The most frustrating thing about this country is how backwards they are in EVERYTHING. If there is a way to make something more complicated, Italy will find a way to do so. Last month I wrote a note to Abbie's school stating that Brittney would be taking care of her while we were gone and that her last day of school would be the 25th of Feb. The teachers wanted me to write a letter only stating her last day of school because the one with 2 things on it wasn't good enough.... Seriously?
To get out of cable and internet contracts (2 different companies) you have to send a letter to them by registered Italian mail. They both required the same thing and I sent them both the letters the same way on the same day. The internet was good to go and shut off, the cable company apparently never got the letter. So today we took the box and remote back to the store and they called the company which told them they never got the letter. So while we are STANDING IN THE STORE, it's not good enough for those people to tell the people at the customer service center we want to cancel. No, instead we have to mail it (mail only, no email, fax, etc - nothing faster, God forbid) and then it takes a MONTH OR TWO for them to "process" it. What the heck? Why does this take a matter of minutes in the States and it literally takes 2 months here. It is beyond frustrating.
Then comes the deposit. Our deposit on our house was twice the monthly rent - so 2100Euro. The military lends that money to you and then you pay it back once you get your deposit back from the landlords. At the out-processing briefing they said to just take the check from the landlords to the cashier's window at finance and they'll take care of it for you. So Mark got the check from the landlords and took it to the window today, and they said they don't take checks in Euros.... Uh, duh! We're in Italy! You think the Italians are going to give us a check in USD? Idiots.
Which brings me to rants #3. Our deposit was less 700Euro (about $1000) because we hadn't gotten the bills for trash for 2011 and 2012 and 2 months of 2013 and 1 water bill for 2 months. So those 3 bills equaled a grand. Do you pay a grand for TRASH every other year? Seriously?
We have to have our rented appliances from base SPOTLESS when we return them. I cleaned the microwave and fridge myself, but we wanted to hire someone for the stove, washer and dryer. I called a few people with ads on the classifieds site and got a few quotes. They were between 30-60Euro for the 3 appliances. I went with someone that was cheaper and to African ladies (with the thick African accents) come out. They walk in to the house and immediately say, oh it's going to be 60Euros because you have the big FMO stove and 2 machines. As far as I'm aware, there is only 1 stove FMO rents and they're all the same size and I called and got a quote for the stove, washer and dryer, so they knew about the "2 machines" up front. I said no, I'm not paying you that much. Do it for what you quoted me or leave. And then they asked for gas money because they drove all the way out to my house. Uh, no way on God's green earth am I giving you gas money. I told them I was going to put a warning on the classifieds about their bait and switch tactic and one of them went OFF. Like yelling, waving her arms, getting in my face, telling Mark to "control his wife", ranted for about 5 mins. We couldn't get a word in edge-wise. It was fun. So they finally left and another 2 people came out later on who had said it would be 40Euros and they no sooner walked in to the house and said "we came all the way from Maniago so we need money for gas". I just walked away. I couldn't take it.
We are in TLF's (temp lodging facility) on base, and we're in a 2 bedroom apartment. It's decent except the light in the bathroom where their shower and toilet are (not by the sinks) is out, so that room is pretty dark. Giving the kids a bath is fun. I called right away Monday and they never came. I called again yesterday and they said their one maintenance guy was out sick and no one else in the whole place could replace the bulb. We're now at the end of the 3rd day, and the bulb is still out and we aren't allowed to fix it ourselves due to liability reasons.
Our plane takes off in 10801 minutes....