Monday, December 10, 2012

It was very cold in here this morning. I know that you are probably all, dang, that girl is never happy! It's too hot! It's too cold! Wah wah wah. And just so you know, the reason it is too cold now is BECAUSE it was too hot and  my inner thermostat no longer works properly. So when it is December and it's 52 degrees, it feels like the frost giants have invaded and we are waiting on Thor.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way!

It was very cold in here this morning. We had to wear the hoods up on our hoodies. The thing about super expensive city living is that you get to re-experience all the things that sucked about moving out of your parents' house and living grown-up style the first time around. Except that now you are old and it isn't all that funny to pay this much money and still have to sleep with the oven turned on for heat. Okay, well, I guess that is kind of funny.

So I looked-up do-it-yourself weatherproofing, knowing that I am about as likely to find a cold weather handyman in December as I was an air conditioning installer in August. I wrote down all the things I would need. I googled "Home Depot equivalent in Rome" but found no matches. I yellow-paged hardware stores--all closed on Sunday. I looked on all my "where to find stuff for ex-pats"websites. (Hey, looks like Depeche Mode is coming to Rome this summer and a certain Italian politician is planning on throwing his hat into the ring once again, even though he is supposed to be in jail at that time.)And finally I googled some random string of numbers that gave me a lead to another lead to another site to a review to a recommendation and suddenly I found myself looking at a possible  store that may have the supplies I needed.

I wrote down the two store addresses. I google direction-ed them. One was over an hour away(three miles), but one was only 30 minutes (just over one mile) from here.

I measured all the windows and doors. I used my metric system app and recorded everything in cm and meters. I looked-up all the Italian words for the things I wanted and wrote them down as well. We got in the car and followed the tom-tom's map. The usual cobblestone road we take  is closed to cars on Sunday, so I tried to trick the tom-tom into recalculating, but it just kept insisting I make a u-turn. I continued driving and our stalemate ended when the tom-tom sullenly admitted defeat and offered me another route. I would have made it there unscathed, but there was a roundabout to cross in order to get into the parking lot. Even with John yelling, "Mom! Not that one!" it still took me three go arounds to get off at the right exit. We played who-can-drive-into-this-space-first with lots of people and then we went into the store. Which was clearly Home Depot. Seriously.

you tell me that Home Depot doesn't own this place.
Luckily it only took me as long to find my supplies as it takes me in a Home Depot at home, meaning it was the last aisle I checked after wandering around for a long time looking puzzled and getting caught up in the storage and rug area. The twist, of course,was that there were different widths to the weather stripping. Did I want 1cm or 7 cm? Or a number in between? So I bought a bunch, figuring that I would make it work because what is a 2 cm if not a 4 cm that needs to be cut in half?

And I bought a space heater. It was very tricky because I wanted one that specified that it wouldn't burn down the house, or poison the dogs, or make the electric bill look like we have a clothes dryer.  Unfortunately,  each space heater could only promise one out of three. However, I did manage to find one which was energy efficient and the key to sustainable living and excellent health. I could tell because the writing on the box was green and everyone knows that means it is environmentally friendly.

Then we drove home. Which took twice as long because the tom-tom screen was frozen and wouldn't change to the map feature, no matter how many times John and I turned it off and on, so I had to resort to the google map app which is on my phone and doesn't attach to my windshield, so I can only listen to the directions and cannot see them.  And that means I got off at the wrong exit despite my son saying "No. No, not there mom!Mom, don't turn there...oh." And when google recalculated, it decided to put me on a paid highway but  luckily I did have the 90 cents. 90 euro cents. What do you call cents when they are in euros?  I know that I can't ask the cashier at the grocery store this question because one day I couldn't hear what he said when he was insisting that I not give him 45.50 when my bill was 50.00 because he didn't want to give me change, and I said what? and he said just give me 45 and I said just 45 dollars but no change? and he pointed out it was 45 euro, not dollars! and i said not in America it's not.

And then we got home and I managed to find a Mike-approved parking space and then I made dinner and we put on the first Christmas music we've heard this year and I got out the ladder and started weatherproofing and then it was time for bed. And that is how you spend an entire day in Italy doing one thing.

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