Wednesday, June 9

trials of traslocare

Traslocare= To move. Conjugates as transloco = I move

Seems like the perfect word for "moving". Think of it as "trans-crazy."

There are more than just a few crazy things about moving in Italy:

Unless you're renting a "furnished" apartment, the kitchen is yours and you need to buy and install it when you move in, and naturally, move it out when you leave. This is an insane waste of material, time, and money, but that's just the way it's done. If you happen to be reading this blog from Trento and you need a spiffy 3 year old kitchen at a great price, please let me know.

Light fixtures also go with you. When we moved in there were literally no lights wired in the house... just a bunch of live wires hanging from the walls and ceilings here and there. Another insane waste of time and money.

Offering used items to people seems to be taboo here. Apparently it's taken as an insult... you need to tread these waters carefully and with only the very intimate of friends lest someone take offense. From someone who is an avid hand-me-downer, garage sale and thrift shop scavenger hunter this cultural quirk is hard to understand.

No garage = no garage sales
No thrift shops
Internet sites advertising sale of used items are not as hot here as they are in the states. We've posted everything with little to no interest. The only items I've been able to sell are to other expats.

This leaves me with the last resort option of calling the local church and asking them if they can find a family who needs all our furniture, electronics, and outgrown clothes. I'm not a big fan of this as accepting these kinds of donations usually comes with the expectation that you're a member of the church. I'd feel better about helping someone without the underlying (or explicit) expectation that they subscribe to a particular faith. However, it's still much better than leaving it next to the dumpster.


The other can of worms that I'm dealing with right now is reapplying for my husband's green card. The department of homeland security is SO much fun.


Waaaa... I can hear you all crying out for my dire situation and I couldn't leave you like that. There-there... There is a nice shiny silver lining to my rain cloud: We just finished a week of sailing around the islands of Sicily...


Sicilian fish market


granite e brioche (breakfast)

Caper bush flowers on the Volcano crater

Small islands off Panarea

Beach cove on Panarea


I think I'll be alright. ;)


  1. Certainly do not envy you the chore of this move. But, OH!, what beautiful photos you have to remember it all!

    Good luck with Homeland Security.

  2. oh they only take the kitchen if it inice.

    In the last two houses I've bought they left their ugly fugly kitchen (without consultation) so my tastefree zone of a husband had a brillant excuse for not buying a nice pretty one that I wouldn't hate with everyinch of my soul.

    I covered the last one in wrapping paper and seaker it was such a vile shade of cat vomit.

    I don't envy you love, have you tired calling the comune, they will take stuff away in bulk as long as there is an R in the month and you called on the night of a full moon.

  3. BAHHAHAA! Sarah, you totally crack me up. Seriously. Maybe I will try the comune.

    Bobbie, thanks for the luck, I need every drop.

  4. One of the things I have always appreciated about you is the way you embrace every experience, no matter the size or shape. This has been one of the joyful things about reconnecting with you and reading your blog. This entry is a beautiful example.
    I have loved seeing the pictures as you have posted them. I am, frankly, a bit jealous of the wonderful sailing time. The memories for your family will last and last.
    It does seem a very odd practice to remove even the light fixtures when moving. I suppose it does give a more intimate feel of ownership or style to the successor in the home. An enterprising Italian would open some sort of consignment shop for resale of these items.
    Is there a date for your return to the states?

  5. I had a comment, but then I saw Sarah's about cat vomit and I can't remember what I was going to say. Do you think Benjamin Moore carries that shade?

  6. May I just say
    1) how impressed I am that you have so many insta-comments - clearly we are all very interested in your beautiful adventure and charming writing and
    2) how much I love that that island is called Stromboli. It somehow reminds me of one of David Sedaris' stories of learning French and the white herring word he over-learned and got stuck on was "bottleneck."

  7. maybe that's *red* herring. Doh!

  8. "Stromboli" will always be that mean guy in Pinocchio to me... :-)

    Had never heard of the light fixtures needing to be supplied by the renter, but I did rent a place in central Wisconsin once that supplied no fridge or oven/stove. I thought it was absolutely pathetic that I had to come up with the money for that!

    Would gladly sift through your give-aways!


  9. What lovely images ! Fantastic ! The Caper bush flowers especially !

    Have been looking at them forever now ! Thanks for sharing !

  10. WTF kind of crazy S-bomb is that?!!???! Sorry for the language. Is their culture that proud? I just DON'T get it at all. Weird.

    I hope your stuff gets put to use somewhere.

  11. HahahahAA!!! Cat Vomit and warm fuzzies all rolled into one blog. Life couldn't be better.

    Kari, you are a doll! You realize of course that it's you who always sees the best in people. It's good to have you back... maybe we can work it so our physical paths cross sometime soon.

    Captain... they should. And I bet people would buy it. I would it just to have the pleasure of responding to the comment: "Wow, I love what you've done with the place! What's this color called?"

    Kitty... stromboli stromboli stromboli... my overstuck word was "certo" for a long time and then I was informed that it's a Roman thing.

    Pearl... yea, I think that might even be illegal in the states. My father once said that you are required to supply a way for the tenant to cook food. Too bad you're so far away.

    Kavi... thanks, I'm tickled to hear that I'm not the only one who found them captivating.

    Julia... I KNOW!!! But you can't think like that. It's just comes down to cultural differences. I'm finding lots of "stranieri" to sell my stuff too (and a few "strange" italians here and there ;)

  12. I am so with you on the craziness of their cabinetless kitchens and ceiling lampless homes.
    Whoever thought that caper bushes had such gorgeous flowers, thanks!


...and you may ask yourself, did I get here?