Sometimes I really do get used to being here. Walking around, understanding only about 60% of what people are saying around me, all the buildings built before the “discovery” of America, cobblestones, etc. You know, it has become very normal to me.
And then, a thing like paying the phone bill makes me go, huh?
Here, in the boot country, you pay utility and phone bills at the post office. That in itself gives me some pause, but I’m going with it. I show up, take a number, patiently wait. P237 is beckoned. I appear before the man with envelope and money in hand. I’m happy to turn over my euros to him.
Him, not so much.
It went something like this (but in Italian of course):
Signora, you can’t pay with just the bill you need a bollettino.
Huh? This is all I have, signor. It’s all that came with the bill. (Luigi walks over sensing my distress).
Could you tell the signora that she needs a bollettino. (Luigi looking at me and asking, where’s your bollettino). Um, look guys, I don’t know what you are talking about, but nothing else was in my envelope.
Some hand gestures later, a bollettino was produced so I’d know what one looked like. We walk away. Dial 187 to ask telecom where is my bollettino.
Telecom is only to happy to help. No bollettino you say. Oh yes, could be, hmm, what to do, what to do. Oh, that’s right. She can just go to the betting office and pay. Again, huh?
Luigi on the phone, his face relieved on my behalf. Yes. Certo. The betting office. Why do I feel strange about all of this? And why did the Telecom dude insist I keep my receipt? Anyway, yes, we walk across the street to the betting office. I produce my bill (sans bollettino) and the guy takes my money and the deed is done.
Of course, I followed the advice and kept my receipt.