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Friday, January 16, 2004

Hahahaha... so my friends always tell me I get into the weirdest situations... so true... but afterwards I usually make good stories out of them... to tell people and make them laugh.
I dunno if the situations are really funny... or if it is the way I tell them... for sure I am very animated when speaking and that helps a lot. But I thought if Iwrite them down... maybe I can figure out how funny they actually are.

In 1998 I left my hometown Siena (Tuscany) to go work in Paris for six months.
When I was there tons of things happened to me, the most obvuois one was that my take on life was completely different. When I came back in Italy, the followin fall, I was a different person. My sister would look at me with big caramel eye like to say: I liked you cuz u were my sister but now you are this totally cool gal! let's be buddies.
Well first funny thing that happened to me was that... I could not speak proper italian anymore (I cursed in French yeah) but if anyone asked me: have you eaten yet?
Instead of replying : I did... I would say: I just came from eating (which doesn't make much sense in Italian)...
In Italian would be: ho mangiato.... not vengo da mangiare... that is French grammar applied to Italian!!! LOL
The other funny thing was I came back more cheerful, corteous and kind (that probably had to do with the fact I worked in Disneyland where u have to grin even if you are about to die, right? ^_^) and at the same time I was more demanding on thing. I learned from the British (those frightening Brits) one sentence: the service provided is not worht the price, I want my money back!
The first time I heard that sentence was like... Goood!!! The sky opened and.... a ray of light came straight to my forehead and....: wow, can I do that?
You see in Italy people complains a lot, they complain to themselves (yeah we think out loud a lot!), they complain with their neighbour, the complaint with the priest... nobody ever goes and complaint at the source of their problem.

So these are the premises... now here's the funny story: MY FIRST ITALIAN COMPLAINT.

My sister and I went to our bank a couple of time in order to withdraw money from the atm machine. The thing had been out for two days now and we needed to pay rent that very same day (beside we were short on cash too for grocery shopping and other stuff). Now our atm card is the kind that, if u don't withdraw form you bank you are charge the most incredibly high transaction's fee on the surface of the planet!!! I'll be honest... we were pretty upset.
The ATM was still out of order. So my sister is there shaking her fist at the bank and ranting about it when I look at her, calmly and tell her: let's go complain.
Complain? Was that italian? I believe not... and to whom should you complain? the mistery of this word was soo the be revealed.
We get inside the Bank and I approach a nice lady: good morning, the Atm is out of order and we need to withdraw some cash now...
lady: get a withdrawal slip and step in line with the other.
Oh the line!!! One cashier only and some 35 people in front of us.
So then I say: No, I want to use the atm machine...
lady: well it's out of order.
me: I see that, what should we do to get it fixed?
lady: fixed? (anoter strange word)
me: yes you know, the little guy in the jumpsuit sticks a screwdriver in it and poof the whole system is back up?
lady: oh we called the phone company two days ago.
me: so?
lady: eventually they'll send someone?
me: eventually?
lady: they'll said their technician was on his way... but it was two days ago...
me: (gasping) did he die on his way here? well call them again!!!
lady: but eventually
There I am beginning to loose my patience and I say: eventually you call me you supervisor (another strange word)... your boss?
lady: why?
me: cuz eventually i close my account here and the ones of my family and the friends of my family if I just spread the world... go go.. call him.
the lady pick up the phone and calls her boss. The boss come at her desk and her begins part two of another alien conversation.
boss: yes.
lady: this lady here wants the atm fixed.
boss: we called the phone company two days ago...
me: eventually they'll send someone... no no... we call them again now.. and we have them send someone right now.
the man looks at me with astonished eyes, then looks at the lady. In all this my sister is laughing her guts out. So the man picks up the phone and call the phone company and guess what they say: eventually they'll send someone... exactly...
So I say: pass me that phone please...
I grab it and here goes conversation number 3.
me: yes, where there any death amongst you tech recently?
the man on the other side: Our tech are all in perfect health
me: well why don't u send one over and fix the atm?
mots (for short): Oh yeah we got the request from the bank....
me: two days ago!!!
mots: eventually
me: you'll send someone... look I am supposed to starce cuz you like playing games? can I talk to you supervisor? (silence) your boss?
Another man come on the phone. Before I can even say good afternoon I say: This is the bank of Rome if you don't send a tech to fix the atm we'll cancel our account with you nationwide..
the boss of the bank: can we do that?
lady shrugs her shoulders... my sister is rolling on the floor laughing.
the other boss: can you do that?
me: hear talk to the director.
so the two boss have a conversation and the bank guy tells me: they say they'll send someone in 45 minutes...
me: tell them we'll call them back if he does not show up.
So I grab a chair and i sit down and we end up ordering cappuccino a croissant from the bar until the tech guy shows up and fixes the atm... and all of this in less then 45 mintues.
after that I tell my sister to go check the atm and she comes back with the money and a big smile. Most of the people gets out of line... there's an applause... then I bid them good day and we leave the bank. For all i know that atm has never been broken again.

and this, ladies and gentlemen is Italian way of banking... next chapter will be: the post office (it's almost a myth already)

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