Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ambiguity is not my home

This has been a strange trip for me.  The weather here has been so hot (between 90 and 100) that it has impacted our ability to go out, walk, see things.  The best time of day here is 10:00 at night!  We do have air conditioning, which is a blessing, but we are kind of cooped up here during the day, which has caused me to feel at sixes and at sevens as my friend Linda says.  The heat is very difficult for me.  I just wilt and my cognitive functioning seems to go off line (god is that still an expression anyone uses?) So the heat has been the first problem.

The second problem with this visit has been the continuing farce of trying to buy the apartment next door.  The latest on that score is this...we have the notaio, Ms. Cherubini, who is the most assertive, driven Italian woman I have met, trying to contact the lawyer of the mother of Max who has suddenly not answered our calls or emails.  Ms. Cherubini was very incensed that the lawyer has not responded to us.  Matteo's lawyer has also sent an email to their lawyer basically saying WTF.  On Tuesday Manuele is going to Perugia to check the records to make sure that the estate of Max has been closed. If at the end of this coming week (things always happen the week after we leave) we confirm that the estate has been closed, we will demand they show up for the close as required by law.  If we then get no response, we will demand our money back, and double for the penalty.  This is our right by Italian law.  It is all so confusing to me.  We thought the problem would be the grandmother, but she is totally ready to sell, even saying she would sign the papers in the hospital.  The problem is the mother, whose attorney now has suddenly gone MIA.  We don't know if she is on vacation, busy, or stalling. Weird.  In the mean time, we will look at another apartment today, and see if there is a possibility we would buy that.  If we do buy it, we would need to sell our current apartment, which makes both Gary and me sad because the view is so great, we have restored exactly to American tastes.  Oh, well we will see.

So I begin to pack up here with an  overwhelming feeling of incompletion.  We have been in this state for over a year.  I know I should just "be" here now, but it is really hard for me.  The Stoic One is doing much better at playing the wait and see game. I feel discouraged and slightly depressed.  Manuele has picked up on this and has told me that he can tell I am down in the dumps...wonder what the Italian expression is for that? They have such a view of the long term in Italy.  If things don't happen in this generation, then you look to the next generation of your children, and see that it will happen for them. Needless to say, this is not my point of view.

Ambiguity has never been a place where I reside with ease.  Better a bad answer now than a good answer another year from now.  We could of course just keep this little apartment and live here, but it is too small, we have no storage for a full time life here.  This apartment is great as a vacation home, but to think of retiring here permanently, with no additional space, just won't work.  

With this uncertainty hanging over my head, it is difficult to set a routine on how our life will be here.  We are always "on vacation" either with guests coming and going, or with our own sense of impermanence.  It is hard for me to vision my life here without my life in California as a balance. It sometimes seems as if I get right to the brink of a commitment to moving to Italy permanently, and then I get scared, and think what if we move here and I am unhappy here, etc. etc.  The Stoic One of course says if we aren't happy we will change. Ambiguity gives me time to brood and worry.  I suppose this is true of others as well, but I am a worrier by nature, and busyness and action helps overcome some of that anxiety.  So the fact is I am both looking forward to going back to California and not wanting to leave here with the story still not ended.  I look forward to the weather in Oakland, seeing crazy Luca, being on the same time zone as my friends and seeing my sister in August.  In addition Manuele and family will come to California to see us the first of September, which I will write about for sure.

They say most expats go into a depression after a year in the new country.  I wonder if I am going into mine now, and will avert it in the upcoming years.  Now that is a happy thought. If we like the apartment today, I will post pictures.  

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