December Means; Nutcracker, Nasty Bills, and New York…

The fav music, a must to singalong la la la la etc.,
The Snowflakes…my fav music, a must to singalong with…la la la la la etc.,

I was very excited to go to Pescara last Thursday 12th December and see a live streaming of the Royal Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker. A great way to get into the Christmas spirit. It was a wonderful experience and I loved the way you could hear the audience taking their seats in the auditorium of the Royal Opera House and the orchestra tuning up – what a buzz it gave me! Sadly the cinema in Pescara was virtually empty with only about twenty seats taken up. I don’t understand why that should be except that maybe the Italians are not that enamoured of the Royal Ballet or perhaps it is just not advertised enough locally. I wonder if they attend the opera productions, which are also live streamed once a month at this time of year.

My two friends and I clapped heartily, soaked up the beautiful dancing, costumes, scenery and music, it was magical. I danced out of the cinema at the end truly inspired, I probably looked a right idiot but I didn’t care. I think I’m going to pop down again in January and catch Giselle, it’s just over two and a half hours round trip, but worth it, I do love the ballet.

It was back to reality with a bump on Friday morning when we residents of Petritoli received our rifiuti,  rubbish disposal bills. I couldn’t get to the PO on Friday as I had to collect paperwork for two friends who are in the UK but the bills had to be paid by Monday, (today) not much notice then! If you don’t complete the payment on time then there’s a fine.

Poste Italiane...Happy Faces (NOT)
Poste Italiane…Happy Faces (NOT)

So, off I trek on Saturday morning to the post office with all three lots of paperwork . Surprise, surprise the other 1500 residents are also trying to pay. So the place was rammed to the gunnels. Ridiculous. Everyone mumbling, grumbling, no proper queue, no ticket to take for a turn a typical Italian experience which I’m normally happy with because I love living here and so accept that this is the way things are. However, I tried to be patient and wait but I gave up after an hour and decided to return on Monday

Roman Soldiers...we had no  javelins in the PO though...thank goodness!!
Roman Soldiers…we had no javelins in the Post Office though…thank goodness!!

I went back this morning and it was same thing a ton of people standing very close together like phalanx of Roman soldiers but with no possibility of advancement within the foreseeable future. I waited for twenty minutes then went AWOL to do some other chores and return at 1pm. The post office closes at 1.30 and the Italians all have lunch between 12.30pm and 3.30pm so I thought I pm would be safe bet. Yeah! It was a little less crowded but difficult to keep my place in the heaving throng of locals all trying to sneak in front. I had been waiting for a while when it was explained to me by a helpful neighbour that if I was paying by Bancomat card then I had to go ‘into the office with the director’, she spoke confidentially and I was reminded of Les Dawson. Anyway, I joined the other slightly shorter but equally haphazard queue outside the Postmaster’s office.

This queue moved very, very slowly, one person every 10 minutes as opposed to one person every five minutes. I tried to rejoin the first queue but, ‘No signora, devi attendere la!’ No, madam you must wait there! So patience. Patience, really is a bloody virtue and thank goodness I have plenty of it. Eventually I entered the exclusive office with the ‘director’ who to me, looked about 17 years old and just out of school, his wispy beard telling all. I had torn off the ‘tear off’ slip, as I thought I was supposed to but, alas, ‘No signora, non dovresti avuto fatto quello’ you should not have done that…I was duly told off. I had done it with all three bills! Ah well, he fiddled about and tried to put the two halves of the paper onto another plain sheet and push it through his machine. It took a bit of time, probably 15 minutes in total. I kept saying, ‘mi dispiace’ I’m sorry. He raised his eyebrows, sighed heavily and looked at me the way young people look at old people sometimes. Despairingly. Thank goodness I was in the room with the ‘Director’ and this little scenario didn’t take place in front of all those other people waiting their turn. Imagine how I might have felt then! Job done, I scurried quickly through the main PO hoping not to be seen and out into the fresh air, free at last!

Olivespastavino is off to New York on Thursday for Christmas, everyone is sooo Jealous. I’m looking forward to going but not looking forward to the journey. I can’t wait to see family, especially my lovely grand daughter 8 months old now! I’ll be blogging from the Big Apple….can’t wait to visit Sahadi’s and get some of those double choc malt balls…yum yum.

Double Choc Malt Balls..YUMMY!
Double Choc Malt Balls..YUMMY!