Sunday, January 24, 2010

Nosy Neighbors

You know what really chaps my hide? Our freakin’ nosy-ass neighbors. We live in an Italian parco and are the only Americans. MOH (My Other Half) and I love it! Who wants to live around a bunch of other Americans when we’re in Italy? It just creates what we call “Little America” and too many people glom together and pretend to be in the U.S. No thank you!

We moved in here in November and less than a week later MOH gets a call from our landlady who tells him she received a call from someone in the parco who says our dogs are keeping them up at night. Yeah. Our dogs sleep inside at night – every night. Every neighbor around us has a minimum of four dogs who are 100% outside dogs. And they bark all of the time, day and night. We wouldn’t think to complain because that’s just life with dogs.

We were pressured, when we moved in here, to hire the parco gardener to take care of our yard, but we declined. I asked our landlady how much he charged and she couldn’t tell me, even though she has been paying him to maintain the yard. That’s because we would be charged differently (read: MORE) as Americans. That’s just the way it is here. We pay more than twice in rent what an Italian family would pay because they know how much we are allotted for housing based on MOH’s rank. They max it out. We’re fine with that though – we love the house. Our yard it big, but nothing that MOH and I can’t handle, so we said thanks, but no thanks.

The gardener is not happy. He rang our gate one day when MOH was home and asked him to put the dogs inside so he could sweep the street outside our gate. Outside our gate! He said our dogs were dangerous. Yeah, only if you put your hands INSIDE our gate. Moron. We think he’s called the landlady as well; you’ll see why in a minute.

We’ve been trying to get an extra telecomando (see previous post for definition) for our housekeeper who comes on Saturdays (oh yes, my loves, I have someone who scrubs my big ol’ villa from top to bottom once a week). She’s worked for us for almost three years and I trust her with my house, dogs, cats, and possessions and she comes even where we’re not home. She has to take a bus now since we moved and the key to the walk-in gate only works from the inside lock. So she has to blindly reach around from the outside of the gate to get the damned thing unlocked. We want her to have a telecomando so she can just open the drive-in gate and walk through. MOH bought one from our NEX and was trying to program it at the gate when another Nosy McNeighbor (who lives OUTSIDE of the parco) wanted to know what he was doing. He told her and she called the landlady.

We know the landlady was called because she and her sister came by yesterday to pick up the rent. MOH was golfing and I was supposed to be having lunch with friends, but was now going to be late because I had to wait for them. They couldn’t come at any other time the whole weekend except at 12:30 Saturday. When they called to be buzzed in the parco I walked outside of my gate to meet them. I already had my car out so I could make a quick getaway to my lunch date as soon as I handed over the ransom (I mean rent). I could tell they expected to come in the yard, but I had it locked up and the dogs were all lined up giving them their “who the hell do you think you are” glares. They walked up and down the gate peering in to get a look and reminded me that we had to take care of the yard. Duh! We’ve had wind and rain storms that have done a number with the pine needles and I hadn’t swept the walkways and tiles yet. I said that, yes, I know that and MOH and I would take care of it (thank you gardener – we’re not paying you a single euro). She mentioned the gardener again and I pretended not to understand. I do that sometimes.

She also told me that we could only have two telecomandos for this house and that it was impossible to get another one (true, MOH was not able to get it programmed to open the gate; it will close it though which makes it pretty useless). So unless she’s psychic she couldn’t have known about it without a heads-up from someone.

I feel like we are always being watched now (paranoid much?) and I think it’s pretty shitty. Our landlady made the decision to rent to Americans because she gets a ton of money to do it. If the other people in the parco don’t like it – tough titty! We’re not going to change the way we live because other people have a problem with Americans being here. We’re quiet and respectful and take care of the house and property. I’m tired of being tattled on. I really don’t want to dislike my neighbors but they are not making this easy. Sheesh.

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