in love with it in the store. It was with many other lamps and it looked spectacular. When Andrea turned it on, the light bounced off all of those plastic pieces and the light from it could light up the entire Piazza. The Italians and I are stunned. It has clearly been designed for a concert hall. The Stoic One thinks it is fine. The Italians are mesmerized. "Ma guarda...." but look. I am looking. I bet Sally can see it from her villa across the way. Andrea says he will return tomorrow to put in a dimmer.