I woke up yesterday morning to Cassandra, our pool girl (think pool boy, but as a woman), softly singing some indistinguishable Caribbean lullaby. With the Tuscan sun beating down on me the roof patio-slash-bedroom, Cassandra peacefully fanning me with palm fronds was a welcomed start to the morning. The wafting buttery aroma of french toast, and warm maple syrup was received with equal appreciation. Ahh, this is the life!
That, however, is entirely a figment of my imagination. As much as it pains me to say, I don’t know a Cassandra. Furthermore, even if I did she couldn’t be my pool girl because, among other problems with that scenario, I don’t have a pool. (Sigh.)
Instead I awoke yesterday to the sight of my frosty breath while nestled deep in my bed with just a small fraction of my face exposed to the elements of my bedroom, much like an Eskimo. Sometime during the night, and much to my shivery dismay this dreary morning, my winter ski hat had fallen off. Brrrr. This is the life.
The cause of and cure for all of my problems can be summed up with two words. THIS BOX.
Truth be told, I don’t even know what this box is. All I know is that it heats the house and our hot water. And when you’re cold, pretty much that’s all you’re thinking about, namely, just how freakin’ cold you are.* See that tiny window in the middle of the box? Up close, it looks like this:
I should point out that it looks like this when it’s working. When it’s not working, that precious blue flame is no where in sight; instead there’s just the unwelcome sight of my breath and not much else in this dreary, barren land. Winter has it’s cruel hands locked firmly onto Italy, folks, and spring is a long time away yet.
Thankfully, there is also this machine! Therefore in the meantime while the previous box is waiting to be fixed, this one that magically produces coffee serves as my cause-of-and-cure-for all of life’s problems.
I can tell you that a cold apartment is not all that pleasant, but quite manageable with the correct attire. However, returning from a frigid, damp, and dank training ride through the Tuscan hillside to an ice cold shower is the horrible hydrogenated icing on a tasteless Wal-Mart cake. It. Is. BAD.
I’ll cut straight to the chase and say that after a week of no heat nor hot water, the fix-it person – coincidentally not named Cassandra – thankfully came yesterday soon after I awoke from my chilly slumber and heroically fixed the issue entirely. Life just got a whole lot better.
Hot water: check!
Heat in the apartment: check!
Coffee maker still works magnificently: check!
Speaking of European machinery, I wonder why the bidet never successfully migrated to America.
* Okay look, I’m not going to complain all that bad, because relatively speaking I’m doing pretty well. I have a roof over my head and a sweater or three that I can put on to stay warm. Furthermore, I’m reading a book called Unbroken right now which is all about life in a Japanese POW camp during WWII, which sounds excruciatingly miserable especially through the brutal Japanese winter.