We were of course thrilled when our landlord’s son Giuseppe showed up. I had one very tense moment when he explained that our apartment was on the floor below the first floor. Of course in the United States this would mean the basement. I was picturing a dank dark apartment and felt absolutely sick with the realization that I had never, in all my fact-finding, asked what floor the apartment was on. Let this be a lesson to you, dear reader ! When renting, find out what floor your apartment is on! As it turned out, we are on the ground floor, or rather a couple steps up from ground level. I had forgotten that in Europe the first floor is our second floor. What a relief !
The street is very quiet and seems very settled with families and older people. There is a sizeable market with individual vendors selling cheese, meat and vegetables. The supermarket down the street is open all day—no closing in the middle of the day—but it has a sterile, off-putting atmosphere. There are caffes, newstands, bakeries and a few restaurants--really everything we need. A park has provided Boris with playmates. Boys of all nationalities really need one phrase: “Do you want to play ?” or in this case,“vuoi giocare ?” And those magic words, along with an arsenal of gestures, get him into pick-up games of soccer, il calcio.
A little while ago Boris was very excited to find out that we have an “old-fashioned” stereo. That is to say, it has a cassette player. Just another testament to Italy’s reverence for history.