Friday, February 11, 2011

"Help, my, grey, bag..."

Today was a lovely day for a walk. Not a cloud in the sky and a balmy 13 degrees, (a very drastic and welcomed change from the 3 degree days the week prior). I have been opting to do my grocery shopping this week from a store 15minutes walk away, instead of downstairs, with the pure motivation of fresh air and a bit more exercise. After a lovely stroll to the shop, my son falls asleep in the pram and I saunder home, zigzagging the streets and taking photos of the beautiful buildings in the hidden streets. I stop off at OVS department store on the way home, making the most of my childs nap time, I try on a few items, and am very proud of myself as I decline the urge to purchase and leave the shop.

As I near home, I stop by a small stall selling random items; spotting some cute reusable shopping bags for 1€, I reach under the pram to retrieve my purse. Which is kind of hard to find since my purse was in my handbag, and my handbag is no longer under the pram. My handbag is no longer under the pram. My handbag is no longer under the pram. Oh my goodness, my handbag is no longer under the pram! In my head I scream, then I start to ransack my own pram like a teeneager on her wardrobe before a first date. Items are flying everywhere as I empty the entire contents of the pram onto a busy sidewalk. I even lifted up my son, knowing full well that I do not store my handbag under his bottom, I still had hope, (my absentmindedness has seen me do some pretty bizarre things in the past). Throwing all my groceries back into the pram, I quickly reversed my entire walking route of the morning in hope it "jumped" off the pram by itself, and was waiting patiently for me on the side of the road. I head back through the department store, check change rooms, look under cloth racks, cross streets in the same places as before and head towards the grocery store. I am now regretting the mosey exploration of earlier and those beautiful buildings in the streets now just look old and mouldy!

Back to the grocery store, I ask in my best 'italianish' if anyone had handed in a lost handbag. "Aiutarmi, mio, sacchetto, grigio". Which loosely translates to "help my grey bag". She held up a plastic bag with groceries telling me that it was not mine. I agreed that it would not make a suitable handbag and decided to head home. My return walk seemed twice the distance as I am left with time to make a mental list of what was in my bag;

o Permesso di Soggiorno (3 months of paperwork in Milan, permission to stay for my self and the children)
o Tessera Sanitaria (3 months of paperwork in Milan and my golden pass to the free medical system)
o Patente Australiana (Australian drivers license that can not be replaced here)
o Carta Bancomat (UniCredit)
o Carta Visa Debito (NAB Australia)
o Carta Visa (NAB Australia)

Then I start to think about the little things... photos of the kids, my optical prescription (I was wanting some new sunglasses), 150€, all my loyalty cards, MY IKEA FAMILY CARD; oh, and the keys! Car keys and house keys! "I know" I say to myself. "I will call my husband from my mobile phone that is inside our apartment that is locked with the keys that I do not have. He will know what to do." I have a slight mental breakdown and continue with irrational thoughts for the remaining walk home;

  1. My husband will be working in the tunnel so he will have no phone service and will not come and rescue me.

  2. My husbands number is not stored in my head, but instead it is in my stolen purse or locked apartment.

  3. I need to collect my daughter from school at 1pm, which would leave me strolling the streets with 2 children until my husband returns from work at 7pm.

  4. I would have to feed my children bugs sourced from under the bark of trees for nutrition as the only food I got in my grocery shop earlier was a tin of tuna that required a can opener.

  5. I would have to replace my sons dirty nappy with a large palm leaf;spare nappy was in my handbag, no money to buy more nappies, no entry into the apartment where there are nappies, so a big palm leaf would have to do. Considering we live in Milan in the winter, not Bahamas in the spring, this palm leaf nappy thing could also be a problem.

  6. After a quick day dream about living in the bahamas, I then realise that I am the worst parent on earth that will not be able to care sufficiently for my 2 young children.

As I talk myself down from my mental cliff, I return home to be greeted by my porter, who casually hands me a set of keys to my apartment that I did not know he kept. (Is this who had been coming into our place, misplacing odd socks and stealing my sanity?) So to make a long story short, probably a bit late for that now, I contact my husband with no drama, and I am able to feed, cloth and clean my children without bugs, palm leaves and tins of tuna. Soul mate leaves work like my knight in shining armour and comes home to help with the long process of cancelling credit cards, calming his wife, contacting car companies and speaking to banks, (we even managed to get his bank cards cancelled by mistake), the day just keeps getting better!

After making a list of lost possessions, we head off the the local Carabinieri to file a report of stolen property. Arriving at the police sation we are seated in a waiting room, similar to that of a motor mechanic waiting room, and are told that some one will be with us shortly. We only waited for 30 minutes, which is definitely a record for us as far as time wasted in waiting rooms in regards to Italian paperwork. The police were very helpful, and the children both fell asleep in the pram for the entire time we were there.

I now officially feel like I have lost a part of me. I have no Italian identity cards for myself or the children, I have no Australian drivers license that was allowing me to drive here, I have no new handbag that was purchased the week prior, (it was the last one in the shop, my husband had been searching for me for the last month), and I now have no faith in society. All of the above is replacable, (even if it does involve 3 more months of paperwork again), apart from my faith. My husband has always been the one conscious and weary of others, I always gave benefit of the doubt. I hate the fact that this attitude has now been stolen from me.

IF Interesting Fact
The Carabinieri uniforms are designed by the house of Valentino and Police uniforms are designed by the house of Armani.

1 comment:

  1. OK, you made it all sound quite funny but, having 'lost' things here myself, I can imagine how you must feel. And, yes, the worst thing will be the having to go through all the waiting and trips to this office and that office to get all your documents and stuff. Be grateful that your credit cards are not Italian!

    Good luck with the next few months.

    p.s. That WAS an interesting fact that I didn't know. Thanks