- Few More Steps
- [28th - 30th August 2006]
Nothing special to report in these three days. I have successfully repaired my mountain-bike, bought a new lock for it, started looking for houses in the area that might fit the needs that I will have and started browsing the web for some possible cars to buy and read the reviews.
At the same time I went for a massive food shopping session, cleaned the house and rearranged my bed in a way that it can be used to sleep on it and not as a boxes stock as it was until now.
All in all the setting up efforts are taking a lot of time and still I have this sense of not getting anywhere.
The main block is the impending trip to Japan. I will have to discuss the contract and sign it, understand a lot of basic things that I will need to base some decisions when I come back (where to get the house, what car to buy etc etc)...
Tomorrow I will have yet another session with my uncle, hopefully that will shed some more light on the fiscal points that still need addressing in the setting up of the company, after all I need to make some sort of economic plan to understand how profitable the venture will be...
I can't wait to be in my new flat in two moths time, when everything, I hope, will be clearer!
- Five little bachelors
- [27th August 2006]
A little explanation is due here.
We were meant to be helped by Stefano unloading the truck (see previous post), but he conveniently stood us up.
In the evening he was invited too at Francesco's house together with Simone, but I made a point in not calling him, I hate people who are totally unreliable!
He did not call (any of us to be precise) and then there were only three of us, and Elisa, Francesco's girlfriend.
Well, in the past they invited us several times, for no apparent reason, just to have a dinner together, and every time I kept asking what it was that they had to tell us (Pregnancy? Marriage? Ebola?), but in reality there was nothing to tell...
This time I saved my little show of nagging and annoying questions and set off for the dinner.
Well, this time they told us that they are going to get married!!!
As a matter of fact Francesco is back from Rome, got a job in Florence and is now more or less stable. So it is decided, even if the date is not fixed yet.
GREAT STUFF!! I wish them all the luck in the world, of course I am quite happy for them.
On a second note this piece of news made me think a lot of all the time that has passed.
There were five of us, me, Francesco, Simone, Matteo and Stefano.
Life seemed so simple then, I would have swore that nothing would have divided us in the future.
But then life takes its course and you walk different ways, I have to be grateful that I can still see all of them, so in a way we are not lost, is just a bit different.
But then I start thinking that two people of the group are gone, made a family (or planning to) and there are only three of us left playing bachelors.
It makes me think about the Ten Little Indians poem of the famous Agata Christies novel.
Five little bachelors boys playing Role Playing Games
Two found new company
And then there where three...
I don't feel like making a family at all at the moment, and that makes me feel a bit out of place, it seems that by the way our society is conceived, I should seriously think about it because I am "already thirty" and it's a good thing to do. I cannot start describing how much I hate these cliché, but at the same time I feel pressure from it and I am not at ease...
Oh well, I guess I have more important things to focus about, I cannot afford to put too much meat on the fire (as we say here "Mettere troppa carne al fuoco") the risk is that everything will come out uncooked.
- Cars and Moving
- [26th - 27th August 2006]
And so I was back to Vedano for a quick stop with the rented van, to load all the boxes and bring them down to Florence.
It wasn't easy. Mostly because the stuff that I have is quite heavy and I was left all by myself. Marta as a matter of fact, has a problem with her spine and it's better that she doesn't do any heavy lifting.
On Saturday prior to the move we went to see Cars, we quite liked the movie although I found it a bit too childish, compared to Shreck or Toy Story, which are much more adult in terms of jokes and quotes from other movies.
Going back to Sunday I left, this time for good, the house around 11ish in the morning, I arrived home and I managed to enter with the van in reverse into my mother's garden! I was so impressed about my driving skills!
A couple of hours later Francesco came to join me and helped me to bring all the stuff in the little flat that I have at the moment.
In the evening dinner at Francesco's house,
- First steps
- [25th August 2006]
Little by little things are moving.
Furnitures and clothes are moving and will definitely arrive here in Florence at the end of the weekend.
The house situation is not moving, I haven't had time to look for an apartment yet, although I hope I can start to move something before I leave for Tokyo on the 2nd of September.
The start up of the company on the contrary is what required my 100% attention in these 3 days. I met my uncle quite a lot to discuss what to do and what not to do, unfortunately he's at home sick and cannot go to work, meaning that he cannot get a lot of information that was needed to understand better my position.
As a matter of fact it seems that I am a rare case for the Italian laws, as I have a contract (or will have, at the moment nothing is signed), with a company that is abroad that pays me something with a commission and something fixed (thought it was changed compared to what we agreed in July, a fact that I don't like a lot).
I am sure that we'll work out what I will be in the future, for the time being I had to change the pension scheme, get a VAT registration number and change residence.
All three of them took two days to complete!
I hope that next week I can start a couple of simulations to see how profitable this venture will be. I have to discuss with the Japanese company about the contract and if there is something majorly wrong I should tell them now, even though I have little contracting power as the other job was turned down.
I am in the strange position where I know that they are offering me a lot for their standards, but translated to the Italian system, because we have a gazillion taxes, it is not quite so much.
In the meantime I managed to slowly hook up with all my friends, or at least with the ones that are here after the holidays, which is a great thing.
I am also looking to buy a car, I kind of set my eyes on the Dodge Caliber, but I haven't seen it live or driven it and in any case that part will have to wait at least until I come back from Japan.
Let's say that the first couple of steps are done, there is still a long way to go and a lot to work, let's hope that by the end of October everything is settled and I can concentrate on the job 100%.
- "Marta a l'appareil"
- [22nd August 2006]
I think it means "Marta speaking" (or more precisely "Marta on the phone"), it's one of the vivid memories of Marta that lies in my head since I met her five years ago.
She used to pick up the phone and answer in that way when speaking with French customers, I know it's perfectly normal, but due my lack of contact with French speaking people, I always found it amusing, listening to Marta reciting in an helpful and professional high pitched voice her punch line.
The hardest thing to tackle of the next two days will be, willing or unwilling, dealing with leaving Marta.
Even though we are not splitting up, even though we talked through this decision a gazzillion times, even though these changes were badly needed, still, it's not going to be easy.
There are going to be tears, there is going to be great sadness, all the bells and whistles, pump and circumstances, fire and ice.
I am not looking forward to it.
I hate to see Marta crying, especially if the cause of the tears is me.
I keep repeating to myself that it's for our own good, that it's going to get the relationship to move forward in a way or another, on paper it's the best decision that we could make.
But feelings and five years of daily life are hard to swipe clean with a stroke of sponge, so I think that we'll have to pay the toll that it's due.
Let's hope that our life will improve and that we will be ten times happier in the future! :)
- Back Home?!
- [21st August 2006]
Normally at the end of the holidays I get that warm and cozy feeling that reminds me that I am going back to my house, my life.
It helps me dealing with the fact that I don't want to go back of course, it's a safety belt that I throw in order to rescue my sinking mood.
This time it failed blatantly...
Mostly because the place where I was going back it's not my home anymore.
Legally and technically speaking I am still living here in Vedano Olona.
Mentally and spiritually I don't know.
This really unsettled me at the time of leaving Guadeloupe, all the worries linked with this move came back to hunt me down.
I have to remain strong and concentrated, tackling one thing at the time. It's the only way to survive.
Moreover my uncle, who is helping me greatly in setting up this venture, has got a very serious pneumonia, and will have to be off work for two months.
It's the classic icing on the cake, but fortunately he's recovered ok and he's not in any life threatening danger.
Still it's a minor setback that I didn't plan, but I am sure I'll work around it.
The main issue of this move it's Marta of course.
But that deserves a different blog entry.
- The Hoilidays in Guadeloupe
[4th - 21st August 2006]
I wanted to write a lot, a daily diary like I did last year, but I thought it would have been tedious to read so I opted for summary instead...
In short is was a great holiday, setting aside some little misunderstandings in the group of friends, and the fact that in the beginning we felt a bit left out of the main group that was living together.
Guadeloupe is a great island, the sea is marvellous, we did a lot of snorkelling and I even managed to see a sea turtle swimming in the ocean, if I think of it I really have no words to describe the regal movements that the turtle had underwater.
We had a lot of great food, mostly fruits and barbecues, and we were also lucky with the weather, it was meant to be rainy and shitty, but in the end we really lost only one day because of rain.
The beach of St.Anne was our favourite spot, we went there quite a lot, the best trip was the one on the catamaran that took us to the iguana's island.
I won't go into too much detail I will let the pictures speak, they do a better work, I am open for questions of course!
- More Holiday woes
- [6th August 2006]
I guess that the trip had to reserve some more problems, just to piss me off even more. This time it is the fact that the French, like the Germans, have decided that change the letter arrangement on the normal keyboards.
I touch type 62 words per minutes in English, I assume pretty much the same in Italian, you can imagine the problems that I faced having to type on something that has "A", "Z" and a lot of other keys misplaced compared to the keyboards from THE BLOODY REST OF THE WORLD!!
Well my bad, but the worst had to come, as the number keys on the top raw are also messed up. In China, Japan, Turkey, if you press the key with a BIG "1" written on that you would expect it to return a "1" character...
Well that's not the case with the keyboard that they had in Guadeloupe, you had to press shif+key to have the number. The problem is the fact that my passwords are all alphanumeric and numeric strings, so all my email accounts didn't work, but I couldn't see the things that I was typing as they were blacked out...
I realized the problem after 2 days of intense blasphemies, as I also had to check the mail for the Japanese contract issues...
Oh well, in the end I managed to understand the trick and got it working...
- France.... WHY!?
- [4th August 2006]
The beginning of the holiday was quite "unpredictable", under a strictly standard point of view, but I realize that I was much too trusty, as a matter of fact we had to cross France before arriving to Guadeloupe.
Te main problem was that we had to arrive at Charles de Gaulle airport to change and go to Orly Airport and get the flight to Point a Pitre in Guadeloupe
We had more than 3 hours to change from a place to the other, plenty of time to go and grab a bite of Fois Gras in Paris if we wanted...
Well the truth is that thanks to Airfrance (a.k.a. Aircrap) we had a nice 45 minuted delay in Milan, for no apparent reasons either than "poor check in organization", then we had to wait for more than ONE HOUR our bags in Charles de Gaulle, and of course the bus to Orly was fully packed meaning that we had o sit at the back and wait for all the people to come out...
We did in the end make it to the flight (20 minutes prior to take off), but the trip was really HELL. Of course the staff at the airport tried to help us, but there was little that they could do.
Anyways, we get on board and all our woes seemed over.
Seemed, that's the right one!
Still Aircrap was on the top spot, giving us seats with a problem at the entertaining system, meaning that we had to do 8 hours looking at a flickering screen (which is annoying also if you want to sleep), plus we were surrounded by babies that made an hell of a noise..
In the end we made it to Point a Pitre, got our car, and the kind rental person drove us to the place where we had the room.
"La Colline des Oiseux" ("Birds Hill" - NICE NAME!!!), it's a marvellous place, Guadeloupe in this season is full of green and the garden of our room is simply stunning. We took some pics and moved to the centre of St.Francois, the biggest city close to where we live, and had a great dinner at this small restaurant.
Nothing fancy, two salads (one with Duck and one with Fish) and a fish divided in two, cooked in a marvellous Rhum and lime sauce (I have already devised a great dish to make when I go back!!).
All great, and then off to bed as Jet Lag was biting harder than mosquitoes!
- Leaving for Guadaloupe
- Well in the end here we are, the holidays.
I have been dreaming about them for quite a long time in the last two months, mostly because the past sixty days have been pretty eventful and I feel I need some rest.
Yesterday I have also received the contract draft from the Japanese company. It's a draft, but it is something, it looks more and more certain that I am going to work for them, although it is not over till the fat lady sings, and in this case, it will not be over until I put my name on a piece of paper.
I have had to ask a couple of questions on the contract, mostly because they were point that we did not discussed before and might change the type of company that I must make in Italy.
I feel very uneasey when I have to ask technical matters over the e-mail, the biggest fear is that I might upset someone on the other side of the world, the usual communication problem due to a bad translation or something... So now I am a bit tense waiting for the reply on my mail, but apart from these problems a big burden is off my chest and this is good news for the pending holidays.
Holidays.... We are going to go to Guadaloupe, is the first time I go to the Carabbean, possibly next time I'll go when it's a better season there (now it's full monsoon time), ut it should be good nonetheless.
I should be able to post regularly on the maison, thought the pictures will come at a later stage!
Time to go now! Wish me luck and have a good August all of you, shall you be working or holidayING!
- Boxing Day
- [1st August 2006]
The first day of non employment was completely devoted at packing the mostof the stuff that I have accumulated in these five years.
I cannot believe how many things have I got, but since I wanted to get the boxes done quickly I didn't loose too much time choosign the things that I didn't want to carry over.
To be honest there is very little to throw away I had a massive "bin party" a couple of months ago, and now I feel I really have the essential.
Most of the weight and space was taken by books, clothes and paintings (in this order). At the moment I have a grand tolal of fourteen boxes, I now think that I will need two more, plus a couple of special arrangements that I devised to store all the paintings and frames.
These special arrangements are basically the cardboard boxes in their flat state, the painting is put in the middle and cellotaped inside the two sheets of cardboard. In this way I hope that they will not get ruined.
I also got a massive haircut, need to be a bit more comfortable in Guadaloupe, and I have also got the info that I needed to rent the truck.
I believe that tomorrow all the boxes will be dealt with, leaving only the transportation to be done, which to be honest seems to be the hardest part.
If the plan that I have in mind will be the official one, I will rent the truck right after the holidays and move everything down to Florence. The problem is time, as it will take seven hours to go and come back to the place where I rent the lorry (as I will have to return it to the same place where I rent it), and that doesn't leave a lot of time for loading and unloading...
I'll probably move all the things that I can with my car, then probably I'll move the bulk in September when my friends are in Florence, if there are more people available it will be a lot quicker...
The barber said that I look terribly stressed, I have a lot of ulcers in my mouth and I have troubles sleeping... Yes, I think that I am stressed, although I feel quite calm during the day...
If only the work side was sorted, I hate having to wait for this contract, I think that the major source of problems is that one at the moment...
- Lox, Lorenzo... ME!!
- A little introduction about the author and the blog itself. Plus contacts and CVs... You never know!
- A Selection of the best pictures that I have taken all over the world during the years, all nicely indexed by year and geographical area. Jolly good!
- History of this Blog
- A collection of all the articles that I have wrote so far, divided by month/year.
- The Maison Cookbook
- Ranging from Indian to Japanese, Italian and African cusine I proudly present the collection of recipes uploaded by the "Usual Suspects".
I have had the bad idea of writing my e-mail address on the board before, so this time I'll try to prevent some spam to get to me by putting this little image.. Let's hope it does the trick!
A reminder to Myself
Left and right
Like day and night
That's what makes the world go round
In and out
Thin and stout
That's what makes the world go round
For every up there is a down
For every square there is a round
For every high there is a low
For every to there is a fro
To and fro
Stop and go
That's what makes the world go round
You must set your sights upon the heights
Don't be a mediocrity
Don't just wait and trust to fate
And say, that's how it's meant to be
It's up to you how far you go
If you don't try you'll never know
And so my lad as I've explained
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
You see my boy it's nature's way
Upon the weak the strong ones prey
The human life it's also true
The strong will try to conquer you
That is what you must expect
Unless you use your intellect
Brains and brawn, weak and strong
That's what makes the world go round