To clear things up, because I have received a few perplexed comments, I feel my current living situation needs some explaining. I am currently living in Brindisi, Puglia - a region in the South of Italy which was once quite rough but has suddenly become quite trendy because Justin Timberlake got married here. My forefathers hail from here and there is a small, hovel shaped house belonging to the family, which was conveniently in dire need of sprucing up.
Am now in bizarre situation which has seen me spend the last two weeks snooping on archetypal good-looking hairy type builders, having lots of conversations about things like boilers, tiles and taps.
Most of the builders are called Marco.
Main Marco, is a lithe little man who sounds a bit like an Italian Artful Dodger. He is the gobby one who gives me all the updates and broke the news to me that it was all going to take around a month longer than expected and that I was going to have to spend a fair bit of time without some modern day luxuries like toilets and showers and things.
Sad Marco, as I fondly refer to him, is the man sorting out the windows. He has the saddest eyes I have ever seen and is one of those unfortunate souls born with a mouth which permanently forms an upside down smile. His sole role is to dismantle windows and put them back on as far as I can tell and I fear he will never leave. He is currently affixing a glass door to the shower, a job which has taken him three entire days because he summons me and the other Marcos in every other hour to witness the progress of the sliding door function and we are all obliged to stand their marvelling at how it slides.
Mute Marco is a beautiful man but, sadly, practically mute. He just blinks a lot and says ‘buongiornata’ to me when he arrives at the house.
Building anything in Italy is a scenario I wish for no one. It is a hotchpotch of miscommunication, disappointment and frustration, which will reduce you to unwarranted excitement over boring things like cupboards which arrive the size they were supposed to and won't need chopping up or electricians who actually turn up. Everything is ‘forse domani’ (maybe tomorrow) and I've heard more ‘non ti preoccupare’ (dont worry) ‘speriamo’ (we hope) and 'e diverso in Italia’ (its different in Italy) than I care to think about.
At least my Italian is improving. Sad Marco said to me this morning that is was quite amazing how much Italian I had learnt in the space of two weeks, considering I spoke nothing when I arrived. He was very surprised to hear I’ve actually already invested three months here learning the language.