Being a Bolognesi
All nine passengers in the Fiat van lurched forward as Salvatore mashed the brakes and honked his horn to alert the Peugeot 207 that was a collision course with my door. "Dah, dah, dah," Salvatore hummed going from a higher octave to a lower one.
The SAIS fixer has been finding apartments for students for the last 30 years. Not a thing on the tour phased him. Not the heat, not the anxious students, not the traffic on the narrow arteries filled with speeding cars and bikes.
We probably saw at least 18 apartments, if not more. The process was rather stressful. It started at 2:00 pm when myself and my now roommate embarked on the mission to find a place to live. All of the other students on the tour were competing with us to find a space. I imagine that is as cutthroat as the students will be with each other, being that all of us were competing for finite, scarce resources: quality apartments.
After the tour, we returned to the SAIS building around 6:00 pm, and the bidding began. I was last on the list, so I got last pick of the group. While I didn't get my first choice, I am more than pleased with our apartment.
My roommate and I landed a four bedroom, one and a half bathroom apartment with a nice balcony and an even better view (pictures to come.)
After we signed, I returned to my hotel to gather my things, all 150-plus pounds of clothes and gear. I hiked a good distance from my hotel to my apartment and then we immediately went to the grocery store. I was completely spent. The four hours hopping in and out of a scorching van into the even hotter streets of Bologna left me dehydrated and starving.
I went to PAM, a grocery story that is about a par 4 away from the entry way of my apartment. PAM reminds me of Casino, the grocery store in Aix that I frequented. I got some essentials: wine, eggs, bread, lunch meat, body wash, etc. Dinner was simple, just a ham sandwich and water, but it replenished me completely. The rest of the night was unpacking, finding knickknacks that former SAISers left in our apartment, including a full-size basketball. Hopefully we can find a court. After the hard work was done I downed bottle of Chianti with my roommate on the patio, enjoying the view.
View from the patio.
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