howard got sick first which was a good thing. not a good thing that he got sick, but good that he got it first because i am an excellent nurse and the house was still well stocked with food, water and the all important toilet paper. by the time i got sick, our supplies were running low and howard is a much better hunter and gatherer than i.
the first night of my illness, howard was able to bring me soup, in a town where take out is unheard of. he just took a giant serving bowl out of our pantry, went to our corner tratoria, told our favorite waiter the sad story of his ailing wife and he immediately filled the bowl with hot, healing soup, a giant dollop of parmesan and a hunk of bread wrapped in a napkin. i slept most of the next day, as did howard, who while better was not 100%. by late afternoon, we were both in the garden reading when i finished my next to the last book on my kindle.
“time to download some more books” i announced and proceeded to get my list of books i had compiled from friends recommendations and reviews. my kindle would not work. i was frantic. i called kindle support. they told me to take my kindle for a walk. i got dressed. we took kindle to the largest piazza near us – away from tallish buildings – no luck. “let’s try the wall” howard suggested “it’s up high, no interference”. no luck. i was frantic. three months in italy with no books!!!! i could download books on the ipad but howard was deeply into the steve jobs book and we would have to take turns reading. it could get ugly. we walked back and i called kindle support again.
“let me look up your file” a young man named kevin said. after a few minutes he came back. “oh, i discovered what the problem is”. “what”? “it seems that your kindle does not travel out of the the united states”. “excuse me”. “your kindle – it only works in the united states, not outside the country”. “what good is a kindle that doesn”t travel” i shouted. “who wants or needs a kindle in a country where i can actually buy books”. by this time i was getting hysterical. “well” said kevin, sensing a meltdown on the way, “there is a way. do you have a laptop”? “yes” i practically sobbed. he then took me through about thirty steps involving – i don’t really know what it involved but i was able to order one book from amazon and down load it to my kindle. apparently, every time i want a new book, i am going to have to call kevin, or some one like kevin, to help me through this very complicated process, but i don’t care, they sold me this deficient machine and they are open twenty-four hours.
after two days of house arrest, we surfaced today, determined to take the train to pietrasanta. we even set the alarm, overslept a bit anyway, but still managed to shower and get dressed in what we thought was time. the only problem was that sidrek was coming to photograph the apartment to put it on vrbo and so i felt i had to straighten up a bit. kind of like being in architectural digest only not. anyway, by the time we walked to the train station we had missed the train. the next one was in two hours. we walked back into the wall, went to visit our friends at the travel agency, ordered a car for tomorrow ( we are determined to leave the wall one way or another), bought an envelope – i love that you can buy one envelope or one battery – you don’t have to buy a whole pack of anything – had lunch and came home for a rest. oh, not before howard had to stop for a cappucino and a pastry.
we were just resting up to get ready for our afternoon which was consisting of a visit to the post office and a trip to the dry cleaners, when our front door opened and in walked rafaelli and benadetta arms laden with books and flowers. “presents”! i thought. no, actually, they thought we weren’t home and sidrek still hadn’t taken the photos and they wanted to stage the place. hmm…perhaps it is like like architectural digest after all.