A funny thing happened this week in Italy. I noticed that the stove top fan and light were not working. Granted, I noticed it last year but forgot to mention it to my landlord. Fast forward to when the maintenance technicians arrive. First they both look at my duct taped refrigerator lining. A few nods and the door closed.
“We can’t fix, will need different technician,” one of the two shared.
I shrug off the exchange and watch as they move on to the stove top.
The English speaking one examines the fan while the other observes. After borrowing a chair, he climbs on top of the counter and look at the wiring for the device behind the cabinets. The technician nods his head a few times, and then calls the landlord.
Given the phone, I hear my landlord say, “No problem.”
“What do you mean no problem?”
“It was never installed, so no problem.”
I hand the phone back over to the technician. He exchanges a few more words, puts away his phone and bids me adieu.
Processing the entire exchange, I put together the pieces. When they remodeled the kitchen, the exhaust line for the fan and the utility plug were never installed. In effect the light and fan are only there for esthetic purposes.
As I have learned over the last year, this only happen in Italy.
When sharing the story with my coworkers they asked when I would be writing a story about my time here. I have several handfuls of baffling stories to the American mind at least.
Even yesterday I was walking home and I watched a man driving his fiat with a Boston terrier on his lap, paws on the steering wheel. They came to the stop light and the dog looked over in my direction. I swear the dog said, “What’s your problem?”
As a writer, I don’t write about a location until I’m gone. I need to acquire as many experiences as possible and then when I move to a new spot, it feels safe and right to use that previous time as motivation. All of my books were written after I was in a given location. Luza and Riley were developed while living in Florida of all places, not Gilmanton, New Hampshire where I had taught previously.
For those wanting an Italian story, I apologize but you will have to wait a bit.
Jonathan Kuiper's books on Goodreads
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