The next exciting update from my German-Swiss friends who have just embarked on a move to Rome, with kids for one year. They have moved not far from the Colosseum, and while they express their deep and unbridled love for the Eternal City, I met with my friend -- who then told me that a taxi ride across town cost 28 euro ($41). Aghast, she went on to say that in actuality, only 15 euro ($21.50) appeared on the meter. The guy insisted the rate was higher. Yeah, right.
She says she's learning, sooner rather than later, to check her Swiss tendencies before leaving the house.
Turns out, she had all the time to leave her old mindset behind, as she and her family were actually unable to leave the house all together. This was due to the fact that tho' they tried and tried, they couldn't figure out how to unlock their front door once they wanted to get back inside. Instead, their trials & errors opened up the door to Life in Italy, even though they still haven't figured out how to get into the apartment without saying a few Hail Mary's first.
Basically, the old woman renting their place warned them that the key was a bit tricky. She stated that, to get in the house, you simply needed to jiggle the key a bit in the lock, and presto! you were in. It didn't work.
The upstairs neighbor said instead that the trick to opening was: stick key in door, pull out ever so slightly, and then do the jiggle thing. It didn't work either.
Someone from another floor said to try jiggling they key, while inserting into lock. And that hasn't worked either.
I told her that my door is the same, and what I do is insert, jiggle left & right, and then do a sort of flick of the wrist. I assured her, it's all in the wrist.
In her contemplation, she found that the door lock truly represented the key to the Bel Paese: Same problem, slightly defective door, five different ways to creatively approach the problem, five ways to get around the things that don't work. Success never guaranteed.
As for her husband, I didn't get his side of the story - he was home awaiting her return so he could finally get out of the house.
Click here to read about getting a new phone line (as of this writing, she still has none)
And, click here to read about the creativity behind toilet flushers, as reviewed by my (then) 10 yr. old nephew