While on the subject of jobs, let me quickly discuss that situation briefly. I was under the impression that when I arrived here that I was going to apply to every Italian school as an English teacher and put my ESL certification to work. It did not take long before I was informed otherwise. I am on a "Mission Visa," meaning I get to live in Italy with a vow not to take a job in the economy (by vow I mean if I make money off of something that an Italian can do then I could be on "Locked-Up Abroad"). In return the Italians promise not to tax me [65 percent]. So, my job options are limited to working on post. I could bag groceries at the Commissary (benefits: I get Mondays off). I could work at Child Development Care (benefits: I would be convinced that having kids is NOT worth it). I could be a substitute teacher (benefits: I would thank myself for not spending another year of my life getting a teaching degree at Austin Peay). So, those are my competitive options. Actually, there is a lifeguard position open...I could be 18 again and do that. Well, I'm sure all of these job options are not as bad as I may see them now, but I would like a job, and I am bummed that I cannot work among the Italians, out of "mini-america." So, maybe I can look into some volunteerships.
Anyway, back to our house. Here is a picture of us with our keys. Yaay. We are so excited. You can see the shutters in the background. When the sun is not shining or when someone is not home, houses look as if they have been boarded up and abandoned, but that's just another deterrent for the gypsies and the one economical feature about Italian houses, better insulation than glass. I say the 'one' because the houses are made of tile floors and cement walls and heated by radiators in each room. There is little to no circulation in the house, so to keep from getting black mold, we have to open all the windows and doors to air out the house at least 15 minutes a day.
Roman LOVES having a yard (and I do too!) It is wonderful to open the door and let him go outside and run free. We got a little snow here (you can see it on the street better), and it was Roman's first snow to play in. I thought he would do something cute like bite at it or try to chase it, but he just shakes it off in annoyance (which is cute I guess).
Here is a picture of us tromping in the snow. We still did not have a car at this point and had to walk to the bus stop or (if the buses weren't running, as on this day), walk to where we needed to go.
We live in a really nice neighborhood (with lots of German Shepherd that are soooo cute...we may just come home with two dogs...or three). I can run or bike here without much worry about cars going too fast and being run over, and we are literally meters away from the nearest bike trail. Scott rides his bike into work every day. He leaves around 0530 and it takes him about 15 min to bike in, and he rarely sees a car.
I know I didn't add any pictures of the inside of the house. It's mostly just white walls. I will have a blog post of progress pictures for each of the rooms so you can see how we slowly went from bare rooms, to semi-furnished, to furnished and decorated. I also have been thrifting (at some awesome thrift stores very close by), and I will post about each project.