A Day in the Life

C’è una problemma, there is a problem!

Math is actually the issue here. Take any regular problem and multiply it by the following factors: I am temporarily alone and must resolve any computer/technology issue in Italian tech-talk, the people who can help aren’t anywhere close by, telephone conversations are not easy—which means that instead of having a problem, suddenly I have a convoluted, compounded major problem of huge Italian proportions!

No Big Deal

Such was the case, when I got up on Tuesday morning. Sitting down at the computer to do my morning routine, I noticed a disgusting yellow triangle containing a large black exclamation point and a message saying, “server not found.” I said to myself, “O.K. not a big deal. I’ll just go out and work on some music in the studio.” So off I went. Once I had plugged in the microphone,  I noticed that nothing happened. That’s when the dreaded Italian phrase popped into my mind—non va, which means “it doesn’t work.”

My Perfect Office

So, I decided to do what any good Italian would do—abandon the issue and go get a coffee and pastry. Grabbing the computer and the microphone, I headed out for Riccardo’s place in Fiesole. He has wireless, so at least I could get my work done. In the mornings, his place is really hopping. People are standing at the bar, others are buying Lotto tickets and cigarettes, several women’s coffee clatches are usually in high gear. On that particular day, a woman dressed in purple stood with her left leg resting on the back of a chair. She was facing two electronic slot machines:“Agent Max” and “Sweet Rome.” She chose the latter. I squeezed into the last available metal chair, which was to be my morning office. Perfetto, perfect.

Help Yourself!

Soon, I was on the cell phone with our neighbor, Sandro, about the internet connection. I picked up a few assignments of things to test when I returned home. It seemed that the best approach was to begin with the “wiggle method.” That means, go down the hill to the control box and wiggle all of the connections to make sure they are still tight. Italian country systems aren’t known for being especially robust.

Music Rama

With the morning computer work finished, I set off to see the microphone wizard at Music Rama, 45 minutes on the other side of town in Sesto Fiorentino (not the prettiest place in the world, but the technicians are good.) The wizard works behind a white curtain and after 30 minutes, he found the culprit. The new part cost 18 euro. He gave me an unsolicited 3 euro sconto, discount, and I was out the door.

After a quick lunch at home, I began my various “wiggling” exercises to no avail. Desperate, I engaged with tech-support in one of those dreaded telephone conversations. Our conclusion was to wait for Sandro, who said he would arrive at diciasette, 5 o’clock. That, in fact, was my motivation to write this story. I had time on my hands and limited ability to do only word processing. Remember . . . the internet doesn’t work!

Then at 6:35 pm something caught my attention. I just heard a car door slam. I looked up from my story to see . . . Yes! My savior Sandro. I smiled to myself and thought, “Don’t ever, ever give up because it’s never, never too late—especially in Italy. “


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