If I've been a bit slack at the old blog updating recently, it's for a good reason. We found a house in a cute little village south of Pavia and we move in at the end of the month. I say house, but it's actually an apartment, although being on the ground floor, with just one person above makes it feel like a million miles from the traditional Milanese definition of an apartment (8 storeys, crumbling façade, car park view...). Also, when I say we move in at the end of the month, I actually mean we start paying rent at the end of the month, but can't move in until the kitchen arrives. I've heard 5 different versions from 5 different Italiarredo employees, so am currently accepting bets on the actual delivery date. Let's just say that it would quicker and easier for me to fly to the Amazon, chop down a tree and make it into kitchen cupboards myself, but then that's the way things are done around here.....
If anyone out there reads this blog on a reasonably regular basis (why oh why??!!), you may remember a bank-related rant in which I let off some steam about the charges and (lack of) service at my local Intesa-San Paolo. Well, there's news. Having received my latest statement, I did some calculations. The account I have is not supposed to cost me anything - no commission, no fees, no charges. By my calculations, I worked out that I have been paying an AVERAGE of 38 euros per month (£30) just to keep my account open! Everytime I go into the bank to kick up a fuss, they always fob me off with excuses, so on this occasion I decided to take affermative action and INSISTED on meeting with the manager, having written to the italian consumers association and - amusingly - having created a Powerpoint presentation to send to Le Iene (they're gonna let me know if they decided to feature me on the show!).
So I met with the bank manager, and her first reaction was "Mamma mia, this is all wrong! You shouldn't be paying this / that / the other.... This charge is not right..... Here is a mistake...... Hang on a minute! This account is not Zerotondo - it's NON-RESIDENT. What? So I have a contract in my hand stating that I have a zero expenses account, opened 9 months ago, and all along I have been paying the most that you can ever pay to bank in Italy??!! I have never even been a non-resident since I first arrived 5 years ago!!!
The bank manager swore that this has "never happened before" and assured me that I will be fully re-imbursed all charges unecessarily levied (I'll believe it when I see it!). In the meantime I really hope the miserable staff who work in the branch get to hear about it and realise why I always turn into psycho-bitch every time I walk in the door!!
Anyway, if all goes well, a life of peace and tranquillity in the beautiful Oltrepò Pavese awaits as of next month.... Here's hoping!